One of the saddest descriptions of Eikons can be found in Romans 1:28-32. Make sure you read it.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.
Eikons are made to “eikon”, that is to glorify God by relating to God, to self, to others, and the world. And each relation has its own order and rules. When Eikons forfeit their relationship to God, the Eikon unravels and begins to live in its cracks. The cracks seethe with sin. Dwelling there leads to diminishment: mental and moral.
What amazes me everytime I read this passage is 1:28: “God gave them over.” Our God is a God who gives humans freedom to be who they want to be, to do what they want to do, and to seek what they want to seek. Now what is seen as wrath in 1:18-32 must also be seen as discipline at some level: God gives them over not because they make God sick, or because God is abandoning them, but to allow humans to discover that misery is not what humans want. But, as v. 32 says, misery loves company.
This is very sad. Instead of seeing this in some triumphalistic note, we need to grieve over Eikons who refuse to come to terms with God. What Paul makes clear is that those who do such things know that such things are diminishing of what God made them to be.
When most of my readers see this Kris and I will be in Italy. We flew Thursday into Milan, arrive here early Friday morning, and go up for one day to Bellagio near Lake Como. I’ll do what I can to get to the blog this week, but I’ve got confidence you’ll be discussing Romans. We’ll give reports each day we can and, if possible, drop some pictures into the blog.