The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Monday, July 31, 2006
Just another Saturday in my Hometown
After spending all day finishing up the fence project in our back yard - mainly cutting down and installing latches on the gates, our family enjoyed some delightfull cultural moments including:

1. A Thai dinner celebrating my daughter's 18th birthday

2. Listening to boffo NC folk singer Jason Harrod sing at the Coffee Cottage

3. Watching a first rate (astonishing really) fireworks display that is part of Newberg's Old Fashioned Festival.

God is so gracious!

Friday, July 28, 2006
Cool Conference

hosted by St Peters Church in Abingdon, VA. Speakers include Ken Myers and Gene Veith. I wonder how Veith's Two-Kingdom Lutheranism will interact with R.C. Sproul Jr.'s transformationism. Hmm.

Thursday, July 27, 2006
What I Did on my Summer Vacation

to NYC:

1. Had some wonderful times visiting with "old" friends from our former church Messiah's in Brooklyn including an evening with the Setyons (our gracious hosts) who provided some authentic Italian food.

2. Listened to my wife sing concert/coffee houses in Brooklyn and Greenwich Village (at the facilities of the Neighborhood Church on Bleeker Street - cool!)

3. Visited two art museums - the Metropolitan and the Frick while dodging thunderstorms in Manhattan.

4. Made contact with several Christians involved in the arts including Kirk Irwin, Mako Fujimura, and members of Messiahs who are jazz musicians and graphic designers.

5. Visited the Garage flea market on 25th Street.

6. Enjoyed visiting my Dad and sister on LI as well as a drive through my old haunts Locust Valley and the North Fork.

7. Sunday worship at Messiahs

8. Eating. You can't visit Brooklyn without eating!

Monday, July 24, 2006

We are having a great time in New York, even with all the humidity. Viting with our old friends and meeting new ones has been wonderful! Spent all day Friday at art museums. Marj's concerts in Brooklyn and Greenwich Village went really well. Will show pix soon...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Found Art
Yesterday evening, after I got home from work and had eaten dinner, I headed down the alley that is next to our house to begin to work on the fence I have been repairing/installing in our back yard. And there, sitting in the iris beside our house was a PAINTING! Its not old and appears to be a student or an amateur production. On canvas with no frame.

Its signed "Wheezer 07" and is of the Edmund Fitzgerald in a stormy sea.

I wonder what this means?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
A Little Bit More on Rembrandt
One of the books I was asked to read in art history grad school was W. A. Visser’t Hooft's Rembrandt and the Gospel. It is a modest little paperback but is a marvelous read and has some interesting speculation about RVR's religious beliefs: Visser’t Hooft argues that RVR was a "generic protestant" and "biblcial" Christian, not committed to either the Reformed or the Mennonite communities (though he was clearly influenced by both). One can not underestimate his interaction with the Jewish community in Amsterdam, which gave Rembrandt a deeper insight into the Old Testament.

This article on RVR's hometown of Leiden is also really good.

Friday, July 14, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Over de Rijn
Saturday will be Rembrandt van Rijn's 400th anniversary of his birth. RVR is not only one of the greatest artists of all time, he is one of the greatest Christian artists of all time: even though his Christianity is difficult to classify and his life choices were not always the best. (Maybe he was a 17th century version of Bono?)

RVR is perhaps the most gifted artist of all time in depicting the inner psychology of his sitters. But he was also a master technician and had astonishing versatility as an artist, excelling in oil, drawing and etching/drypoint.

I especially like his landscapes, which are a tiny part of his oevre. Here are two examples: a virtuosic etching and a deceptively simple drawing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
More on NYC Trip
Marj and I will be in the Metropolitan area July 20 thru July 26. We will be staying in Brooklyn with our friends from Messiah's Congregation till Sunday. Monday and Tuesday we hope to visit my sister and Dad out on Long Island. I may even get to visit my home town of Locust Valley which I have not seen in a long time.

Marj will be doing a number of singing engagements while we are there and I hope to have some time to visit art museums.

It will especially be great to catch up with old friends.

Is Work Pariah?
Do you want to know what happens when one fails to see that WORK was part of Edenic life before the fall (and is therefore a good thing!)?

Read this sorry article in ChristianityToday.com for the answer.

Greed and envy are poor (maybe even evil) motivations for work. And toil due to the curse (Gen 3) makes work irksome. But work rightly considered in itself: work restored, is blessing.

And I thought TKV was bad...

Thursday, July 06, 2006
The Native Tourist may be coming to NYC soon! details coming...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
A Lack of Support?
ByFaith online has the following item/survey:

One Minute Survey on Supporting Christian Artists

In the introduction to his new book, Art for God’s Sake (P&R Publishing, 2006), Philip G. Ryken, senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian (PCA) Church in Philadelphia, says this: “...things are even more difficult for the Christian artist [than for the secular artist]. Some churches do not consider art a serious way to serve God. Others deny that Christians in the arts have a legitimate calling. As a result, Christian artists often feel like they have to justify their existence. Rather than providing a community of support, some churches surround them with a climate of suspicion.” Does your church provide a community of support, a climate of suspicion, or are you somewhere in between. And why? Click here and take our one minute survey: http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/9961/PCAJul06C.htm

I will be really interested to see what the results of this survey will be. Do artists in contemporary churches - especially reformed churches - really have that much lack of support within their congregations? Sure there may be a lack of monetary support, but is there a lack of general encouragement?

I wonder if in many cases the artists bring suspicion upon themselves when they adopt the approach of the non-Christian artistic mainstream rather than orient themselves to serve the community as a craftsman...

Monday, July 03, 2006
Plowing the Da Vinci Code???
I wonder if its too late for me to cash in the book publishing craze.

Seems like everyone else has...

Been Away
Doin' some fence building.

Next up: finishing the lower deck and paving a small area near the deck and side gate.

Cultural stuff: you know, transforming a tiny bit of the earth for God's glory.