The anti-aesthetic sentiment common to evangelicalism is obviously an inadequate approach for ministry in a post-modern culture. Giakalis suggests that: “This is the fundamental role of Christian education: to guide one towards saving truth. In contrast with a scientific and rationalistic education, which aims only at the increase of a person’s critical capacity and his application to research, the fundamental data of which must always be changing and advancing, the saving truth of Christian faith remains changeless…”171 Giakalis concludes that icons and teaching by sight is a more effective approach to Christian education.

In the 21st century, a climate of post-modernity, there are significant changes happening in the dialogue between the east and the west.

167 Clendenin, 1994, p. 75.
168 Ouspensky, 1992, p. 153.
169 Clendenin, 1994, p. 79.
170 Coniaris, 1982, p. 177.
171 Giakalis, 1994, p. 54.

The positive news is that: “We have come from an age of disputes to tone of dialogue, from divergence to convergence, from polemics to irenics.”172

Anti-image Sentiment in the Post Reformation Church

John Calvin contested the ecumenical legitimacy of the 7th Ecumenical council. He believed that it wasn’t actually ecumenical.173 Calvin also said “images cannot stand in the place of books”174 and that the revelation of God is verbal and oral – not image. Images had value for illustrating the word (words?) but no value beyond that. However, Kretschmar suggests that Calvin “… probably never saw an icon in his life.”175 This is somewhat ironic in that the term used in I Corinthians in one case for Christ and in another for man is “image” (eikon).176 Yet this anti-image sentiment has persisted through much of the protestant church since the time of Calvin.