Posted in full of eyes, Uncategorized

Full of Eyes: Love is the measure of knowledge

Here is artist, visual theologian, and animator Chris Powers of the ministry Full of Eyes with a visual representation of the verse from 1 Corinthians 8:3. His work can be viewed on Patreon (where you can support him also), website Full of Eyes, and Youtube. His explanationis below.

known by god
Artist’s statement below:

1 Corinthians 8:3, “…if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”

The Passage Explained

The tense of the verbs used in 1 Corinthians 8:3 sheds some light on Paul’s intended meaning. Translated in a way that emphasizes the verbal tenses, 1 Corinthians 8:3 could read:

“But if anyone is loving God (present active tense), he has been known by God (perfect passive tense).”

Paul’s point here is not that our love for God somehow causes us to stand out in the crowd so that God acknowledges us, or that our love “earns” or “secures” or “attracts” His knowledge of us. Rather, he is teaching that God’s knowledge of us is the foundation for our love of Him.

Now, of course, since God’s knowledge is perfect and infinite, God “knows” all people. How, then, can I say that His knowledge of a person is the basis of their love for Him? If God knows all people, and if Paul tells us that God’s knowledge of a person leads to their love for God, then how is it that all people do not love God?

The answer comes when we realize the sort of knowledge Paul likely has in view here. He is not talking about God’s general knowledge of all people, but of the saving, choosing, predestining knowledge that He has for His elect people. It’s the sort of knowledge that we read about in Romans 8:29-30,

“For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”

In this passage, God’s knowledge of a person constitutes their being predestined to glory in Christ. The idea is not that God knows that a person will trust Christ and so—on the basis of that knowledge—predestines them. Rather it is because God knows them as His own that they subsequently trust Christ. In Romans 8:29-30, God’s knowledge of a person is an effective knowledge, a choosing knowledge, a knowledge that causes the one known to become what God—in His sovereign will as Creator—knows them to be, namely, His elect people.

God’s knowledge of us is foundational to who we are, in fact, it might be argued that we are nothing other than what God knows us to be. We are His creatures, sustained from moment to moment by His will (Hebrews 1:3), if He ever—even for one second—”forgot” about us, we would be obliterated from the timeline of reality….we would cease to exist. We are only because God knows us to be. And since His knowledge of us is the spring of our existence, if He knows us to be His children in Christ, then that is what we are. This is why His foreknowledge of His people as being united to Christ eventually manifests in their lives as individual choices to trust in Christ—we are in Christ because He knows us to be in Christ, not the other way around.

It seems to me that Paul has this sort of “Romans 8:29-30 knowing” in mind when he says in 1 Corinthians 3:8 that, “if anyone is loving God, he has been known by God” (my translation). In other words, a person’s love for the One True God as revealed in Jesus Christ is a strong proof they have been known by God and are thus chosen as one of His own. When our hearts and minds behold the glory of God in Christ (2 Cor.4:6) and rise up to Him in adoration and faith and hope, we are bearing witness to ourselves and others that God has known us—from all eternity—to be His own in His Son (this same concept seems to be stated in different words in Romans 8:15-16 where the cry of our hearts to God as “Abba” bears witness that we are His children).

However, it must be noted that there is no love for God if there is no love for others. Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 8 and following as he elaborates on the absolute necessity of building others up, laying down one’s rights for the good of neighbor, etc. The love for God that bears witness to having been known by God must also be Christ-like love for other.

So, in response to the Corinthians who were using their knowledge as a bludgeon to beat others into submission, Paul dismisses their “knowledge” as worthless and points instead to the necessity not primarily of knowing, but of being known, being known by God. If God has known us, then we will be marked by a love for God that manifests as a self-giving, Christ-imaging love for others.

But how can one seek this knowledge? How can one seek to be known by God? You cannot. Rather, Paul shifts the emphasis from building one’s self up to building others up, i.e., to loving others. If anyone has true knowledge, it will bear the fruit of love of God and others, and where such love is present, it bears witness—not only to the knowledge of the one who loves—but (and more fundamentally) to God’s knowledge of them. If there is no love, then there is no evidence of knowledge—neither a person’s knowledge of God, nor God’s electing knowledge of that person.

The Picture Explained

In this picture I tried to emphasize the two types of knowledge that Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians 8:1-3. At the edges of the image are those who “think they know something,” that is, those whose knowledge builds themselves up rather than building others up. The “light” around their heads is dark gold to show the flawed nature of their knowing, they “do not yet know as they ought to know.”

In the center of the image is a depiction of the second sort of knowledge that Paul mentions, namely, being known by God. The woman’s head and shoulders are encompassed within the halo that represents God’s knowledge of her in Christ, portraying that not only is she known by Him, but that His knowledge of her illuminates her understanding as well (Galatians 4:9). Her outstretched hands are in the wounded hands of the Son, showing that God’s electing knowledge of her entails her being purchased by the atoning work of Christ.

However, the woman’s outstretched hands also place her in a posture that images Christ on the cross. God’s knowledge of her in Christ results in her conformity to the love of Christ. This self-giving love is also pictured by the water flowing from her heart into the Christian community, even over those who do not love in return.

More foundational than knowing something about God, is to be known by God in His Son, Jesus Christ. To be known in this way by the Creator of the universe is to be His blood-bought child, and will of necessity result in our knowing and loving Him in Christ, which in turn, results in our love for those around us. Love is the measure of knowledge.

Posted in challies, chirs powers, chris koelle, full of eyes, visual exegesis, visual theology

Visual Exegesis/Visual Theology: Bunyan’s Order & Causes, Annie Vallotton, Chris Koelle, Challies, Chris Powers animation ‘It is finished’

I have written before about an extraordinary young man named Chris Powers. He is using his artistic gift for the glory of God in creating visual art for the world. He calls his art and animations “visual exegesis” because he uses a verse and creates an artistic rendition of the verse or doctrinal concept in visual form. This is extraordinarily difficult to do.

Famously, John Bunyan did this with words and pictures in his allegorical book Pilgrim’s Progress.

Bunyan also made the first visual theology chart in Christendom when he created his poster Order and Causes of Salvation and Damnation-


Chris Koelle is an artist who worked with Matt Dorff in collaboration to create an artistic rendition of the Book of Revelation. There are multiple difficult images in that apocalyptic book of the Bible and the doctrines are difficult too. Yet some talented people have an ability to create images that communicate these doctrines with clarity and accuracy without disrespect to the Lord or the Holy Spirit who inspired the words. Koelle’s images are drawn in complicated, eerily sinister yet glorifying ways.

Another noted Bible artist is Annie Vallotton, whose images are as far from Koelle’s as it is possible to be. Vallotton’s illustrations contain just a few clear, simple pen lines, yet are just as evocative as Koelle’s grand and complex illustrations. Vallotton illustrated the Good News Bible and created about 500 images for the finished product. However Vallotton said in an interview that for each image she might make up to 90 drafts until she felt the verse’s message was clearly communicated in the image.  You can read about her here, or more in depth here. Or here.

The largely expressionless figures make little attempt to interpret the text, but rather invite the reader to do so.

Job railing against the LORD’S ‘injustice’.

I’d like to add Chris Powers to the list for your consideration. I’ve been watching his growth as an artist and as a Brother in the faith for some years now. His work is solidly dedicated to the Lord. He does what he calls visual exegesis, to what Challies calls “visual theology“.

We live in a visual culture. Today, people increasingly rely upon visuals to help them understand new and difficult concepts. The rise and popularity of the Internet infographic has given us a new way to convey data, concepts, and ideas. But the visual portrayal of truth is not a novel idea. God himself used visuals to teach truth to his people. If you have ever considered the different elements within the Old Testament tabernacle or temple you know that each element was a visual representation of a greater truth. The sacrificial system and later the cross were also meant to be visual—visual theology. (source)

Tim Challies’ book Visual Theology goes on sale next month. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy.

Powers is completing his art book titled “Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1” a book which has his visual theology on one page and his explanation on the opposite page. It will be ready for publication on Amazon in a few weeks as of this writing. You can learn more about the upcoming book, here. You can take a sneak peek at the new book, here. You can see Chris explain the book, here and take an even longer sneak peek. Here is Chris explaining his art book, Visual Exegesis:

[I]n the upcoming art book, I try to highlight the exegetical element in each image. The book has a picture on one page and a description of how the text was translated into image on the other. My goal here is to strengthen the tether between word and image so that the imagery might deepen our understanding of scripture, and scripture would enlighten our understanding of the image. 

It is a stunning art book:

Mainly, Chris Powers makes animations. To that end, he has completed a stunning new animation to the song It Is Finished. I’ll post the video below. Below that is a video explaining his thought process for why he chose to depict certain arts of the song the way he did. Both videos are worth a look.

Powers’ work is freely available. I repeat: he is giving his animations and study curricula, tracts, and other material away for free. He is also creating lesson plans and guides to accompany each animation, so they can be used n small groups. He has volunteer translators translating the work into Spanish and Portuguese. His website is He is on Patreon and Gaius, if you want to make a one-time donation or support his work each month, even at the $1 level.

I personally believe his work is making a tremendous impact for the kingdom and I am fervently using this medium to promote him and his work at Full Of Eyes. I hope you feel his work is worthy of praise also, and promote him within your sphere.

Posted in chris powers, encouragement, full of eyes, joy, titus

Awaiting the Blessed Hope

Here is a beautiful drawing from Chris Powers of Full of Eyes Ministry. His picture brings to life the verse from Titus 2:12-14,

training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

I’m waiting for the Blessed Hope, so eagerly and excitedly.

Chris’ artist statement is:

In these verses, Paul’s point seems to be that the grace of God teaches us to be godly pilgrims in this life, living in the world as faithful people of God, and yet always waiting, always hoping, always looking for the appearing of our great God – Jesus Christ. I have always been struck by the beauty of Paul’s contrasts here….directly after affirming that Christ is “our great God and Savior,” he adds “who gave Himself for us.” Christ’s deity and His sacrificial death are placed side by side as a reminder of the depths of His love and the beauty of His character…..our God is the One who gave Himself for us….and the God who gave Himself for us is the One whose glory will one day dissolve earth an heaven in His appearing……how stunning it will be for believers on that day! 

The One whose beauty is splintering the skies and whose majesty is terrifying the nations,  that same one  is the one who loves us and gave Himself for us….wonderful.
In this image I wanted to show that the believer is a pilgrim and yet always lives with the “sight” (by faith) of Christ’s appearing before their eyes….He is our great hope.

Chris Powers illustration, Full of Eyes Ministry

I can’t imagine what it will be like when we hear the trumpet and the Voice calling us home! I can’t imagine our joy, and our amazement and our relief and our surprise and our worship. I can’t imagine what it will be like to live in a body that is un-corrupt and free from sin!

The Christian life is hard. As we grow more toward the holy end of the spectrum the more we hate our own bodies, minds, and hearts. Not because we have low self-esteem, as I used to think before I was saved, but because we know how our sinful acts blot the name of Jesus and are against Him and Him alone. We love Him so much, He being of perfect character and beauty, that when we sin it’s hurtful to our own selves more and more. Our very bones groan in agony. Psalm 6:1-3 captures it

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
3My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O LORD—how long?

And that brings us back to the Titus 2:12 verse. The spirit is training us to renounce ungodliness and live self-controlled upright lives, while we wait for the Blessed Hope. He is Blessed, and the Hope is great! Turn your countenance toward heaven, see the joy set before you (by faith) and know that one day, our joy will be by sight.

Posted in chris powers, encouragement, full of eyes, visual theology

Full of Eyes ministry update

A year ago, I’d posted for your perusal about a new ministry. Chris Powers is an animator who is committed to Jesus Christ, visual theology, and beauty. He creates wonderful animations with study guides, as well as Christ-honoring gorgeous art and doctrinally solid tracts. Chris has taken the faith-leap and he and his wife left all behind to devote themselves full-time to this ministry he named Full of Eyes. Full of Eyes is part of the verse from Ezekiel 1:18 describing the strange creatures that have wheels within wheels which were full of eyes all around.

Here is one of Chris’ latest drawings, which I love.

The verse to go with the drawing is: John 3:19, “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil

Chris and his wife Courtney took a two-week trip to California. Here is part of his summary report about the trip.

Well, after about 14 days on the road, Courtney and I are now back in Washington Court House, Ohio. Let me take some time to fill you in on the second half of our CA trip and then share with you a bit about what I anticipate the coming weeks will hold…

California Recap
The second half of our trip to CA involved driving from San Francisco down to LA via the coast on Highway 1 (a wonderful trip filled with some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty I’ve yet seen….Courtney and I really enjoyed this).

Once down south I went to The Master’s College on Wednesday and Thursday evening to interact with students regarding art, culture and the gospel (and how these things manifest in my own life via FOE). However, Thursday evening was the real highlight for me. I was graciously given the chance to teach a 2 hour class on the topic of Beauty and the Cross…it was really a joy to unfold these topics with the students and then to look at how I’m trying to herald these things visually through FOE.

I heard from a number of students (and the professor who invited me) that this was a helpful and impactful time…..I know for me this class alone was worth the entire trip! Praise God for His faithfulness and mercy to fold us into His purposes in the world.
So, when all is said and done, I’m trusting that God has answered the prayer that carried this entire trip for me and Courtney, namely, that hearts would be more in love with and conformed to Christ as a result of our time in CA….

It is a very big deal to have been invited to teach a class at The Master’s College. I pray Chris’ work continues to grow in grace and continues to find appropriate outlets that give this Christ-honoring ministry wider exposure.

Here are links to the lessons Chris taught at TMC. They are explorations of beauty based on the theological writings of Jonathan Edwards.

The Incarnation of Beauty – Part I : The Trinitarian Roots of Beauty

The Incarnation of Beauty – Part II: Beauty is a Relational Concept

Full of Eyes on the web-



Twitter: @FullofEyesFilms


Patreon: Support Full of Eyes

Gaius Project: Support Full of Eyes

Posted in actionjones, chris powers, encouragement, full of eyes, ministry, patreon

Chris Powers AKA Action Jones, and his ministry Full of Eyes

screen shot from newest video

You may already be well aware of this extraordinarily talented young Christian man, Chris Powers. He is an animator and graphic artist who labors to bring visual theology to the people, for free. His videos, essays, and tracts are wonderful. I’ve been following him (under his working name ActionJones) for a while now. I wrote about him last July, here.

I’ve never seen anyone (except maybe Chris Koelle) bring abstract concepts such as regeneration or justification to visual power as Powers does. He uses contemporary songs for his videos, and being young, connects with the youth. He is a tremendous artist and a strong Christian, who is in seminary also. His ministry is called Full Of Eyes from the Ezekiel 10:12 verse “the wheels were full of eyes all around.”

I wrote about him a year or so ago. I bring him to your attention again now. Mr Powers is stepping out in faith to up his ministry. He has worked part-time on his video animations and since it has been part-time, output has been slow. He has been praying and is going full-time.

Because he still needs to support his family, he has signed up with Patreon, an online pledge-support mechanism to support content-creators in the music and art industry.

As we know from last week’s blast from Weird Al Yankovic’s successful transition from the old model of signing contracts with record labels to freelance flexible online platforms, the music and art industry is changing. But one thing never changes, artists still need to be supported. To that end, several different pledge funding platforms have sprung up. One is Kickstarter, described by Wikipedia here:

Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform based in the United States. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter has reportedly received over $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million donors to fund 135,000 projects, which include films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, and food-related projects.

I recently read that the unbiblical upcoming movie “The Holy Ghost” raised a third of a million dollars on Kicksarter.

A screen shot from “The Gospel Song”

The other crowdfunding platform is Patreon. Wikipedia again explains,

Patreon, based in San Francisco, is a crowdfunding platform created by musician Jack Conte and developer Sam Yam. It allows artists to obtain funding from patrons on a recurring basis or per artwork. Artists set up a page on the Patreon website, where patrons can pledge to donate a given amount of money to an artist every time she or he creates a piece of art, optionally setting a monthly maximum. Alternatively a fixed monthly amount can be pledged. This is different from other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, where artists obtain a single sum after a successful campaign and typically have to start over for every new piece. Similar to other platforms however, artists will often provide rewards for their patrons. Patreon takes a 5% commission on pledges.

Patreon is growing rapidly both in patrons and creators, with 10000 artists expected to use Patreon by the end of February 2014. While the website initially targeted musicians, established webcomic artists such as Jonathan Rosenberg, Zach Weinersmith and Paul Taylor are successfully using it.

Chris Powers has gone with Patreon, and is asking prayerfully for pledges. Here is his Full of Eyes Youtube page, for you to view his work.

As a stellar example of his work, here is a 5-min animated video of an imagined missionary martyr set to the song “All I Have Is Christ.” It is so powerful to me, I always need tissues when I view it, as I do most of his work. I also enjoy “The Gospel Song” an animation which uses the song of the same name by Drew Jones and also includes a short excerpt of the biblical Gospel, in words, by John Piper. Powers’ intent is always evangelism, not entertainment. Many of his videos and tracts have been translated into other languages for use overseas.

Please, if you have five minutes, view the All I Have Is Christ video. I also ask you to prayerfully consider supporting Mr Powers. We have so many Charismatic false teachers drawing our youth away into unorthodoxy. We have people instantly pledging up to $350,000 for an unbiblical Holy Ghost movie. And yet the solidly orthodox and brilliantly talented ones like Powers labor obscurely to present their biblical and edifying work for free. I pledged a monthly gift. If you feel led, I hope you will too.