Free to Receive

Let’s face it. Evangelicals are a pretty grumpy lot when it comes to the arts and culture. We’re perpetually on the lookout for artistic evidence to prove that this is the most evil of generations. In fact, it seems as if many of us delight in being offended so that we can crow about the [Read More...]

Sur le motif: The Paintings of Paul Cézanne

  Last week, after finishing Alex Danchev’s stunning biography, Cézanne: A Life (Pantheon, 2012), I  flew to New York to see some of Cézanne’s paintings at the Museum of Modern Art. This is not exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from an evangelical on staff at a conservative Presbyterian church in South Florida. [Read More...]

Area Codes

  Whenever I call someone with Caller ID (which would be everybody these days), they’ll see my 617-Boston area code flash on their screen even though I now reside in Minneapolis. It explains why most of my local calls go straight to voice mail. Who in Minneapolis would be getting a call from Boston? These days, with [Read More...]

The Poetics (and Theology) of Painting

Last week I concluded a four-part series over at  Good Letters, the blog of IMAGE Journal. Entitled “The Poetics of Painting,” I explore four foundational aspects of painting as a studio practice: the relationship of the artist and her intentions to the work of art; the pictorial dynamics on the surface of a painting; the [Read More...]

Theology & the Arts

  Over the last few months, Christopher Brewer has devoted several blog posts to my theological approach to art over at Transpositions, a collaborative on-line project of students associated with the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. He reviewed several of my blog posts here at Patheos as well as God in the [Read More...]

Why I Teach (With Help From Parker Palmer)

I’m back in the teaching game after a sabbatical. In some ways, it’s hard to gear up–I was getting used to a leisurely life of research, writing, and coffee drinking. But in many other ways, it’s good to be back. It’s certainly caused me to reflect a bit on the teaching craft–and why I do [Read More...]

In Memoriam

Robyn O’Neil, Hell (2009-2011) This time of year brings the remembrance of those whom we have lost during the last twelve months. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy in late October, which flooded the neighborhoods that make up Chelsea on the lower west side of Manhattan and the center of the art world, many artists [Read More...]

Larks that Cannot Sing: The Work of Claudia Alvarez

Claudia Alvarez, Flower Girl, ceramic, 2011 Art is like a magnet, attracting, collecting, and accumulating our thoughts and experiences over time. This process peels back new layers of the work, which those thoughts and experiences seem to reveal. A good work of art interprets us, works on us, forces itself on us and invades our [Read More...]

An Advent Meditation with Gabriel Orozco

  In my day job as curator of LIBERATE, the online resource ministry of Tullian Tchividjian and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, I was searching for a suitable image to pair with a sermon by one of our contributors, Rev. Nick Lannon, on the Advent theme of waiting. And I happened upon a photograph by contemporary [Read More...]

“Holy Innocents” and the Birth of Jesus

Jesus was born into a world of violence. A world where demented people kill innocent children. It’s right there in the infancy narrative of the first gospel (in the order in your Bibles). It’s easy to miss, because we don’t often focus on it in our telling of the Christmas story–understandably so. Matthew 2:16-18 tells [Read More...]


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