so, do you guys just think you’re so cool that you had to choose another language for your name?
well, we’re not all that cool, really. in fact, most of our leaders are kind of dorks. we just wanted a name that evoked a certain meaning and aesthetic that represents what we want our community to reflect.
no doubt, the name eikon (pronounced the same as icon) is not all that common (although we find more and more that we have friends across the united states and the globe who share our name). maybe you’re wondering why we didn’t choose a “standard”, “churchy” sounding name. well, there’s several reasons. you can read more about our core values and guiding theologies, but here’s some of the values that led to the
goofy name eikon.
first, a quick look at the origins. the word eikon is greek and is found about 20 times in the new testament (the equivalent is found throughout the entirety of scripture, but as it’s greek, it’s unique to the new testament). here’s the definition:
- 1. an image, figure, likeness
a. an image of the things (the heavenly things)
- 2. the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed
a. the image of one
1. one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
2. applied to man on account of his power of command
- 3. to Christ on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence
ok, so what does all that stuff mean?? here’s a few insights and values:
1. at eikon, the concept of image is important. i don’t mean image in the sense of image-obsessed or things that are inherently narcissistic. rather, it’s the idea of what’s visual and beautiful and sensory. we mean image in both the obvious and the very broad sense of the word.
in the obvious way, we mean that the arts are a central part of what we do and how we engage in community. be it the fine arts (painting, sculpture, etc) to film to graphic design to handmade arts and goods, the visual experience is a central experience at eikon. throughout scripture, there is such a rich visual thread of beauty and vivid detail. scripture is more than words on a page. we engage and enter scripture through the rich images that are evoked.
in the less—presumably—obvious way, the idea of image carries over into music and the written/spoken word and even the “art” of cordial dialogue. all these artforms evoke powerful and rich images that help us enter into community and into the story of god.
IMAGE OF GOD
2. eikon speaks to being made in the image—the eikon—of god. one of our guiding values is the belief that every person is made in the image of god. the implication is that every person is equal in our community and valued and no person is greater than another. even our leaders are no greater or more important or more valued than someone who walks in the door for the first time. everyone—regardless of color or age or background or sexual orientation or social status—is made to look like god. we aren’t gods, but we are certainly made in his image. from this, we derive value and acceptance and dignity and so much more.
3. as per the definition, eikon speaks to a certain transformation, specifically, it’s the redemptive transformation into becoming more like christ. in this, we don’t mean some kind of christian subculture jesus or some kind of social weirdo or some kind of bizarre other-wordliness, but rather, becoming people who are guided by grace and mercy and compassion and love and justice. the eikon of christ is a life defined by peace over retribution, acceptance over suspicion and grace over judgment.
this transformation isn’t necessarily a single moment of change, but rather, a process of engaging in community,participating in an ongoing dialogue of discovery and humility and uncovering the story of god in scripture.
4. finally, somewhat tied to the the value of the centrality of the arts and being made in the image of god, eikon quite literally means statue or likeness. the point is that we value creation. i use that word in the broad sense of creativity and inventiveness and outside-the-box thinking. it’s not just about being an artist who creates a work of art or a poet who writes or a film maker who produces something beautiful. it’s about a community of people who don’t settle for the status quo or the “way we’ve always done it.” it’s forging a new path that isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but rather, about always seeking to know and engage christ and each other in ways that are fresh and inventive and authentic. being made in the image of god means being made in the image of a creator. therefore, in our own unique ways, we are all creative people who need and desire new and fresh ways of interacting with the world around us.
so, i hope that gives you a better idea of why we chose the goofy name eikon. we truly believe that it expresses the rhythm and nature of our community here in little rock.
if you want more of the specifics of who we are and what we do, then take a look around the rest of the site.