Two books that challenge the Christian reluctance to create.
“What has Zion (religious life) to do with Bohemia (artistic life)? My answer is everything!” says John H. Westerhoff, professor of religion and education at Duke University Divinity School (Religious Journal, Jan.–Feb. 1981). “Religion is better sung than recited, better danced than believed, better painted than talked about.”
Both celebration and challenge for the reunion of art and Christianity are primary in new books by D. Bruce Lockerbie and Madeleine L’Engle. Lockerbie’s The Timeless Moment (Cornerstone, 1980) contains the challenge to merge creativity and the Christian faith; L’Engle’s Walking on Water (Harold Shaw, 1980) celebrates the journey of the Christian artist, the living sign that “human beings are more than they are.” If L’Engle and Lockerbie are heard, the kingdom population could explode in glorious worship to God through color and shape and notes and words and movement. Our non-Christian friends might pause for an introduction to reality.
Lockerbie says, “Each of us is called by God to the vocation of artist, since being made in the image of God entitles each human being to image forth the Creator.”
I first became excited about the difference common creativity—that spark we all have—can make when I taught seventh- and eighth-grade children of missionaries. They knew biblical facts to excellence. But they were bored; the rainbow and song were missing. The Christian life cannot be celebrated with lists of facts and predictable offerings.
In those years of teaching, I tried to push assignments beyond mere facts. Often all those young people needed was the idea that God was not dull. They sang their own songs, made home movies, played with cartoon paraphrasing, ...1
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