[To understand what this blog is, read this first.]
Today I just received a copy of Early Christian Attitudes toward Images by Fr. Dr. Steven Bigham, and man do I wish I would have had that in hand before writing my previous responses to the protestant professor. That would’ve saved a lot of time. I’m glad I did the research I did, but just from what I’ve read so far I can see that Dr. Bigham does a great job of taking this information and really going deep with it. He does a very well rounded take on icons from all sides, archaeological, literary and theological that is way beyond anything I could do on a blog, even if I were qualified. So, if you are interested in trying to understand icons as a non-Orthodox Christian, or to defend them (or even just to understand the issue better), you definitely need to get that book. I have also had Imago Dei, by Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan recommended to me, but I haven’t read it personally. I have many books by Dr. Pelikan and can recommend all the ones I have read, so I don’t doubt that he did a wonderful job on that subject as well, so you might check it out too.