The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I came across this interestin' booklet yesterday. There is an irony here. But I can't say much more about it...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Daddy, Why is there a Warm Glow Coming from that Prison Window?
The continuing saga of Thomas Kinkade.

Um, I Think Your Bitterness is Showing
I always thought that historian Randall Balmer had a smug edge. I sensed this in his PBS series on Evangelicals from the 80s. But if John Wilson's review of Balmer's new book is any indication, Balmer really has it in for evangelicals.

As Wilson shows, Balmer misunderstands many parts of the evangelical movement such as homeschooling and the writing of George Marsden. But maybe Balmer ultimately really gets it (in a way that Wilson perhaps does not). Many of us are not ready to compromise our faith. We are not willing to play the compromise game that is at the heart of American politics and the academy. That's why we go through the trouble to homeschool our kids (or send them to Christian schools). And this rankles genteel scholars the like Balmer to no end.

Let us hope we stay that way...

Monday, August 28, 2006
More Fun with Quotes
Who said:

"History belongs . . . to the man who preserves and honors, to the person who with faith and love looks back in the direction from which he has come, where he has been. Through this reverence he, as it were, gives thanks for his existence. . . . Because we endure and do not collapse overnight."


Thursday, August 24, 2006
More Glass

This time it is a Glass museum wing built to house a collection of glass.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
News Bulletin:

Postmodernism = Theonomy

(Just in case you hadn't heard)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

1. One book that changed your life:

Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience by Barrs and MacAulay.

This book helped me to see that denying myself meant denying my sinful nature, so that I can affirm - truly - my human nature renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Two other books that changed my life: Escape from Reason by Schaeffer and Art Needs No Justification by Rookmaaker.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Plowing in Hope :^)

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:Besides the Bible, maybe Calvin's Institutes.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy (esp the chapter "The last Phil Donahue Show").

5. One book that made you cry:
Well almost cry: The Huguenot Garden by Douglas Jones (chapter "Stars and Sand").

6. One book that you wish had been written:
Sevententh Century Dutch Art: a Reformed View by Hans Rookmaaker.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Where in the World is the Church; A Christian View of Culture and Your Role in It by Mike Horton. (destructive Two-Kingdom banter)

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Future Men by Doug Wilson.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Art and Soul by Brand and Chaplin.

Monday, August 21, 2006
Those Dark, Brown Paintings

“It was a dark, brooding painting that was thought to reflect Rembrandt’s depression at the time of his bankruptcy. Then, with conservation, it was revealed that this deep, brooding tonality was in large part dirty varnish. It’s got a wonderful blue sky and clouds, which had not been seen since the beginning of the 19th century. It was hugely shocking.”

--Arthur Wheelock quoted in an article in ArtNews on Rembrandt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Those Who Have Glass Houses...
should give tours.

The notorious/elegant Glasshouse by Philip Johnson will go on tour soon, according to the New York Times.

The idea of this house might sound silly at first. But when you realize that it was built to be on an a large, secluded estate, it is not as crazy one might think. The idea of a living space which visually opens up to nature (blurring the boundry between architecture and nature) is quite appealing. Kind of a garden-city idea, if you ask me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Imago Discussion
As I have blogged many times before, the fact that mankind is created in God's image is key to our understading our role in culture-making.

Thus this review from Books & Culture on two books which tackle this idea is worth a look. Includes a discussion of what place our bodies have in the imago.

Monday, August 14, 2006
Looks Like the Cat Is out of the Bag
regarding the future speaking engagements of The Native Tourist.

Looks like I'll get to meet Jeremy Begbie. Cool.

Friday, August 11, 2006
Can you too move to the Netherlands and avoid paying millions in taxes?

How Many Avant-Garde Architects
does it take to design an NFL stadium? Apparently just one.

Just think if Frank Gehry had been the designer...

Just another Frustrated Artist?

Perhaps if his art had been better received and he had developed a successful career as an artist rather than being rejected by the art establishment, he would not have become the man he did, ultimately responsible for the death of millions of people.

--Ian Morris, auctions manager for Jefferys auction house that in September will offer 21 mediocre watercolors possibly painted by Hitler


Thursday, August 10, 2006
Our Built-in Need for Structure

Older writers used to speak about the grace of law. In our day we, too, need to understand that obedience to the Lord's commands is not legalism, any more than learning the keys on the piano, or following the composer's score, is a form of musical legalism. Rather, it is the means by which we learn to make music!

--Sinclair Ferguson in Faithful GOD

(HT: David Booth)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Interesting article by Quentin Schultze on "Technology and Worship" posted at ByFaith.com. The article hinges on the idea of "fittingness". But how is this to be defined?


Fittingness is not just a matter of style. In fact, the so-called worship wars between contemporary and traditional services are leading us astray. The question is not whether worship is contemporary or traditional, high-tech or low-tech, PowerPoint-inclusive or PowerPoint exclusive. Instead we need to ask the more difficult questions about fittingness: Is God being glorified and praised? Are we being moved to worship in Spirit and truth? Do we "hear" from Jesus during the service? Do we "see" our sins more clearly? Are we filled with gratefulness for the journey ahead? Are we challenged to go out into the world as agents of God's Kingdom?

I also found out yesterday that my poet friend in Newberg participates in The Critical Poet which is a forum where one can have their poetry critiqued.

Here is a well written article on Jackson Pollock from The New Yorker.

Friday, August 04, 2006
Studio Visit
As I said before, one of the highlights of my visit to New York City last month was getting together with Kirk Irwin and Mako Fujimura. We fist talked about an hour at a noodle place about Christian involvement in art and culture and the ways in which they have been encouraging students and local ministries to see the big picture in terms of culture-making being a Kingdom priority. I was happy to hear that they have using my book to help Christians get in touch with this vision.

Next, I was honored with visit to Mako's studio in Tribeca. I hadn't visited a artists studio in some time. It was a pleased to see a number of his paintings up close and personal (he had a large one from his Water Flames series that he had just completed). I enjoyed talking to Mako about his processes, the kind of aesthetic effects he is trying to capture in his pieces and some of the artists he admires. (We both shared an interest in Archile Gorky which we had both seen at the Guggenheim Museum in the 80s!)

Here are some pictures documenting our afternoon together (sorry about the poor quality):

Kirk and Moi

Mako and The Native Tourist

TNT is now been going four years!

(Actually the anniversary date was yesterday)

If you want to know why its called The Native Tourist, you can read about it here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Simply Amazing
The Shakers continue to garner astonishing prices at auction, as evidenced by this recent sale. Not bad for an obscure sect obsessed with a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to life and the making of objects...

Who thought something to basic could be so beautiful?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
In the Enemy Camp
Now here is a strange place for my article on Rookmaaker and Schaeffer to turn up.

Funny, I never saw this piece as promoting culture wars...