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There are many different issues that are within this world, some of which are local
and some of them are not. Problems are happening all around the world so when
presented with this inquiry prompt I was in interested in the idea of thinking of strictly
local issues. I found this difficult which came as a bit of a shock to me, given all of the
problems in the world how hard could it be to think of a issue within my area. Then I
opened my eyes to just Biola, where I found my topic. I chose the topic of the Big
Jesus and all the different controversy that comes with this not only because it seem like
such a mundane issue at a Christian school but also because of the fact this this is a
Christian university. Why would this be an issue?
There are many different types of issues that come with this portrait of Jesus,
issues with the painting itself as well as the idea behind the art work, and what the
portrait represents. The first issue that I am going to discuss this the issues and the
controversy that goes with the Jesus portrait. Now because this is a Christian university
one would not think that this would be an issue at all, but one would be surprised at the
issues that this portrait of Jesus may cause. One of the issues that comes with this piece of
art is the issue of it putting forward the idea that this school is a certain denomination.
This can be an issue because the school does not want to seem as if there is one
denomination that is better than the other. The school would prefer the idea of diversity
and would not what to discriminate against students according to their certain idea or
beliefs within the Christian religion. This can cause problems not only with the students
but with the staff and faculty as well. Just like one would think, everyone from this
university comes from a different Christian backgrounds if any at all. This means that

there is no correct way to become a Christian wether one has green up in the church or
not, we all have the same ultimate goal. Therefore the school would like to leave it non
denominational so that these different types of issues do not occur.
Now one might think how can a painting of Jesus be seen as denominational?
Well for example, according to Catholics they believe that the having of statues of Jesus,
Mary, and the Saints is seen has a things of worships and blessing to the persons that the
state is of. Therefore Catholics would be appreciative of the large portrait of Jesus and
would probably prefer more paintings or even statues of the same nature. Not only of
Jesus but Mary and some of the saints as well. On the other hand, Protestants would say
that the big picture of Jesus could be seen as an idol, they believe that the statue or
painting could be a distraction to the worshiping of God in such a way that we should not
worship a picture of Jesus over Jesus himself. They also have the same beliefs when it
comes the saints and Mary. The Protestants would see the statues or paintings as an
source of worships as opposed to a tribute to thees persons. Therefore they may prefer
that the painting of Jesus be painted over, or at least made smaller than the size that it is
Another example of how this picture could cause issues and dispute is the fact that
we do not know what Jesus looked like. This causes problems in not only the painting
itself but the idea behind the portrait. Some believe that the portrait was too "white" to be
Jesus. This is a fact, the portrait of Jesus was more caucasian than Jesus actually would
have been when he was on the earth. However from the artist's perspective it may be
necessary for the completion of the painting to be lighter colored. Given many different
artistic technics, it may have been necessary of the artist to paint Jesus the color that he

did. Taking into consideration that the painting is outside and with the La Mirada sun, it
may have been important for Jesus skin tone to be of a light color. Also, another
important part of the portrait of Jesus is his robe and shadows that are casted by the robe.
The shadows are an important feature because they represent an important concept of
Christianity, which is the trinity. The robe that Jesus is wearing, casts three shadows. One
to represent the Father, another for the son, and the third for the Holy Spirit. Now as we
look from the artist perspective, it may have been needed to make the tone of Jesus face
lighter son that the shadows casted by his robe are more noticeable, given that they are
shades of black on a dark blue wall.
Also if we continue to look from the perspective of the artist then we can see why
the artist may have painted Jesus this color for a reason. Now this reason can be as simple
as in order for the portrait to look as best as possible the color may need to be lighter. One
can see how this itself could be an issue in a few different ways. Some may believe that
this could even be disrespectful to Jesus image due to the fact that despite where Jesus
was and his race, in the painting he seems to be much lighter than he would have actually
been. This has already become an issue at the Biola campus, given that the Jesus portrait
has already been painted darker in skin tone, than it was in its original state.
There are a lot of differences between denominations and despite the fact that
each denomination is within the religion of Christianity, there are different interpretations
of what the Bible says, and people think differently. However, should we let our
differences get in the way of the ultimate goal of Christianity? Yes, people have different
ideas of what the Bible is trying to say to us, however is it necessary to have disputes
over something as mundane as a portrait of Jesus? As long as one focuses on the core of

what we believe than it should be easy to see that we should not fight over things of the
world but focus on spending our time pleasing God.