“Turretinfan” Calls a Statue of Jesus Christ an “Idol”

“Turretinfan” Calls a Statue of Jesus Christ an “Idol” June 24, 2020

. . . While His Buddy Bishop James White Praises the Statues of “Reformers” Calvin, Farel, Beza, and Knox

[originally posted on 6-8-10; expanded with extra links on 6-24-20]


I’m not kidding folks. “Turretinfan” or TAO (I always affectionately refer to him as “The Anonymous One”) actually did this. Reporting on a story about a statue of Christ being struck by lightning and collapsing, he put up a post entitled “Gideon Would be Pleased . . . “ (6-15-10) that is (he continues in his post), “… by this report of God’s destruction of an idol.” He classifies this under the blog category of “Idolatry.”

A certain extreme faction of Reformed Protestants are iconoclasts. In an earlier article (2-22-10) our illustrious anti-Catholic Calvinist polemicist disagreed with the proposition that “the rejection of icons of Christ is a defect in Christology” and agreed with the notion that “icons inherently involve an implicit Nestorianism (or perhaps Monophysitism).”

Since TAO is so concerned about idolatry and statues, perhaps he should also expose the serious idolatry (i.e., consistently applying his own opinions) of his friend and idol, Bishop James White, who proudly displayed (“The Reformation Wall” — 6-19-07) a photograph of idols (?) Calvin, Farel, Beza, and Knox (so-called “reformers” all) from Geneva. The current article online seems not to have the photograph. But here’s an archived version that does.

Bishop White (no iconoclast he!) adoringly commented on the idols thusly:

. . . the famed “Reformation Wall” . . . I’ve seen it many times, . . . I haven’t gotten around to posting my pics from Edinburgh and Knox’s house, so this will have to do for now! For those who do not recognize the great Reformers by face, from left to right we have Guilluame Farel, the fiery Reformer of Geneva who struck fear in Calvin’s heart; then John Calvin himself; next to him Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor at Geneva, and finally the fiery John Knox, reformer of Scotland, . . .

That’s fine and dandy, but a statue of our Lord Jesus Christ?! Now, that is clearly a transgression of God’s laws, so that God has to strike it down in judgment. The idols of Calvin, Farel, Beza, and Knox are preserved by God because they are, you see, good Protestant idols (just like the little statues of Mary in the manger every Christmas in millions of Protestant homes!). Statues of our Lord and Savior and Redeemer and God the Son, Jesus Christ, on the other hand, are evil, pagan “Catholic” idols (even though the one struck down was at a Protestant church).

Ironically, one of the sculptors of the “Reformation Wall” in Geneva (built in 1909) was Paul Landowski (1875-1961): a Frenchman of Polish descent, who also collaborated in designing the famous 1931 Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro: one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The other sculptor was Frenchman Henri Bouchard (1875-1960).

Yet some of the anti-Catholics would have us believe that the statue of Christ is an evil idol, while the statues of Calvin, Farel, Beza, and Knox (made in part by the same sculptor) are glorious wonderworks of Protestant devotion and most fitting for the purpose of thankful appreciation for the Protestant Revolution.

Ironies and hypocrisy never cease.

Related Reading

Early Protestant Antipathy Towards Art (+ Iconoclasm) [1991]

Veneration of Images, Iconoclasm, and Idolatry (An Exposition) [11-15-02]

John Calvin, Early Calvinism, & Violent Iconoclasm [7-4-04]

Martin Luther on Crucifixes, Images and Statues of Saints, and the Sign of the Cross [4-15-08]

Bible on Physical Objects as Aids in Worship [4-7-09]

Calvin, Zwingli, and Bullinger vs. Statues of Christ, Crucifixes, & Crosses [9-19-09]

Crucifixes: Abominable Idols or Devotional Aids? [11-10-09]

Eucharistic Adoration: Idolatry or Biblical? (vs. Calvin #47) [12-2-09]

Christmas Trees as Idols?: Silly So-Called “Arguments” from Holy Scripture [12-12-10]

Biblical Evidence for Worship of God Via an Image [6-24-11]

The Bronze Serpent: Example of Proper Use of Images [Feb. 2012]

Dialogue on Jihadist & 16th Century Calvinist Iconoclasm (vs. David Scott) [10-7-13]

Biblical Idolatry: Authentic & Counterfeit Conceptions [2015]

Worshiping God Through Images is Entirely Biblical [National Catholic Register, 12-23-16]

Dialogue on Worship of God Via Natural Images (vs. Jim Drickamer) [1-16-17]

Newsflash!: Catholicism Utterly Opposes Idolatry, Too [1-18-17]

“Armstrong vs. Geisler” #9: Images & Relics [3-2-17]

How Protestant Nativity Scenes Proclaim Catholic Doctrine [12-15-13; expanded for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-17-17]

Statues in Relation to Bowing, Prayer, & Worship in Scripture [12-26-17]

Biblical Evidence for Veneration of Saints and Images [National Catholic Register, 10-23-18]

Crucifixes & Worship Images: “New” (?) Biblical Arguments [1-18-20]

St. Newman vs. Inconsistent Protestant Iconoclasts [3-21-20]


Photo credit: Ruth Nguyen (10-27-08): “Reformation Wall” in Geneva, Switzerland. From left to right: William Farel, John Calvin, Théodore Bèza, and John Knox [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


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