It’s an exciting time to be an artist of faith. Whereas, as recent as five to ten years ago, when the dialogue centered around the hurt and rejection experienced by artists in the church, today’s books, blogs, conferences and conversations are beginning to center more on how to equip, empower, and challenge the artists among us. These are certainly exciting times for the artist of faith, creatively and spiritually.
Here is a listing of the most popular blog entries on this website during 2013. I know there are hundreds of new subscribers to this site just over the past year, so this may be helpful to you to catch up on the dialogue. I encourage you to look up some of my previous blogs—and also I encourage you to continue to be bold in your faith, and true to your art.
Why 81? I could have kept going, but truthfully I got tired of writing and I needed to publish. Thanks to the many dozen or more people who reposted this blog—it was easily the most popular post of 2013.
One of my personal favorites, this is a philosophical treatise on the nature of the arts from a Christian perspective. It seemingly captured the imaginations of many. Thanks to The Worship Studio and other sites for reposting.
I’m really big on knowing not just what to do, but to be critically thoughtful about why we do it. In other words, our motives should dictate our methods. And if we were truly honest with ourselves, I think we are motivated way too much by what is cool or what furthers our agendas, instead of the real issues of art, faith, community, and love. This is the follow-up blog to the “81 Things” blog above.
Contrary to what I said at the beginning of this article, there are still many artists of faith who feel out of place in the church: “The church still really doesn’t know what to do with most artists.” Some of you privately commented with me your own stories—some painful and some encouraging—of how this resonated with you.
I’ve met many people who discovered their artistic side later in life—latent painters, musicians, photographers, and the like. But what I didn’t expect was that I was living with one. This is the heartfelt story of how my wife began to explore the artist inside of her through a mixed media class she took last year.
Artists face many risks in artmaking—commercial, ethical, social, and artistic risks, as well as the risk of being misunderstood. This blog explores the risk of art, and delves into different artists who took risks, from Michelangelo to Bono to T. S. Eliot to Bob Dylan.
Unsurprisingly, worship is one of my passions. This is an excerpt from a message I preached to my congregation regarding a more fully-orbed definition of what the “heart” means, and it’s implications on worship. Warning: It’s not what you might think.
[Artist Credit: The artwork above, “Love Came Down,” was painted by Katie Murphy during a recent Advent worship service. Also, if you haven’t picked up Imagine That: Discovering Your Unique Role as a Christian Artist, please check it out!]