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The Shroud as a Sunday School Tool

May 27, 2014

clip_image001About a week ago, Mary Kate Warner, wrote an article for Heart of the Matter Online An Ascension Discussion for Older Children that focused on the Shroud of Turin.

Heart of the Matter is a discussion blog focusing on Home Schooling from an Evangelical Christian point of view. For many of us, it is interesting to see, from a different perspective, this mistaken notion of worshipping things by, I guess, Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians:

Christians teaching in Youth Ministry will probably long be divided on whether seeing religious relics is helpful to people’s faith or whether it goes against God’s wishes.

For those who want nothing to do with items like the Shroud, they have well-taken points. The last thing God wants on planet Earth is idolatry, and He made sure many tempting objects were destroyed or hidden for man’s sake. The following items are not to be found, probably hidden by God to protect man’s inclination to worship “things:” the burial place of Moses, Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the Cross of Christ, the Holy Sepulcher, and the resting places of any of the 12 disciples.

What the Christian community may need to wrestle with is the difference between worshipping relics and allowing them to increase faith— especially the faith of scientific skeptics—and help today’s generation understand God better.

John Jackson, lead Scientist of STURP says that with the study of the Shroud of Turin, “We may have a real opportunity where science and religion can come together most profoundly.”

Mary Kate Warner does suggest a shortened version of the History Channel’s The Real Face of Jesus.

Watching the documentary will give kids a wonderful chance to see a piece of Christian history embraced by both scientists and the most advanced of computer technologists.

Digital imagery specialist Ray Downing, Emmy winner for his 3-D depictions in Stealing Lincoln’s Body, created the face of Jesus in 3-D after months of labor.

“What you see on the Shroud of Turin is not a picture of a face. It’s a database of information.” The face he created looks nothing like the Shroud, which is “data packed into 2-D.” He unfolds that data in 3-D. Russ Breault, expert on the project, says, “It is possible that the shroud presents an opportunity for 21stcentury people across the world to see the resurrected Christ through photography and in a sense…place our hands into His nail wounds and be not faithless but believe.”

Categories: News & Views
  1. May 27, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Using the Shroud as a tool for Christian education is terrific idea. One young woman at a lecture commented that “the Shroud makes it real.” In the 21st century, as the Church struggles against pervasive secularism and a new and aggressive form of atheism, the Shroud stands as a witness for the core message of Christianity…the bulls eye of the faith. Some evangelicals assert that God would not use something like the Shroud. Why not? Jesus said, “If you have SEEN me, you have SEEN the father.” Paul describes Jesus as, “the image of the invisible God.” Certainly something dramatic changed between the OT where no one, not even Moses saw the face of God…to the NT where everyone beheld the glory of God in the face of Jesus. In Acts 1:3, it says, “After his suffering he showed many convincing proofs that he was alive.” Is it not possible that the Shroud is a “proof” for all generations? In the 21st century we communicate more images than we do with words. Perhaps the Shroud was preserved for this time in human history more than any other and has the same message as Scripture, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”

    • Mike M
      May 27, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Well said, In Sunday school, the shroud captures the attention of youth like nothing else. Most of them don’t know anything about the shroud and are fascinated by the research put into it.

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