As we emerge from modernist times, when science defined knowledge, and
continue moving into a postmodern era, in which many look to their affinity
group and "individual realities" for knowledge and meaning, how do those
who believe in absolute truth speak most clearly and effectively? This
question is especially pertinent to Christians, who see it as their
biblical mandate to engage the unbelieving public and seek to persuade them
toward faith. Will they reach many people with timeless messages of
God-given standards, eternal consequence and gracious redemption by only
focusing on factual analysis of Scripture? Or is something more soulish
required, too? Can the arts and the creative use of media legitimately
bridge the gap between the message and the hearers? Legendary author C.S.
Lewis believed that we do not need more books about Christianity, but
rather more Christians writing good books.
How should Christian literature and other art forms help shape public
discourse? Public policy? Private and family lives? Conversely, how should
Christians allow art to shape their own lives? These are all questions that
require deeper reflection than is often given them. We offer you a place to
begin reflecting in our special focus.
Image at top right is a portion of Grace Foretold,
a painting by Makoto Fujimura, 1997.
—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University
"On Earth As It Is In Heaven": Is Art Necessary for the Christian?
What role should art play in the life of Christians? Where do we draw
boundaries? How do we even define true art, and its purpose, in the first
place? Don Hudson asserts that contemporary Christians often shun art out
of misplaced fear rather than embrace it as a vehicle to God's
Martha Nussbaum, Poet's Defender
Review by Alan Jacobs
"Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life" by Martha
Nussbaum is the subject of this review. Good introduction to
a writer on a years-long mission to demonstrate the radical concept of
compatibility between literature and certain branches of philosophy. The
reviewer finds the observations of her latest work to be both fascinating
and flawed, which he skillfully extrapolates to her larger goal of bringing
poetry/literature together with the economic/political realm.
Partnership and Partings: A Comparison of the Genres and Themes in The
Pilgrim's Regress and Till We Have Faces
The novels named in the subtitle above--the least known and celebrated
works of literary icon and Oxford don C.S. Lewis--are important for
understanding Lewis's culture-shaping career. "...Each in its own way
reflects important aspects of his life, his thought, and his use of fiction
in communicating his understanding of Christianity," says author Mark
The New Wave of Christian Broadcasting
Syndicated religion columnist Terry Mattingly profiles veteran Christian
producer Bob Briner's damning critique of Christian engagement of the
culture through media.
The Light of the World: Poetic Imagery and the Gospel
Charles Colson, Breakpoint Commentary
Noting the affect of the popular Bill Moyers book, The Language of Life,
culture-watcher and author Chuck Colson urges readers to communicate the
message of hope found in the Scripture to people through the emotional
gateway of poetry.
Come, Bring Your Story
A pastor's confession to losing interest in the Bible and his discovery:
what he needed was not more discipline, but a renewed understanding of the
intent and presentation of the Bible--as a grand storytelling. Hudson
recounts two stories, one from within the Bible, one from without and
compares them to show us the life-changing power of a story (as opposed to
mechanical analysis), especially those stories that claim to be of God.
George Rochberg's Revolution
A renewed appreciation of artistic integrity and the prophetic
role of the artist is very much the legacy of composer George
Rochberg's musical revolt, and one for which we owe him our
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.