The Arts

Beauty Can Teach Us the Art of Living Well

"[T]oday a belief even in the possibility that there are things we can identify as good falls prey to cynicism. Culture reflects this. Across the dizzying variety of digital entertainment media, one constant holds: we live in the era of the 'complex' protagonist, characters whose stories lean toward a kind of benevolent moral ambiguity at best. At worst, they advance the notion that only evil is interesting, while the good is either dull and boring or, worse, a mask for imposing our will on others." - Public Discourse

222 reads

“Instead of simply showing that the ideas and practices of secularist progressivism are wrong, [Esolen] also shows how—unlike Christianity—they are lifeless and soul-numbing.”

"Today, in this lifeless and soul-numbing culture, hardly anyone reads poetry anymore.  In the Introduction to The Hundredfold, Esolen blames the rise of free verse for the decline in poetry’s popularity, going on to give us a seminar in meter, rhyme, and poetic form that can teach us how to read poetry and how to appreciate it once again." - Gene Veith

476 reads

The Christian Baker’s Unanswered Legal Argument: Why the Strongest Objections Fail

"Abraham" - Deo Cantamus to premiere new oratorio by Josh Bauder

Abraham: Deo Cantamus to premiere new oratorio by Josh Bauder

"On Saturday, Oct. 25, Deo Cantamus presents Abraham, a new oratorio by University of Minnesota Ph.D. student Josh Bauder. Only 27 years old, Bauder already has numerous credits as a composer with the organization."

1751 reads

Christian Movies - Ministry or Menace? (Part 2)

After reading part one of this two-part series, and seeing all the good things accomplished by Christian films, one might wonder if anything could or should be wrong with them or if any negative aspects could or should overshadow the positive ones.

It was evident in the “Who’s Who in Religious Films” article that Youth for Christ lauded the Christian film industry as beneficial for missions and evangelistic efforts. However, those familiar with A.W. Tozer know that he was unsympathetic to that viewpoint. Tozer’s seven arguments against Christian films were abridged in Youth for Christ Magazine along with Evon Hedley’s seven arguments in favor of Christian films in an article titled “Christian Movies? The Pro and Con of Religious Films.” The pro arguments of Hedley and con arguments of Tozer in that 1954 article are summarized below.

A church service using a Christian film “is geared to the drawing in of the net for people to seek Christ as Saviour or to offer their lives as missionary volunteers.” Even though the entertainment world shows religious films in the theatre, the best place for them is the church where the service is planned for evangelistic purposes.

8852 reads

Christian Movies - Ministry or Menace? (Part 1)

In January 1954, Youth for Christ Magazine, in the article “Who’s Who in Religious Films,” spotlighted key people and organizations involved in Christian film production. Around this same time, A.W. Tozer wrote “The Menace of the Religious Movie” in which he opposed the use of Christian films to portray spiritual or biblical dramatic performances. Youth for Christ was in favor of Christian films because of the decisions for Christ that accompanied them. However, they also recognized that there was opposition and sought to quell it by highlighting the positive aspects they saw with Christian films.

Below is a summary of the “Who’s Who” article presenting the justifications and rationale of those involved in and supportive of Christian films at that time.

The Early Days

C.O. Baptista was credited with pioneering the Christian film idea in the late 1930s. Baptista said that while using an object lesson during Sunday school “he suddenly caught a vision of what that same object lesson could do if presented as a motion picture in churches.” Baptista produced dramatic films, sermon-type pictures, and animated films. Reportedly, “hundreds of professions of faith” resulted from the showing of just one of his dramatic films.

8772 reads

Postmodernism 4 - Art

Posted with permission from Sunesis.

Art brings philosophy down to earth. While this writer is not artistic, he does understand to a limited extent the philosophy of art. Modern artists believe in several concepts. First, modern artists believe in the uniqueness of the artist. The artist is the creator. Because of the emphasis on the individual, the modern artists are highly trained and elitist; there are only a small number of true artists. Second, modern artists believe in the integrity of the art itself. The product of the artist is singular, a unique product different from all other art works. Modern art is absolutist—pure form and disembodied beauty. Art exists for the sake of the product. Third, the art of the modern artist is a vision of truth. There is some connection between the art and the world around us. It may not look like truth to the viewer, but the artist himself had some intention of linking his art to the world.

Because artists tend to be countercultural, not every current artist is postmodern in his or her philosophy. Some artists today have reacted against modern art by using past styles and going back to human values, but postmodern art is distinctively different. First, postmodernism plays with art. There is no longer a distinction between what is artistic and what is not. Second, postmodern art is not individual. The postmodern artist is not concerned about himself, but focuses on the viewers’ reactions. Third, postmodern art rejects any concept of truthfulness. It makes no necessary connection to reality. It seeks for disunity. There is no truth; everything is fiction. Since postmodernism rejects any moral absolutes, art becomes political, not moral or philosophical.

1027 reads