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For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Think of your local church. Without art--music, song, dance, etc.--it would be a much poorer place. But if protestants have any vision for the arts, it tends to be a thin one. This unique book is an attempt to contribute to a robust, expansive vision for the church and the arts. Its specific aim is to show how the many parts of the landscape of church and art hold ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Baker Books (first published 2010)
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M Christopher
Jul 06, 2015 M Christopher rated it really liked it
As always, with collections of essays from different authors, a mixed bag but there were none of these essays that I thought were a waste of time. Generated following an "arts in the church" conference in Austin, TX, the essays trace the positive and negative aspects of bringing artists "into the fold."

Overall, the book made me yearn for a situation in which I could once again explore my own artistic passions in a church or para-church environment and in which I could encourage other artists. At
Nov 09, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it
This is one of those books where you don't agree with everything or with every contributor, but you just love that a book like it was written and that some folks had the courage to really dig into the particular conversation. Very helpful in a lot of ways.
Well, I "liked" this book well enough to read it for a second time...
Mary Wiley
Mar 28, 2015 Mary Wiley rated it it was amazing
I've read this book multiple times. It has been absolutely formative in building my view of art in the church. We have been created by THE Creator, who has given us the gift of creativity. So many believe that art has no utility and therefore no place in the church, but this book reminds us that the Christianity is not about utility. It is not about us, nor is it simply a means to an end. Instead, it is the all-encompassing, artfully-designed relationship of God with His people.

A quote that hit
Jamie Howison
Jun 10, 2016 Jamie Howison rated it liked it
Like pretty much all collections of essays, this book is uneven. There were a few pieces that I found very helpful, and a few that I ended up skimming my way through after just two or three pages. That probably reflects my own starting point as much as anything, for the essays dealing with making a case for art in the church were pretty much just recapping things that folks like Cal Seerveld convinced me of decades ago.

I think my favourite was Lauren Winner's very personal piece on being an art
Dec 26, 2015 Joey rated it did not like it
Shelves: dreadful-burn-it
What complete crap. Is there some weird newsletter I'm not receiving? I'm Catholic yet I feel my views on things religious, spiritual and temporal are utterly foreign. Imagine a group of essayists who have found yet one more way to box in an ineffable God and this time with art no less. If you are that fearful of someone creating something subversive or damaging to the faith, maybe they aren't the problem? I have no time for small minded people who find idolatry and blasphemy in anything that ...more
Nathan North
Jan 28, 2016 Nathan North rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
This book was a wonderful conglomeration of artists and pastors working together to see the world how it is, how it could be, and how we can work to bring about an artistic awakening in the Church (not just the local church, but the global Church).

I normally hate to write or highlight in books, but before I had even finished the introduction, I had to underline paragraphs of great words, both challenges and encouragements.

If you are in anyway associated with art and church, read this book! It
Aug 07, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
By the time I finished this book, nearly the whole thing was underlined--- very thought-provoking and encouraging as a Christian and as an artist!
An additional comment would be to encourage those who read this book to further follow the discussion (which is what it was written to provoke) through David Taylor's "Diary of an Arts Pastor" blog and its many enlightening links--- I wouldn't consider this book to be conclusive on its topics, but rather opening a door for growth in this area of our Ch
Denisse Beltrán
they probably should have specified in the title that they were focusing on the beauty of a United States, mostly White Church, not a breathtakingly diverse and Global one...

but this could just be me lackin' some grace. on the positive, I am actually digging some of the thoughts from the pastors who contributed essays on liturgical worship...
Tim Canny
Nov 30, 2010 Tim Canny rated it it was ok
There were some good points made in the introduction and the Barbara Nicolosi piece was excellent. It was basically the reason I bought the book as I've read her stuff before and find it well-reasoned and inspiring. I didn't get that feeling from many of the other chapters, some which went on and on without making much of a point.
Jen H.
May 02, 2016 Jen H. rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for pastors. Excellent book for lay leaders. Excellent book for ALL those interested in how to best integrate arts and artists within the local church. Would make a great small group study book (and I'd love to be a fly on the wall as you discuss).

David Hoos
Aug 22, 2010 David Hoos rated it really liked it
Like any art work, I have some criticisms but overall I think there was some definite substance and food for thought. I particularly enjoyed Barbara Nicolosi's chapter.
Oct 18, 2015 Beau rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
I had not read anything about this topic before. I found several chapters interesting and thought-provoking.
Oct 16, 2014 John rated it it was ok
The writers pay homage to Seerveld, but very little in this book is interesting. Should have reread Rainbows for a Fallen World.
Patrick Schlabs
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“And on the night before he suffers the worst that wayward human culture can do, this is what he does: he takes bread and wine into his hands, lifts them up, and blesses them. Bread and wine, not wheat and grapes. Bread and wine are culture, not just nature. They are good for food and a delight to the eyes. Jesus takes culture, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to his friends. Taken, broken, blessed, and given, these cultural goods, these “creatures of bread and wine” as the old prayer book had it, become sign and presence of God in the world.” 1 likes
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