I Write Too Many Words

  “Without music, life would be a mistake” (Nietzsche)   [Read more...]

Us and Them

I was invited to give a chapel talk at Biola University in La Mirada, California in the spring of 2011. I spoke about how the book of Jonah is a story about us and them, revealing that the grace that God shows to the unrighteous infuriates those of us who think we are righteous. Unfortunately, [Read More...]

A Message in a Bottle

  God calls an artist to be a particular kind of artist in a particular kind of way in the world. This specificity reveals the diversity of artistic practice and the various ways that it is embodied institutionally. Most Christian thinking about art, however, ignores this basic social reality, which every artist (Christian or not) [Read More...]

Velázquez, Dwarfs, and the Contradiction of Graceful Painting

The Spanish artist Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) is a contradiction. His disarming virtuosity, combined with an ambivalent attitude toward painting that borders on contempt, resulted in one of the most stunning and enigmatic careers of any artist in the Western tradition. He also produced some of the most graceful paintings in the history of art. Velázquez’s [Read More...]

Zombies, Gnosticism, and the Departure of Hope

Today’s post is by guest blogger Tim Conder. Tim is the founding pastor of Emmaus Way in Durham, NC and a PhD candidate in “Culture, Curriculum, and Change” at the University of North Carolina. He serves as a board member at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He is also the author of two [Read More...]

A Buffalo ’66 Theology of Culture

We live in a bipolar and schizophrenic culture. On one hand it is extremely crude and licentious and on the other, excruciatingly puritanical and legalistic. A robust and mature Christian cultural witness recognizes that this is two sides of the same coin, and thus resists the temptation to reduce the radicality of the gospel into [Read More...]

The Red Herring of Public Decency

The Chinese government’s “pixelation” of Michelangelo’s marble sculpture, David-Apollo in a television story previewing an exhibition of western art at the National Museum in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, raises the question again of art, nudity, and public decency. Rather than make the sculpture safe for public viewing, did pixelating the work create an indecent or pornographic situation?  Should a work of [Read More...]

Bearing Cultural Witness

Poet and Editor Aleksandr Tvardovsky It was Aleksandr Tvardovsky’s habit to lounge about his apartment in his bathrobe looking at the manuscripts that littered his living quarters. As editor of the liberal magazine Novy Mir in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, Tvardovsky was well known as a Soviet poet as well [Read More...]

Art and Karma: A Report from India

I spent last week in Hyderabad, India leading an arts in ministry track at the fourth annual India YCL Conference sponsored in part by One Hope, one of the more exciting and intellectually dynamic missions organizations in North America. Founded by Bob Hoskins in 1987 and located in Pompano Beach, Florida, the mission of the organization [Read More...]

Concluding Thoughts on Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade has been an easy target for art critics. But my decision to write about his work, with “The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade” and the “The Final Word on Thomas Kinkade,” was an attempt to explore a different path toward understanding the challenges that it posed to my work as an art critic [Read More...]


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