Michael Horton recently sat down and answered five of the most common apologetics questions people get when they share their faith with their friends and family. We’ll be posting one each week through the end of the year. For more information on our Defend the Faith campaign and for additional resources to help you “know and share what you believe and why you believe it,” please visit the homepage of our year end appeal.
It’s a pretty big anachronism, but it’s an interesting question—if Paul went to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, what would he think? How would he interact with Kerstin Brätsch’s Matchpoint? What would he have to say about Cheyney Thompson’s Chronochrome Set 10? How would Christians today interpret Alfredo Jaar’s Lament of the Images or Rachel Harrison’s Alexander the Great?
Americans tend to be somewhat befuddled when it comes to art—we understand it as an outlet for creativity (Pinterest!) and readily assent to its therapeutic value, but certain art critics would question our ability to understand and dialogue with modern art on its own terms. Countries like France and Italy as well as Egypt and Turkey guard their art as priceless national and social treasures; Americans look at the works of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock and are either confused or appalled that soup cans and paint drops are considered monuments of human creativity.
There’s a reason for this difference (which, for brevity’s sake, I won’t go into here), and it’s a good reason—the question that we want to discuss is, ‘What are Christians to do with modern art?’ Is it OK if it’s not obscene? What’s obscene? Is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus pornographic—if so, is all nudity verboten? What about violence? Francisco Goya’s The Third of May is stark and violent, but so are Quentin Tarantino films—is OK to look at the former, but not the latter?
We sat down with Dan Siedell, visiting professor of Christ and Culture at Knox Theological Seminary and author of God In The Gallery (Baker Academic, 2008) to discuss Edvard Munch, Thomas Kinkade, and the importance of listening. Enjoy!
P.S. If you want to read more of Dan’s work on popular Christian art, you should click this.
Having spent most of my life in school, taking notes has become an almost pathological habit of mine–it doesn’t matter if I’m at a lecture, morning worship, in a classroom, or an informal talk; if someone is speaking in an official capacity, out comes the notebook and pen. The result is a nicely organized outline and a mind utterly unburdened with any remembrance of what was just said. I get so pre-occupied with my understanding of what the speaker is saying, that I completely ignore what it is he’s saying–I’m not receiving; I’m appropriating. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that–I want to understand what I hear–but if I become so focused on comprehending that I stop listening, that’s a problem.
According to certain authors, I’m not the only one who does this–Americans in general are especially prone to focusing on what we can get out of a thing, rather than understanding the thing in itself. It turns out that there’s an explanation for this–we sat down with White Horse Inn producer Shane Rosenthal and asked him why it is that we’re so drawn toward the active life, and got some very interesting answers.
We sat down with the Rev. Dr. John Bombaro of Grace Lutheran Church and professor of religion and philosophy at the University of San Diego to discuss the high art of books, the personality of the tangible, and the effects of the digital on the reality of the Incarnation.
How many of you skim the first chapter of Matthew? (It’s all right, we did it too.) This month, we talk to Rev. Zach Keele of Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church about the genealogies listed in Scripture–their purpose, their scope, and the fidelity of God’s promise.
This month, we sat down with Dr. W. R. Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary California and Teaching Fellow at Ligonier Ministries to talk about the ancient church, Roman supremacy, and the changing winds of Trent and Vatican II.
We sat down to chat with Dr. Rosenbladt about his article in this month’s issue of Modern Reformation, ‘What Drove Luther’s Hammer’, and learned about sleeping on concrete floors, a ruined gastrointestinal tract, and the stupidest decision ever made in Western Christianity. If you know of anyone who thinks they can earn their way to heaven with good behavior, share the video.
In the third and final installment of Michael Horton’s reflections on the relationship of Christianity and Islam, he turns to the personal nature of our relationship with our Muslim neighbors.
How does the message of the Bible and the message of the Koran differ? In this video (2 of 3), Michael Horton continues his discussion of the differences between Christianity and Islam.
Part 1 can be found here.
“Islam is all law. There is no good news.”
Curious about Islam? Want to dig a little deeper after reading Michael Horton’s article in the July/August issue of Modern Reformation? This is the first of three video conversations that Dr. Horton recorded to help us understand the differences between Islam and Christianity.
First up: Salvation.