Restoring the Arts

A while ago, perhaps a year, perhaps 6 months, there was a pretty strong move of God in our Church that was directed towards restoring creativity. I dont want to lose that. I believe that it was the heart and Word of God to a generation. God is restoring the Creative Arts to His people and we are to take a leadership position in the Creative Arts in the World.

Awesome you say. But before we go crazy, flooding the net with creativity for creativity’s sake, lets refine a few things.

When God restores something, He doesn’t restore things that aren’t broken. Thats the point of the restoration, right? Something is broken that He is fixing. So what’s broken in the Creative Arts in the Church? Im glad you asked. Becuase I think we need to face what is broken so that we can see the restoration and not run off and start doing more broken things just because there was a release of creativity.

In the beginning…

I love the first few lines of a book. They set the tone for the whole book. They are responsible for drawing you in. Any author worth their salt knows that the first lines are the most critically important lines in the whole book.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”Charles Dickens pens in the brilliant opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities.

Melville opens Moby Dick with three simple words that drop the reader into the thick of the story before it begins with “Call me Ishmael.”

Orwell in 1984, “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” What does that mean, striking 13? Why was is cold in April? More, the reader demands.

All These Things

Just a quick note to answer a question that has even been bothering me. Why am I writing about worship when we could be talking about Christians in culture, and the arts, and what not. I mean, isn’t that the focus of Renovo.

And the answer is that if we are to see a Renaissance, if we are to see God’s people rise up and take their place as leaders in the creative arts, if we are to tap into the creativity of the Creator, we have got to understand what worship is and what it is not.

See, when we get it, when we understand worship, then all those things that we are seeking are opened up to us. We are admonished to “seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added”. Actually, we added the word seek. The original Greek pretty much says “when we place the Kingdom of God first in our lives, when we place His righteousness first, then all these things will be added.”

So we have to get worship first. And the thing that has struck me is, before be can get worship, we have to understand what it is. Hence the discussion.

Garden Dwellers

When listening to Christian music, one might suppose that the entire reason Jesus died on the cross for us was to redeem us from sin and a fallen state. Which of course, is a HUGE thing, but is it the SOLE thing?

Hans Rookmaaker said that Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make us Christian, but to make us more fully human. I love this perspective.

What Jesus really did on the cross, was to invite us back to the garden.

Art Off Limits

As our community grows, I want to start having some hard discussions. Asking ourselves some hard questions. Some of these I have been musing for some time, others are fresh. I am asking with you, not asking of you…

By the way, please feel free to submit events, news, recommendations, thoughts, etc. If they are in keeping with the spirit of Renovo, we will post them. Again, this is a community and collective. Its about us not me….though it may seem that way until we get larger.

To the Question!

Art Needs No Justification

Required reading. Read it here, or get the PDF in the download section. Read it, Read it again, mark it up, recommend it.

Table of Contents

:: chapter one : background to a dilemma

art with a capital a
a crisis in the arts
a crisis in our culture

:: chapter two : the church’s response

two consequences of retreat
a call for reformation
weep, pray, think and work

:: chapter three : the christian artists task

the role of artists in reformation
evangelistic art?
human art
art with a difference

:: chapter four : some guidelines for artists

the intrinsic value of art
art and reality
art and society
norms for art
norm and taste
problems of art and style
fame and anonymity
the qualities of the artist
on the way

Art Needs No Justification
Haans Rookmaaker

Professor Rookmaaker was working on this book at the time of his death on March 13, 1977. His intention to write a postscript was never fulfilled. The material has been rearranged and revised, but is essentially what the author wrote. In our attempt to be faithful to his intentions we have been greatly helped by his colleague at the Free University of Amsterdam, Dr. Graham Birtwistle. This book is not a technical work, neither are its contents exclusively for the artist. It is for all Christians who are willing to see that their God-given talents can be used to the glory of the Giver. It is not a survey of the art scene, nor a detailed analysis of the origins of the problems facing civilization. It is a prophetic call to Christian artists, craftsmen and musicians to “weep, pray, think and work” before it is too late.

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture gets Renovo’s highest recommendation. Rookmaaker is, to the creative Christian, what Lombardi is to coaches and leadership gurus. Ok, maybe that metaphor falls flat but his books are indispensable resources.

H.R. Rookmaaker thought about all this stuff long before we even thought to think of it. This book is takes a lot of thinking to get through but its well worth it.

Any beginning art student should read this with Wikipedia (the ever accurate fount of knowledge) nearby. Rookmaaker throws around names and art pieces that we, honestly, should know but don’t.

Disciple, husband, that order. Dreamer, thinker, inventor, musician, orator, wordsmith, entrepreneur...not in that order. 2x Peoples Choice Ice Cream Champ.

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