Art · Books · Philosophy

Taking the Paddles to the Arts

When I talk  about paddles, I’m not talking about getting your canoe down the river. I am referring to the kind that help bring people back to life. That’s exactly what I believe we need to do with art. I spoke several weeks ago at our church about how I believe Christians distorted the second commandment, abandoned art, and allowed secularists to own that venue, bringing a plethora of consequences. That being said, there are many Christians beginning to redeem the arts and find their place among our world. Here is a list of books I believe helped me understand the arts’ true place in this world.

Art for God’s Sake: A call to Recover the Arts by Philip Graham Ryken – This is probably the shortest book on the list. It has several gems in it, and could be read in an evening.

Tree and Leaf  by J R.R. Tolkien. This book contains several things including “On Fairy-Stories”, an article explaining  why fantasy is important to culture, Christianity and children. It’s one of Tolkien’s unknown works, but really helped formed my thinking about fantasy currently.

Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts  by Jerram Barrs is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in a long time. Barrs combines many  of the thoughts I have had for years about literature and “secular” art in a coherent way. He then took it to the next level and practically gave a lot to think about for those who read or enjoy art.

Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer. Schaeffer is always deep, thoughtful and thorough. This is a short book that will give you Francis’ take on the matter.

The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long or and Echo the Truth by Mike Cosper. As I write this post, I’m finishing this book. For those who grew up in a perceived  legalistic religious tradition, this book would be a lot of food for thought for them.

State of the Arts by Gene Edward Veith Jr. I have not read this book yet, but I’ve read other things by Veith such as “Postmodern Times” and other books in this series by Crossway publishers, and I doubt it would disappoint.

From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics by Louis Markos. Markos has had a huge impact on the way I watch and read things. If you are into the liberal arts, the first chapter is worth the price of the book.

Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning by Nancy Pearcey. Nancy is one smart lassie. This book is a great primer on learning the basics of art, while challenging how art affects our worldview and therefore our ethics.

Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes  or Googleplay.