My first two blogs for Evangel – “Hosting the Holy One” and “Sartorial Eye for the Clerical Guy” – generated a lot of controversy because I dared to question our beauty-making as Christians. In March, Baker Books will release a new book that should deepen our reflections and inspire actions.
For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts
edited by W. David O. Taylor
Once upon a time, the church was deeply involved in the arts, leading the way in beauty, technical ability, and even funding. In many churches today the arts are an afterthought at best and forbidden at worst. This insightful book takes you beyond “how we’ve always done it,” beyond fads, beyond mere imitation of the culture, and beyond utilitarianism to develop a robust, dynamic, and substantive vision for the place of the arts–and artists–in our churches.
W. David O. Taylor
“The church ought to be synonymous with all good gifts and stewardship of the earth. And it most certainly ought to be synonymous with the stewardship of the arts. For the Beauty of the Church reminds us of this essential truth and many more.”–Charlie Peacock, codirector, Art House America; author of New Way to Be Human
“Pragmatic and theologically astute at the same time, For the Beauty of the Church is a gem-packed collection for those navigating between the realms of the arts and the church.”–Makoto Fujimura, artist; founder and creative director, International Arts Movement
“One reason the church exists is that our hunger for beauty will not go away. These essays remind us why.”–John Ortberg, author of God Is Closer Than You Think and Love Beyond Reason; pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
“This book is an urgently needed wake-up call for the church! I pray that it will encourage more artists and churches to offer each other their respective gifts.”–Marva J. Dawn, author of In the Beginning, God and A Royal “Waste” of Time; teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College
“This book is encouraging, celebrative, and hopeful, but it is also explosive. This conversation is critical not only for its practical suggestions about the arts but also for its bracing theological framework that will help make artistic and spiritual worship the transforming experience God intends it to be.”–William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture, Fuller Theological Seminary