The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Worth Repeating
super exellent quote from Doug Wilson blog:

"Worldliness, as we have seen, is that set of practices in a society, its values and ways of looking at life, that make sin look normal and righteousness look strange."

--David Wells, God in the Wasteland (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), p. 86.

Monday, February 27, 2006
Economic Growth
can be good for you (and everyone else...)

Friday, February 24, 2006
Graphic Design
from a Christian Perspective: article from Pro Rege by David Versluis.

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Could the TV show American Idol have been any better named?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Geek Meets Punk
Nice feature in the Seattle Times on the Wolfes - editors of Image journal, who live in the Emerald City.

A Funny Thing Happended to Me over the Weekend
I grew another year older.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Reviewing Contemporary Christian Art
Keep your eye on Dan Siedell, a Christian art historian and museum curator. He has a nice review piece at Books & Culture on two books featuring artists associated with CIVA.

Along the way he has this spot-on observation:

There is also a to demonize unnecessarily the history of modern art and the contemporary art world against which the writer then posits an idealized Christian artistic past and present. In troubling ways, this Christian perspective requires a certain kind of art world against which to react. In addition to giving it more power than it actually possesses, this approach tends to flatten out the contemporary art world, turning it into a single, monolithic "thing" that is "out there" while at the same time discouraging artists and critics from self-critically assessing how and in what ways "Christian art" is itself a part of this art world.

This is one thing I have found in a lot (the majority?) of art coming from CIVA artists and other artists associated with CCCU institutions: they vacillate between being infatuated with contemporary art on the one had (which they might see as a necessity, if they want to show their stuff in the "important" and/or "cool" art galleries), or being reactionary in a sort of half-hearted way. This leaves them doing a mondernish/contemporary-ish art which is thin and strangely out of step. As Gregory Baus recently observed, we are better of forgetting (for the most part) the contemporary art scene and seek to serve the aesthetic needs of our brother and sisters (and not what they think they need...)

Monday, February 13, 2006
Very nice post by Gregory Baus on the idea of Christian scholarship as a calling. A snippet:

In the calling of scholarship --itself a form of naming the creation-- some would have us look to Scripture to provide specific criteria for every field of study. But this is not the example we have in the Scripture itself. Rather, man calls out the names that he reads upon the "book of nature," God's general revelation in the creation. This is also the meaning of that ancient proverb concerning the glory of man's kingly dominion over the world's treasures: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search them out” Proverbs 25:2.

Greg also includes a link to Roy Clouser's essay "Is There a Christian View of Everything?" which is a powerful antidote to the Two-Kingdom nonsense recently (and repeatedly) critiqued in this forum.

Thursday, February 09, 2006
A group of evangelicals have made recent headlines (even on Cnet!) for their statement on gobal warming: Evangelical Climate Initiative.

For another, rather different evangelical perspective, see the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I just discovered this nice collection of online resources (audio files and pdfs) at Covenant Seminary. Includes lots of cool stuff on popular culture (including lectures by Bill Romanowski), music, post-modernism, etc.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Another article on Rookmaaker
appears in Books & Culture written by Bill Edgar (Edgar recently penned a review of Laurel Gasque's biography of HRR -- see my blog entry).

Neo-Calvinists should take note of Rookmaakers practical, applied approach:

Students of Rookmaaker's in the '60s and '70s may not have realized how deeply his thinking was permeated by the Amsterdam philosophy [of Dooyeweerd, et al]. Much of this school of thought is of technical interest only; the originality of Rookmaaker's contribution lies in applying it to the arts. As he moved into circles where artists and students were asking hard questions, the theoretical language moved into the background, and he became eminently practical. Still, his commitment to the basic contours of the philosophy was always there. It often came out in his reactions to issues. For example, if a student asked him whether God exists, his answer would first be to dismantle a presumed Cartesian presupposition behind the question, and only then attempt a reply, which would assert that everything in the Bible and in the world is a proof of God. Or if an art student expressed preference for Rubens' robust infants over the grown-up medieval baby in a Madonna and Child, he would say that neither of them really connects to reality. The Rubens baby, with its Herculean musculature, is just as idealized as the medieval adult icon.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Doing the Right Thing
Dutch government returns 200 works of art (many masterpieces) to family lost during Nazi era in WWII.

Friday, February 03, 2006
Slow Week
recovering from a nasty cold which managed to put a damper on blogging activities. Will post better pictures of my watercolor exhibit soon. I took it down Wednesday evening. I also spent some of my "down" time reading some old Rookmaaker articles in his Collected Works. Good stuff.