The poppies of the Tower

London is transfixed by a stunning war memorial commemorating Armistice Day, when World War I ended on November 11, 1918, honored in the United States as Veteran’s Day.  All around the iconic Tower of London are  888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each soldier of the Commonwealth who was killed in that war.   A beautiful sea of flowers that looks simultaneously like a horrible sea of blood makes a noble tribute for all veterans.

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I’m interviewed for Reformation Week at Issues, Etc.

It’s Reformation Week at Issues, Etc., the syndicated radio program that you can hear online both live and on demand.  I’ll be interviewed today  5:00-6:00 p.m. ET on the Reformation on the Visual Arts.  Other topics this week will be the Reformation and Education, the Reformation and Government, the Reformation and Music, and the Reformation on Science.  See the week’s lineup after the jump.

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Attraction, not argument

Michael Brendan Dougherty discusses the doom and gloom many Christians feel about the church’s prospects in contemporary culture.  He disagrees that things are that bad and says that there are two ways the church grows:  by biology and by “attraction, not argument.”  He goes on to quote Pope Benedict XVI who said that “The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb.”

Would that the church today would grow some art in her womb that would have elements of attraction!  Is this just more theology of glory wishful thinking?  Won’t a period of cultural exile, weakness, and humiliation under the Cross do the church some good?  Or does the author make a good point?  If he does, what should change in the way the church goes about its business? [Read more…]

Matisse’s conversion

Henri Matisse was one of the great artists of the 20th century.  What most people do not know, however–and what exhibitions and art critics tend to ignore–is that Matisse underwent a dramatic and life-changing conversion to Christianity. [Read more…]

Robin Williams’ suicide

Robin Williams was beloved, wealthy, and acclaimed, always laughing and making others laugh.  And yet he took his own life.   I don’t mean to moralize or philosophize over such a sad ending with reflections about what we think to be important might not be important at all, but suicides raise the big questions about life.  The figure in art and literature of the crying clown is especially poignant. [Read more…]

How God uses the imagination

More from my interview with Mathew Block, who asks how God uses our human imaginations to reach us. [Read more…]


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