Tag Archives: art
Posted on 27. Jun, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
But what if the film (or painting or novel) you are working on never mentions Jesus, or if it does, it is as an expletive? What if it does not proclaim the Gospel? What if it depicts evil straightforwardly and has barely a glimmer of hope? Why waste your time? Why not simply preach a sermon?
The disciples wondered the same thing. They got frustrated at all the confusing and oblique parables Jesus told. Like conservative Christians today, they wanted to know, why bother? So Jesus had to give them a lesson on mystery, on what to aim for if you want to impact a jaded or suspicious (i.e, a postmodern) audience. And, in doing so gave us an apologetic for art.
Posted on 25. Oct, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Andras Visky, Hungary’s leading playwright, admits readily that he does struggle with the (seeming) absence of God. After all, that was the main theme of his play Juliet: A Dialogue About Love, which I went to see with my wife and son, Jonathan. He does not argue the point with his Eastern European, atheist, artiste friends: “He is absent”, he concurs. If you have lived through the Holocaust and its aftermath in Stalin’s Gulag, you don’t argue, you concede. He went on to describe our current cultural reality as being like DaVinci’s The Lord’s Supper with the central figure erased. Then he said something startling: “The goal of [my] art is to call God back. It is an attempt to try and force him to return”.
Posted on 02. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Are we to pretend the bad and the gruesome and the ugly don’t exist? Or is it the task of the Christian artist to show how God is present and or pitches His tent in the middle of the awful? That He is there in the bloody awful terror and loss of starvation, of disease, of war? Is an aspect of our calling to look fiercely and unflinchingly into and through the unbeautiful to expose the mystery of God hidden in the darkness; grace breaking out like a song on the bruised lips of a battered child?
Posted on 17. Jun, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
My childhood struggle with stuttering and my discovery of the holy, unsentimental love of God kicks starts this autobiographical evaluation of “hot” issues facing thinking Christians. This leads to Velvet Rembrandts: why we don’t get to repaint every theological painting in the attic, then winds around to discussing how God can be Good, but not so Nice or Safe, and how Jesus is both compelling, troubling and heroic. Chapters on sex, and my friendship with a homosexual colleague dying of AIDS lead to pondering the role of art and beauty. I conclude with an honest look at the inevitability of final judgment, and, finally, our inconsolable, not so secret, longing for Father and Home.
Woven throughout is a critique of the basic assumptions and core values of Emergent theology. This is not a diatribe. My goal is to offer a biblical and cultural-current evaluation of its dangerous drift while also celebrating where it gets it right.