Category Archives: Articles on Aesthetics

Christians and Critical Judgments

Christians and Critical Judgments

This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series”Ten Mangled Words”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Most Christians are happy to accept the authority of expert opinion. What is instructive to note is which domains of knowledge they are comfortable to refer to… Continue Reading

Adoring With Caravaggio

Adoring With Caravaggio

Take some time to consider Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds. Don’t scan and speed-read, but if you have the time, stop and stare. First, where is the focal point of this painting? Where does our gaze go first, and where does it seem to land? Is there more than one focal point? Are we above,… Continue Reading

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.This is the final post in a series I’ve been writing over the past couple months in order to more thoroughly develop an… Continue Reading

Fittingness

Fittingness

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Last week I argued that if we believe in verbal-plenary inspiration, then the meaning of the aesthetic forms we employ in our contemporary worship… Continue Reading

Aesthetic Correspondence

Aesthetic Correspondence

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.In this series of essays, I have argued that Scripture presents God’s truth to us, not merely in didactic propositions, but also (in… Continue Reading

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. In By the Waters of Babylon, I make a brief statement about how the aesthetic forms of Scripture should guide and regulate worship… Continue Reading

Verbal, Plenary Inspiration and the Aesthetics of Scripture

Verbal, Plenary Inspiration and the Aesthetics of Scripture

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. A couple of friends asked for clarification and explanation of a claim I make in By the Waters of Babylon, in which I… Continue Reading

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series”Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. I’d like to take a few posts over the next several weeks to respond to one criticism of something I wrote, but… Continue Reading

Why Tolkien Wrote About Middle-Earth

Why Tolkien Wrote About Middle-Earth

Some Evangelicals’ credo might be: “There is only one Tolkien, and Peter Jackson is his Prophet.” While there is no denying that the art of John Howe and Alan Lee made the films a visual feast, or that Howard Shore’s scores were moving and memorable, let us set aside the movies for a moment and return to… Continue Reading

Why Christians Should Care About Meaning in Art

Why Christians Should Care About Meaning in Art

Christians claim to be concerned with meaning. They debate over the meaning of texts of Scripture, and urge particular hermeneutics, so as to arrive at the correct meaning of Scripture. Many claim to be concerned with the meaning of cultural trends, explaining their ethical significance. Some are fascinated with current events, and are hungry to… Continue Reading

Chestless Churches

Chestless Churches

What would ‘Churches Without Chests” look like? To use a strictly Lewisian definition, it would be groups of professing believers without ‘the spirited element’. In plain language, that would be believers who have profoundly under-developed parts of their souls. Chestless churches would be: Churches Without Beauty. The music, the poetry, the rhetoric in the sermons,… Continue Reading

Sweetly Destructive

Sweetly Destructive

Sentimentalism would not be high on pastors’ lists of threats to the church, were they to be polled for such a thing. False doctrine, lack of commitment, entertainment culture, the homosexual lobby, Youtube attention spans, radical Islam, the prosperity gospel, declining missions, pornography, moral failure in leaders, pragmatism and a host of others might be… Continue Reading

What Churches Take For Granted (But No Longer Should)

What Churches Take For Granted (But No Longer Should)

A first-grade teacher does not require, but typically expects the five and six-year-olds that arrive in class to be able to: * understand enough language to communicate with other humans * eat their own food without assistance * sit in a chair (or on the floor) without rolling on the stomach and flailing helplessly *… Continue Reading

The Mortification of Spin’s Take on Secular Music (or, Calvin vs. the Calvinists)

The Mortification of Spin’s Take on Secular Music (or, Calvin vs. the Calvinists)

Occasionally I listen to the Mortification of Spin (hereafter MOS) podcast. I find the episodes largely helpful and would happily recommend the podcast to others. Recently, however, Carl, Aimee, and the other guy1 released an episode on whether or not Christians can listen to secular music.2 They largely defended the proposition that Christians can listen to almost… Continue Reading

Without Chests?

Without Chests?

“Men Without Chests” is the curious title of a chapter in Lewis’ book The Abolition of Man. (You can read the chapter here). What does this odd title mean? Is this some odd anatomical reference? Is it an obscure metaphor referring to cowardice? Lewis guides us by taking us back in time. He takes us… Continue Reading

Is there any room for preference?

Is there any room for preference?

I have often argued (such as in Sound Worship) that it is the responsibility of Christians to change their tastes for beauty to match what is truly worthy of admiration. Since God is transcendent beauty, there do exist absolute standards of beauty that should govern our judgments of beauty. This does not meant that such standards are immediately apparent or that I… Continue Reading

Art: Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection

Art: Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection

Now a few years old, his series of chapel lectures by Ken Myers set forth a helpful foundation for understanding the importance of true art to Christianity. One of the points he makes is that art is important because creation itself is a work of art. If creation is invested with meaning, Christians, of all people,… Continue Reading

The Green Book

The Green Book

Poor Alex and Martin. Misters King and Ketley had no idea that their forgettable English textbook would unleash one of the twentieth century’s most eloquent and destructive critiques of modernism, with the two of them in the marksman’s crosshairs. The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing, was published in 1939 as… Continue Reading

How important is the style of music a church sings?

How important is the style of music a church sings?

I read a post yesterday from a blog of a popular ministry that attempted to answer a question from a reader: “How important is the style of music a church sings?” The answer? “The style of music a church sings is relatively unimportant.” After making several simplistic points, the post concluded, “In short, what we… Continue Reading

The beauty of truth

The beauty of truth

Pilate’s question to Jesus in John 18:30—“What is truth?”—is no less relevant today than it was then. In its most basic definition, something is true if it corresponds with reality.[1] The truth of which the church is the pillar and support (1 Tim 3:15) has been revealed through the written Word of God. Everything contained… Continue Reading