catapult magazine

catapult magazine


a theology of art


Apr 07 2005
04:26 pm

[i’m putting this in “visual art” but there’s not really a clear spot in our categories for this discussion…]

i ran across “”“>the communion of the arts” the other day and wanted to get reactions to the “”">theology of art" that was posted.

here’s a grab from the beginning of it (click the link above for more):

I distilled all I had learned into a three point theology of art (sorry not a story). Here it goes:

1. Art is a glimpse of the ineffable beauty of God

2. Art is a glimpse of the true soul of humanity

3. The artist is a servant motivated by love for his audience, who through a difficult process of training and apprenticeship acquires the heart and skill to be able to produce either singular works of power or works of craft or multiple replicatable designs in order to give his audience number 1 and/or 2 above, and this is good.

One of my main goals is to understand why all art is suffering in our day. I believe that ?secular? artists are being debilitated by false views of art just as much as Christians are debilitated by false views of art.


Apr 12 2005
03:50 am

Hi Chris,

Good to hear from you! I’m sure theologians are free to cover any sphere or aspect of God and Creation, but it seems to me an Academic slight of hand, that they then see it as theology’s job to give people (art practioners in this instance) laws to create by! All I’m saying is that theology needs to know its own limits.

The artists first concern is the aesthetical, not theological. I’m not saying that the artist is faithless, but I draw the line between faith and theology. Faith, not theology, is the substance of things hoped for….!! You get good, dare I say it, Christian art, when the artist indwells the story of the scriptures and starts to live out a christian worldview.

Mystical? Well even that word has a load of baggage. Thomas A Kempis and the Devotio Moderna, see the mystical experience as an escape from physical reality and hold a disdain for Creation. Abraham Kuyper of course, mentioned a mystical connection to the suffering of the world and the suffering of Christ (In his Stone Lecture on Calvinism and Art, I think). I’m more in line with Kuyper’s thought on that tack, as I think Scholasticism has a poor not-so scriptural view of Creation.


Apr 12 2005
09:17 am

These are tensions we’re never going to escape! Geoff, thanks for your thoughts.

Yes, you are right: theologians have an occupational hazzard of nut just describing reality, but trying to limit it. Like the rest of us humans. Knowing limits is the beginning of compassion and a great part of wisdom.

Yes, it’s true that the word Mystical has baggage. That tension between embracing and running from creation seems to be present everywhere. I’ve lately been learning about how this manifests in the hindu tradition.


Apr 12 2005
11:03 am

The Hindu Tradition? Please tell me more!



Apr 13 2005
09:59 pm

Hi, this is Jeff Kursonis from Communion of the arts. I thought I would bring some clarity and definition to certain things I meant in my post, which Laryn so thoughtfully quoted.

I am an artist who is now becoming a pastor to artists. As people of faith, everything we do comes out of our theological beliefs, whether we have fully formed and expressed them, or whether they are just kind of there within us.

I grew up in my faith in an American Christian culture where art was ignored, or divided into sacred and secular, with the secular being almost entirely banned. When I found myself drawn to become an artist and eventually moved to New York City to pursue it full time, I realized that I had a lot of thoughts and beliefs about art that came from my past, but that my present was challenging those and I also saw a lot of others around me with the same struggle. The essence of the struggle is that we felt forced in the past to make sure clear Christian themes were seen in our art, or we were deeply discouraged from going in certain directions. We felt our hearts within us leading us in some of those directions, and so felt an inherent internal struggle and tension, and a desire to not have to mention any Christian theme in our art if we didn?t want to. (so you can be sure I?m not a theologian trying to box artists in)

This whole life experience caused me to begin to think about art, to ask many questions; what is art ?, why is it something that humans seem to do through all time and cultures?, what does God think about it? Did God make it? Does God want us to do it? Does God have any guidelines concerning it? Etc. etc. etc.

When we felt pressure to not do a certain thing artistically, or to definitely make sure we did do a certain thing artistically from our Christian culture, that was clearly a ?theology of art?. I felt I needed to ask all these questions over time, begin to develop a way to live my life as an artist and as a Christian with full vigor and with no contradictions, and this over many years eventually led me to try and develop a new theology of art.

Now, that I have come quite a distance in my journey and feel a tremendous freedom in my art and in my spiritual life in general, I want to help others who are still struggling with some of that past baggage. Now, in my life as a new pastor, I am very much about trying to find ways for Christians to experience the presence of God in their artistic journey ? specifically for career artists here in NYC. I like to apply this in two areas ? first, the actual creative process itself. Alone in the studio creating your art, and finding ways to experience God?s presence as you do that (how wonderful to do the thing you love most, alongside the person you love most). Secondly, in the difficult and even traumatizing side of carving out a professional art career in NYC. Trusting God to open doors for you, make contacts, provide financial resources for training, and medium supplies, etc. We now have a large and expanding community of artists here in NYC really doing it, and I want to encourage them in it.

I really appreciate all the comments here as they will help me further think through and refine. This posting was only my second ?unveiling? of it, and so it has a lot of work ahead in its development. I would encourage you to go and read the entire original post as it clarifies some areas discussed here also. Thanks.

Here are some replies to some comments:

As to my using the Greek concepts of truth, beauty and goodness. I think this is just one of those moments when culture and God align well, and so I borrowed it to be poetic in my formulation. Just as we might borrow a saying of Gandhi, or as Paul quotes Greek poetry in his sermon in Acts. I think we have much to learn from the world around us. Godly wisdom knows how to discern ? I believe syncretism happens when there is no discernment, and the truth from the world overwhelms the truth from God. But at the same time Godly wisdom need not fear being overwhelmed by truths from others beside God. In addition, we are all humans, whether Christian or not, and just as you may find guidance in your life from advice given you by your unsaved parent or grandparent, so we may find guidance from Gandhi or the Greeks.

As to the word ineffable?simply that music portrays something in a way that words may not. Paintings, etc. And of course you have to add to this my definitions of what forms I think art takes (and on this I hold nothing hard and fast, but simply trying to create defined meanings for discourse) So they are: fine art, craft, design. (further descriptions in post) so, ie. Fine art, craft and design are often able to express something that words cannot. (understanding of course that ?words? are an oft used medium in art).

As for the usage of the phrase, ?Theology of Art?; It is my experience that most actual artists are very pragmatic and like working in their medium, and don?t even really need to spend a lot of time thinking about why they do it, or what God thinks of it ? they just want to paint! However, just like school teachers that just want to teach! Oftentimes, they don?t know how much they have been influenced in the minutiae of their daily teaching efforts by all the academic discussion that has filtered down through culture to them. So, I take my place in this discussion as a practical working artist, who also has a side that likes to think about it. And especially given the poverty of the arts both in the general culture because of the loss of it in the public school systems, and in the church from flawed theologies, I think we need to have a vigorous new theology of art! (and eventually it will filter down and help artists in ways that they may not even understand ? along with helping society in general).

I actually think given the above noted poverty in general, that we may have an opportunity through our thinking to literally become leaders in the arts and possibly even help usher in a new renaissance which blesses all.

?True soul of humanity? ? I may work on this more. But read it simply. The true soul of humanity is something that we need to and want to see. We all want to communicate something of ourselves to others ? our true human soul. Some people do this one on one, others do it through their art. One of the most enjoyable aspects of experiencing art, is that suddenly discovered sense that the artist shares something with you. The artist expresses something that you had been feeling within but couldn?t quite get it out, and now it is out! This gets to the core of who God made us to be. We need relationship, we don?t want to be alone. Art is one way we feel connected not only to the artist, but to all the others experiencing the art. ?Oh, I can?t wait to tell Judy about the movie!!? the feeling of being moved by music in a large audience, all together.

This also gets into the whole area of the ugly side of the human soul, and why contemporary Christian art is often not that great, because it is consistently unwilling to describe the human soul, and therefore seems dishonest. (Read the original post)

As to: ?then again, to play the devil’s advocate, if all of life is worship, why don’t we have plumbers up front on sunday, joining pipes?? Which of course seems absurd! Though we can worship in all of our daily lives, the public worship service is something different. The public worship service from the Old Testament to the New Testament has always been done through the use of words (some from God, some from man), Music (all written by man), and physical space (all built by man, sometimes inspired in design by God). Words, music, designed space. All of these are art. When God speaks beautiful words in scripture ? they are not only his Holy Word, but they are art. When we write music for public worship, it is art. When we create designs for physical space, they are art. So, the public worship service has always had at its core art. God has undeniably chosen that humans would worship him by imbueing art forms with the love that flows from their souls to him. We sing to him, we speak words to him, we do it all in a distinct physical space that we seem to want to beautify because we want to honor his presence with that space.

Here?s what I think will change the church radically in the next twenty years: Because all of the worship service is art, which is then imbued with human worship towards God. And because the church hasn?t been interested in art for many years ? it would seem obvious that our public worship services have suffered as a result. As the church re-engages the arts, and we get enough years down the road to have produced a generation or two with vastly more artists in our midst ? the public worship service will be amazingly changed for the better. The result will be more people drawn to worship God!! That?s the churches mission ? go out and get more people to worship God.


Apr 18 2005
10:12 am

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for your reply at length, re the issues aired in the *cino conversations with Laryn, Norbert and Chris.

I tried replying to you last Friday, but alas my scribblings were given an emotional farewell and sent to the great webmeister in the Ethernet, from which I?m told things are irretrievable!

Like you I?ve struggled with the church?s disdain for the arts. With me it was music (early 1980?s), when I aspired to be a singer/songwriter, performing songs about politics, spirituality, alienation and redemption. All my church leaders wanted me to be was a worship leader, as that?s what Christian musicians were there for! It all came to a head after I?d participated in the ?Outreach for the Olympics? in Los Angeles (1984?) when the church wasn?t happy about supporting someone who wanted ?fame and fortune? in the secular music industry – for that is how they perceived the intentions of someone who didn?t want to be a worship leader!! I gave up shortly afterwards, when I was desperate for support, but none was forthcoming.

I guess mine was a refusal to sing about ?clear Christian themes?, as theologically or ecclesiologically determined. If you like, I refused to write propaganda for the church. The only street-wise writers of that time were the likes of Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill, but that was a whole world away from the industrial north-east of England in the middle of an economic recession.

Language – Having read your entire article on a theology of art, I responded to laryn?s comments with my thoughts. What indeed struck me first and foremost was the language used throughout. You?ve mentioned in your reply about Greek concepts of truth, beauty and goodness, being simply a kind of culture speak to engage people and you cite Paul?s discussion with the Greek philosophers of his day in Athens.

Paul?s discussions however, were with Epicureans and Stoics and yes he does quote a classical poet ? Epimenides the Cretan poet ? when he says ?We are his offspring.? and all this put down to the Unknown God too! I don?t think that when Paul alludes to ?The Unknown God?, that he was suggesting that idol worship was a valid pursuit. I understand what you are saying Jeff, but Paul wasn?t espousing a Greek Theology of our relationship with God, nor our place in reality; he had not grafted this on to his christian worldview. He was simply utilising language that his audience would understand; who were in fact poles apart in their view of the world. As you probably know the Epicureans were your basic materialists in pursuit of the pleasure principle and the Stoics I guess promoted a self-sufficient, dogged endurance of life, with if you like a pantheistic theology and taking natural law as its moral guide.

Paul doesn?t adopt (syncretise) Epimenides? thought along with the teaching of Christ, it is simply a point of entry, the same as I would use when talking to a Marxist about the ownership of the means of production. I am not aligning Marx?s philosophy with Christ?s teaching on riches or the early church?s outliving of ?having all things in common?. If I was contemporising the early church?s teaching on this, I wouldn?t use Marx?s language for it, lest something thinks I?m expounding a Christian Marxism.

The difference with this ?theology of art?, is that that you seem to be trying to expound a Christian, scriptural view of art and are utilising the tools of pagan Greek philosophy to do so. Therein lays the difference. Truth, beauty and goodness are loaded to the hilt with pagan assumptions about life and virtue, none of which Jesus or Paul taught. Language is a very precious thing.

Theology of Art ? ?A vigorous new theology of art?. I think the need for such a thing is over-emphasised. What is actually needed is a vigorous aesthetics of art! Painters aren?t theologians, nor should they paint as if they were. We tend to theologise everything, as if theology was the guiding light to good art! It isn?t! Why do we have an aversion to developing an aesthetic of art? Because we think theology is a higher calling? A true coming together of science and faith? Now you are a churchman so I?d better be careful here! The Christian artists that I meet and work with, all struggle for one thing, they don?t have a radically different aesthetic to work from. (They don?t know how to apply their faith to their work). They try to cobble together a little bit of postmodernist theory with a biblical theme or two and maybe even a nod to Greek aesthetics and then call it Christian Art. This is a worldview jumble, but stems from their/our lack of a thoroughgoing Christian education, or discipleship in these things. Christian art students are stuck in the ?art as self-expression? mode and can?t get out of it. They are told that the subjective impulse is the only inspiration to work from; it produces the only original works of art. This if you like is the only aesthetic code to work from! Prescription rules OK, even in Postmodernity.
We need to move from theory to practice, from critiquing to creativity (to use Nancy Pearcey?s phrase), but we don?t have the practical tools to do this.

?True soul of humanity" ? The scriptures seem to say more about the heart ? ?out of the heart pours forth the issues of life?. Soul seems to have been picked up by those who advocate that the church?s main aim is to ?save souls?. I think it?s an ugly phrase. What we need is to understand the heart of humanity; our connectedness is that we were all created in the image of God and to lesser or greater degrees, this image is distorted or restored. For me art and music, film and poetry, all have what may be an ineffable affect on me, in the light of some turmoil or other. I don?t know how to put in to words what I feel, but what I?ve looked at, or heard, helps me understand my connectedness with others (and to God), I?m not alone. When my wife asks me how I feel and I say I don?t know, but the next piece of music I put on sums it up, that is the beginning of a journey and we may not know the destination either!! I have a long-suffering wife! Please pray for her.

Plumbers and Pipes and Worship ? I don?t know who you are quoting, but me thinks the guy got it wrong. Like Calvin, I think we all have a calling. Part of our understanding of our place in the world comes from knowing our calling. However I don?t think that a plumbers calling is the same as an artists. Are we saying that art, like plumbing, is a utilitarian affair? The artists job is to speak nuancefully, allusively, ?in between the lines? (Seerveld), but if the plumber came along and secured a few pipes to the wall and said this is your new heating system, now hand over the money, I think you?d be entitled to say, ?Excuse me, where is the boiler, why aren?t the pipes connected?? You?d be even further dismayed if the plumber said, ?Oh, I was just alluding to a heating system, it?s up to you to fill in the gaps with your theology.? The thing is though, the plumber has training, not just in the theory of heating systems, but on how to connect the pipes, fill the system with water etc. etc.. All we give the poor artist is a little theology about their relationship with God and say, ?There you go, we now send you out into the world, be a light and a sprinkling of salt for the Kingdom of God!? An artist?s training needs to be more than that, we need to understand the aesthetics of art. Now the plumber and artist may both want to work to God?s glory, but the similarity ends there, they both need quite different training to fulfil their aspirations though.

The church?s mission ? I think that mission is to make disciples of all creation, which in light of the preceding comment is problematic. We need a whole-world vision and not just a church one.

Anyway, I dare say we both still have plenty to say on the matter, so I?ll leave it there for now!



Apr 18 2005
10:48 am

Great, Thanks Geoff

I’m so glad to have you smart guys on the case. I’m not surrounded by many people as thoughtful on these issues as the folks on this board, so I appreciate any and all comments, especially when as insightful as Geoff’s!

About the “theology” thing – as I say in the original post, I’m not sure if this is a theology or a philosophy. These things are intertwined in a way that I don’t quite know how to separate when God is involved. If I understand that aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, then you could say this is close to being an aesthetic of art from a Christian worldview. I would love to push it in that direction, however, I fear my intended audience (Christians illiterate in the arts) might not be as interested in an aesthetic as a theology – so in that regard there may be some marketing required.

Also, I believe we need all three – a vigorous theology, philosophy and aesthetic. People approach these things from different directions, and we need to have a well thought out starting point for all of them.

As for the Greek thing. I only added that really as an afterthought after I realized it kind of did fit, and would give it a little poetic zip, along with some cred with secularists, or classicists (once again marketing).

For many years I have felt that truth and beauty were indeed at the core of art – and that the Greeks discovering that was only a result of their honest inquiry into the nature of things, and although they may have surrounded it with a lot of other baggage (which I don’t really know much about), I think that is superfluous. I find quite often that thoughtful non-Christians often get to the true roots of things because they are simply observing what God has put here. Their problem is application, and augmentation.

After seeing the truth side, and then the beauty side of art, I feel that my response then becomes, “This is good”. To a degree I only separate them for human dialog, but there is a sense that they are intertwined – that truth is beautiful, and that beauty cannot be untrue, and that both reflect the goodness which comes from God alone.

God of the universe – this ever expanding glorious place, is a God of expansion. Christians who know this God have ever expanding lives of fruitfulness – they are always creating and renewing – whether amongst the lives of their neighbors or the works of their hands. When understanding art to be one of the magnificent mediums of the expanding goodness of God – Christians will be vigorous creators of truth and beauty that blesses all around with a glimpse of that God, or of our community of humanity (so we all feel closer to one another). A church that has lost touch with these realities, is a church in dysfunction. A church in dysfunction is not reaching those around it well, and therefore, lacking in fruitfulness. I actually believe that as we have a renewal in understanding these things that it will be at the core of a general renewal in the body of Christ. This is my plan for reaching America – renew the church to re-engage the culture and the people in it, and watch the Kingdom grow.


Apr 18 2005
12:53 pm

About the “theology” thing – as I say in the original post, I’m not sure if this is a theology or a philosophy. These things are intertwined in a way that I don’t quite know how to separate when God is involved. If I understand that aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, then you could say this is close to being an aesthetic of art from a Christian worldview. I would love to push it in that direction, however, I fear my intended audience (Christians illiterate in the arts) might not be as interested in an aesthetic as a theology – so in that regard there may be some marketing required.

Hi Jeff,

I think you can only start where you are. I’m sure we would like to reach America/Europe with a developed aesthetic for christian art, but the truth is I’m useless at marketing, but great with ideas! Not a good combination to have!

Yes our audience is pretty dull with regards to a literacy of the arts, but rather than reaching people that don’t know us, perhaps we have got to reach the people that we are involved with first? Both you and I run groups that are there for the care of artists. Maybe you develop an aesthetic language for your group, seeing what they are producing and working on the visual metaphors that are utilised. You then put flesh on the dry bones and sooner or later you have movement, an agile aesthetic? Maybe its an aesthetic for the artist and not the public that you want to buy your art? It could be that you need to nurture the group as a stepping stone to nurturing the future patrons of art. This is what historical movements did, be it Impressionism, Symbolism or Expressionism. The aesthetic language can be cultivated first, then the lay readers guide. Perhaps ‘Christian Art for Dummies’????

What was it that Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about first change the world in you and then maybe the world outside will be changed?

Peace to you and all your fellow artists in New York City,


Apr 18 2005
03:03 pm

I think Jeff Tweedy says it well when he sings “Theologians don’t know nothing about my soul”.

It has been a chore to weed through all these words about art, but what great words they all are! I agree that we should be suspicious about yet another science (theology) trying to get its hands on art, but I do think that a good theology would handle art properly. Unfortunately, theology is a less than ideal science for describing art because it’s a haughty kind of discipline. As the science thought to be closest to God, it has enjoyed such a prominent place in the Western mind for so long that it so easily carries its pride into an investigation of art. I think theology has sort of a big brother mentality when it comes to art (maybe that only makes sense to older or younger siblings). It would be a bold move if little brother art decided it was high time we made theology more musical. Instead of a theology of art, we need a musicality of theology. To our Platonized minds, such a notion seems rather silly. But I am very serious about it. As serious as Seerveld when he joked that the best thing we could do to save the church is to close down the seminaries. In the Christian community, theology still has sort of a stranglehold on our faith-life.

While we’re referencing Seerveld, I might mention that his criticism of beauty which geoff3 is no doubt aware of is right on point. Splitting reality into these categories Truth, Goodness, Beauty is very problematic. It’s problematic not just theoretically, but musically. It’s in bad taste. It has a musical preference toward harmony, which leaves dissonance outside the city gates (it is no accident that dissonance has been unleashed in our music since WWI and WWII, as the age of harmonious Reason showed itself to be a grand illusion). The problem with the Truth, Goodness, Beauty trinity is that it was used an instrument of human control. The T=G=B equation is a self-manufactured goal for humanity to attain rather than a call to obedience to God’s Word, which is a giving up of control. And this, I believe, is the difference between science and art. Science, in and of itself, often lends itself to control whereas art is more open to receiving something beyond the artist’s control. As I say this, though, I realize that many of our greatest scientists actually utilized more of the receptive artistic method and that many artists use art as control too.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, this is a great dialogue for Christians to be involved in, maybe “THE” great dialogue for Christians right now. Because, as Heidegger suggests in his essay on technology, art is in a unique position to subvert the Western goal of control (technicism) and therefore Christian artists are on the front lines of the battle for truth and are especially equipped to hear God’s meaningful Word for our present age.


Apr 18 2005
03:37 pm

Splitting reality into these categories Truth, Goodness, Beauty is very problematic. It also has a musical preference toward harmony, which leaves dissonance outside the city gates—it is no accident that dissonance has been unleashed in our music since WWI and WWII as the age of harmonious Reason appears to be an illusion.

It is Rookmaaker that wrote that christian art should fight for freedom and humanity, but also critique the times in which we live. I don’t think you can achieve that with an aesthetic language that is committed to harmony/beauty. The human condition post Auschwitz is one of dissonance, [i:ed1093e6e9]ennui[/i:ed1093e6e9] and alienation. How do you represent this if you are bound by the strictures of beauty and harmony? I would love the opportunity to work on this, it is such a fruitful field to pick from, with all the subjective/objective tendencies of the past 100 years to critique! the possibility of applying a christian worldview to aesthetic language just gets my gray matter fizzing.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, this is a great dialogue for Christians to be involved in, maybe “THE” great dialogue for Christians right now. Because, as Heidegger suggests in his essay on technology, art is in a unique position to subvert the Western goal of control (technicism) and therefore Christian artists are on the front lines of the battle for truth and are especially equipped to hear God’s meaningful Word for our present age.

I think the sooner we learn to be subversive with our art the better! How could you follow Rookmaaker’s suggestions without being subversive? [b:ed1093e6e9]Freedom[/b:ed1093e6e9] as we have it today, what is it, but a hyper extension of the ego. But R’maaker says it is also freedom from conservatism, not just totalitarianism! [b:ed1093e6e9]Humanity[/b:ed1093e6e9], to fight against anything that distorts the [i:ed1093e6e9]imago dei[/i:ed1093e6e9]. [b:ed1093e6e9]Critique[/b:ed1093e6e9] through artistic creativity, not in this instance, through perceptive analysis and the written tome!

What’s next Grant? A meeting in New York with Jeff K?


Apr 18 2005
06:08 pm


Yes, you are absolutely correct about starting where you are, and that is what I am doing, working with a group of artists here in NYC that meets weekly (250 attend) for the last five years. Actually it is from amongst this active group that I refined my ideas, and then now I am starting a church that will be similar to this group, but take everything further given the more complete nature of church vs. parachurch.

My whole plan is to just renew artists here in NYC already working, both Artists of faith, and those we can lead to faith. Then let it all trickle down to the greater society. I believe if we can establish a new movement towards a greater understanding of art – that both the dysfunctional church, and the dysfunctional world can be blessed.

I am not as well read as you guys, so I don’t know Seerveld and I have only breifly read Rookmaker. As for the whole T=G=B trinity that Grant referenced, I don’t know about that, and so I use these terms with some ignorance.

I developed the idea myself as a working artist that there seem to be two areas of art – the area of beauty, where you just love looking/hearing – it appeals to something in you and is relatively universal in its appeal. Then the area of truth, which has more to do with ideas, and or showing the ugly side of man, which in understanding brings goodness. ie. it is good to know what is bad. There is another side of this which is important and that is the way art connects human beings. Either a direct connection thruogh the work from the artist to the viewer/listener or a mass connection as the audience takes it in simultaneously and there is some joy in the shared community experience. because of these variations on the idea of truth, in my specific theology I say art is a glimpse at the true soul of humanity – because for me that leaves it open to all the variations – the true ugly soul, the true good soul, the true individual soul that is seen by another individual soul, and the true soul of the shared human experience in audences. It has a lot to do with embracing our humanity. I think the main area Contemp. Christians have missed, is in understanding that they are human, and that a full and expanding faith makes them more complete humans. The goal is not to be less human – as some mistakenly de facto live out. The goal is to be a godly human. Jesus is right now a human (in glorified form, and also fully God, but still human – he never de-incarnated) So, the idea is Christians in their separation of sacred and secular inadvertently began to deny their humanity and that lead to their not liking art that spoke of humanness. That is why they have such a hard time accepting anything that comes from a secular viewpoint. Instead we are simply human, and accept any good thing offered from another human. We use wisdom, and spiritual discernment to know what is good and what is bad. This problem cannot be underestimated – I know many Christians that the first thing they ask with any book or anything that has content; is it christian?

So, although if I was more well read, maybe I would have avoided the TGB thing (to be honest, I thought I was being a little cool and sophisticated by using it), even though, up to this point I have appreciated those concepts. I’ll have to read more on that. Either way, if you read my original post, you will see it is a very tertiary thing, and not at the heart of the idea.

Maybe you guys can post your top 5 books reading list to educate me.