In my response to the Christological Argument and the use of icons I made a statement that Phil James, a guest blogger in the past here at the Archive, took issue with. In my post, I suggested that based on the current activities of many people with icons that the terms worship and veneration are used with a distinction that amounts to no difference; the poster responded by asking a loaded question that illuminates the mind of "our materialistic age” versus the mind of "our ancient faith” (a serious charge, no doubt): "Can stuff be worthy of respect or is it simply nothing but atoms (quoting me), chance and time.” Elsewhere, Phil also made a comment about Evangelicals knowing the difference between the loving their wives and loving God and yet not being able to see the difference between venerating icons and worshipping God.
Now ignoring several serious things I could have responded to but felt it would be repeating my post, his comments did raise several questions in my mind about the natures of worship and veneration. What is worship? How was worship accomplished? Why is worship actually worship? Is worship ever defined in Scripture? What is veneration? How is veneration accomplished? Why is veneration actually veneration? Is veneration ever defined in Scripture? How is worship not veneration and vice versa?
I think it takes some examination, not as a continuation of my dealing with icons, but because the questions have merit on their own.
Since the topic is so potentially tremendously broad, I know there is a vast amount of ink and paper devoted to the spectrum it encompasses, so I ask you (small amount of readers) if there is any material you’ve come across that I should have in my must-read list. Please, if possible, give me a small overview of the thrust of the material’s position.