In today’s culture, formal philosophy is infrequently taught and less often understood. Values for living are often put forward and discussed not so much in academic treatises as in the creative arts, including drama, music, literature, and the visual arts, all of which have been dealing in religious dimensions more overtly of late. Failure to recognize the “messages” in such cultural expressions does not mean that one is immune to their influence.

Evangelicals are showing an increasingly lively interest in the arts, and a more critical eye and ear. We welcome this, and respond with a new feature, “The Refiner’s Fire,” under the direction of Editorial Associate Cheryl Forbes. For its premiere we offer two items. First, an engaging introductory article on critical discernment by Bonnie M. Greene, who teaches English at Bellevue Christian High School in Bellevue, Washington, is a free-lance writer, and has B.A. degrees from Seattle Pacific College and the University of Washington. Next comes a sprightly review of the film “Time to Run” by Miss Forbes, graduate of and graduate student in English literature at the University of Maryland, a member of our editorial staff for two years, a singer and music lover, and the only person we know who reads Milton for pleasure. “The Refiner’s Fire” will appear every other issue. Perhaps it will be the area of the magazine that calls forth the most reader dissent, for criticism is always a subjective realm.

Discerning Artistic Spirits

Of all the paintings and prints in my living room, only one is by an artist whose name brings instant recognition. And it is that print which often prompts a guest to ask if I am an amateur artist. I explain that it is a print and attempt to change the subject, ...

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