June 2002

RW 64
THEME: Visual Arts
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • If the truth be known, Pastor Tim had majored in art as a college sophomore. He’d dropped it after a spring break mission trip to Honduras, enthused instead by the idea of preaching the gospel because, for the first time in his life, he’d seen real need. Art, he’d come to think, was at best a leisure-time activity—like sports, something people with money and time could indulge in. He was pretty sure it didn’t have a place on the front lines of the Kingdom.

  • Why commission a work of art?

    The purpose of liturgical art is to point beyond itself, to deepen one’s understanding and worship of God. A congregation might commission a work of art

  • Once a year, each academic department at Westmont College is invited to host a chapel for the majors and minors in their department. Here in the art department, we’ve used this opportunity to present our “artistic testimonies,” to discuss what might constitute Christian art, and to use works of art from the past as foci for devotional exercises. This year, we’ve decided to ask students to read one of Jesus’ parables of the kingdom, the parable of the talents from Matthew 25.

  • Fiona Bond. Carlisle, England: Piquant, 2001. $15.00. www.piquant.net; info@piquant.net

    William Dyrness (see p. 8) commends this new book as “the best practical guide I know” to encouraging the artists in our congregations, also helping some to discover gifts they did not know they had. The mission of this publisher from England is “to spread in every place the aroma that comes from knowing Christ” (2 Cor. 2:14).

  • Once a year, each academic department at Westmont College is invited to host a chapel for the majors and minors in their department. Here in the art department, we’ve used this opportunity to present our “artistic testimonies,” to discuss what might constitute Christian art, and to use works of art from the past as foci for devotional exercises. This year, we’ve decided to ask students to read one of Jesus’ parables of the kingdom, the parable of the talents from Matthew 25.

  • William A. Dyrness. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001. 188 pp. $21.99.

    The editorial on p. 2 provides a good introduction to this book. Here is one more testimony, from Jeremy Begbie of Cambridge University in England: “Both theological and practical, this wide-ranging study will be of special interest to all who want to get beyond the sterile prejudices that have so often marred the relationship between visual art and Protestantism.”

  • We seem to be in the midst of a sea change in attitudes toward the visual, even in worship. For one thing, since the middle of the last century, a major change has been taking place in our visual environment. Whereas previously print culture predominated, with the rise of television and movies we have entered an era in which visual images are dominant and inescapable.