My image of a Son of God/Son of Man incarnational Jesus allows me to have a standard to appraise and evaluate the divine subjects and objects of other religions. Through the richness of certain practices (i.e., the meditation of Zen Buddhism) I might be blessed and encouraged, but I lack the ability to find divine images that are relevant to me that I would or could call ‘God.’ Not only is the Jesus image based in my own humanity, the message is one that deals with my own human condition and the practical and obvious ways of living out that condition (do to others what you would want them to do to you), this is beyond ideals and is the fiber of human relationships. It is the connectivity of the creator and the created, one divine and the other human. I would certainly be left void by depending on the icons, symbols and liturgical practices of many churches (which represent various divine images) both Christian and other, if all I could see was ‘church practices’ and professional clergy. Organized religion has little value in forming my image of God, or the Divine. I am much more concerned with the Pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit) and the Christology (study of Christ) of other groups than I am of the Ecclesiology (study of the church). Rarely are divine images brought to mind by the way communities exist together to ‘worship’ but by how the constituents of the communities live based on the core values of the community. The institution does not make pure images for me like silence, solitude and prayer even in their celebrations.
(Answer to a 2009 question concerning how images of the Divine influence my perceptions of the divine.)
“Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” Jesus