God’s creativity informs the calling of songwriters, novelists and painters. Does it do the same for pastors, parents, and plumbers? In Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making, musician and award-winning novelist Andrew Peterson explores how believers of all kinds participate in the “great mystery of creativity,” combining anecdotes from his own journey with a nuts-and-bolts look at the work of making songs and stories. W. David O. Taylor, assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, spoke with Peterson about the art of telling the truth as beautifully as possible.
What can your book offer to artist readers?
I hope they will find a fresh passion for doing whatever creative work they’re called to do. While I was writing, I kept asking myself: Is this encouraging? And I mean that literally, as in, “Will this give someone courage?” I hoped, first, to be as honest as possible about the mental battles I’ve experienced and, second, to offer some practical advice. The idea was to tell people they aren’t crazy if they feel lost in the woods—and then to show them a trail.
What can it offer to non-artist readers?
All of God’s creatures are creative in some way. To use J.R.R. Tolkien’s word, we’re all subcreators made in the image of a Creator. That’s why I object when people refer to themselves as “creatives,” not only because it sets up a sort of “creative class” (which strikes me as presumptuous) but also because implies that non-artists aren’t called to create.
My wife is a prime example. She would never call herself as an artist, but she’s one of the most ...1
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