The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Equipping for Christian Culture
Here is a cool service - Act One - which provides training, mentoring and critiques for Christians who want to be screenwriters.

We need more creative solutions like this.

Friday, November 26, 2004
Article on Agrarianism
"The Task for Conservatism": Family Lessons From The New Agrarians, a talk delivered by Allan C. Carlson at the Kirk Center in Michigan.

As I've said before here on this blog, there is a lot to learn from agrarian thought. Our ties to the land are really important. Raising up crops from the earth is a core cultural activity. But I can't as far as may agrarians who condemn (nearly) all industrial activity and the importance (even necessity) of cities. Nevertheless, their critique of the scourges of industrialism is very important for a Christian approach to development and culture making. As such it is truly worth our attention.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
You Dropped What!
The dish, for years used to serve meals to a Bay Area family, sold for $5,726,250 on November 17 after competitive bidding via telephone from three international clients.


A Kinder, Gentler Culture War
is proposed by John Bolt in his lecture, "The 'Culture War' in Perspective: Lessons from the Career of Abraham Kuyper".

Yes, the purpose of politics should not be confused with the church's evangelizing, worshiping, discipling mission, but what is wrong with a separate and distinct political activity by Christian citizens? On any number of important issues many American evangelical Christians confuse the necessity of public civility with avoiding political conflict and mistakenly believe that developing personal relationships through friendship and witnessing is able to solve political conflict.

Bolt then asks:

Is it possible or responsible today to be a believing Christian and a conscientious objector to the culture wars?

I would say yes and no.

Christians should be culturally active. Both a makers and consumers. As we are faithful in our cultural pursuits self-consciously as Christians,merely doing so will enter us into the cultural fray. It can't be avoided unless you stop serving your Lord.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
I Take it all Back

He spoke this weekend of his strategy. It isn’t simply that we would infiltrate Hollywood, that if we would create enough Christian key-grips and best-boys, eventually we’d be in charge. Instead he wants us to make films to the glory of God. We can do it without them.

--R.C. Sproul, Jr, talking about Doug Phillips who organized the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival that met a couple of weeks ago.

Sproul was a judge/speaker at the event.

At first I admit that I made fun of this event. Doug Phillips hyper-patriot approach to politics and "homer" views are not my cup of tea. I was expecting something naive and amateurish. But my hat is off to him to organize an event that may actually promote the creation of real-live Christian culture. The stuff that culturally "engaged" Christian academics at evangelical colleges only dream about (if they even bother).

I hope that they publish the talks given at the festivals symposium. I want to hear them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
The New Yorker has a delightful article by John Updike musing over the new architectural digs of the Museum of Modern Art. Updike is a dazzling writer. Who else can use the word "skyscaperized" with seemless elegance?

In his article, he quotes the architect, Yoshio Taniguchi, who told the board of MoMA:

“Raise a lot of money for me, I’ll give you good architecture. Raise even more money, I’ll make the architecture disappear.”

Modernism was a quest for Platonic perfection. Pure form that would transcend the real world. Or at least approach this.

The irony is that to achieve "disappearance", attention to the physicality of the media used must be maintained at a feaverish pitch. Its all about craft.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Kerry Stew
An angry piece just appeared in the National Review on NYC artists who were unabashedly pro-Kerry and produced art promoting their now fallen hero.

Lets not get too worked up about this.

What do you know: the avant garde art scene is liberal (how shocking!). But the joke is on them. They expend all their energy shouting out their message in ironic, conceptual, savvy ways. But absolutely nobody is listening (or looking). Nobody except the art-world cronies who are (for the most part) already die-hard liberals. (They are not as lucky as Michael Moore to be able to make a fast buck promoting the liberal agenda.)

WE MUST REMEMBER that outside of New York (and other art centers) there are hundreds of artists (Christian and non-Christian, liberal and conservative) who still make well-crafted, pleasure-giving art which the locals patronize and enjoy.

Leave the self-important avant-garde politkunsters to stew in their own juices.

Use the ink for better purposes.

Monday, November 15, 2004
Blessing or Curse or ...

Friday, November 12, 2004
Personal Update
I have not posted all that much this week. Besides having yesterday off, I have been busy finishing up work on the extension on our house (still!). It has been an amazing learning experience.

So far I have learned how to:

Install pocket doors.

Hang interior door.

Install interior trim.

Install cement siding.

Install exterior trim and vents - without a chop saw!

Install a deck.

Alas, this is stuff that a hundred years ago all men knew how to do. Basic carpetry was a regular part of life. How far we have come...

I am also thankful to God that I still have all my fingers.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
My Favorite Artist of the Moment
is Adriaen Coorte (Dutch, 1660 - 1706 ) who painted dazzling, small still-lifes which eerie stillness and monumentality despite their humble size.

Check out this brochure on Coorte from the National Gallery. (Notice who owns cat. no. 2!)

Friday, November 05, 2004
Cultural Analysis of the Election
from Andrew Sandlin. He's doing his usual equating "culture" with politics (culture is much, much more than politics).

But he has this interesting analysis of the presidential election:

That message has been abetted by three vital political changes. First, as the fascinating article “Our Secularist Democratic Party” in the Fall 2002 issue of Public Interest documents, the Democratic Party has in fact become more secular over the last 30 years, while the Republican Party has become more Christian. This is a matter of documentation, not speculation, and it is a result, not a cause, of increasing Christian influence in American culture. As the message of Christian culture has spread, a political party has been obliged to make room for it. If you want to know why Republicans keep making gains, it is because as the Democrats have become more secular, the nation has become less secular. This is another way of saying that the Democrats have suffered from self-marginalization.

Too optimistic? Are Christians really more influencial in the culture at large?

Thursday, November 04, 2004
Kuyper's Cultural Classic is Online
Gemeene Gratie (=Common Crace)is available online in Dutch.

Here's Part I.

Links to other parts can be found here (start at 1902).

Yet another reason to learn Dutch!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
New Article on Hans Rookmaaker
just out by yours truly.

HRR was my hero. He got me into art history.

What else can I say?

Monday, November 01, 2004
How to Scare the Living Daylights out of Scientists

STEP 1: Come up with an alternative scientific argument that demonstrates that evolution can't explain what it purports to explain.

STEP: 2 Begin to convince people that your alternative scientific argument casts serious doubts about evolution.

Somebody one said that if you want to find out what somebody's idol is, just poke around until they scream.

Well you can hear the screams over the challenge to evolutionary hegemony in Wired magazine.

I think I will forward this article to the headmaster of Veritas School (where my kids attend). It is a tour-de-force of journalistic bias.