The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Another Take on the Reformation
from Mark Horne on the use of printing press to spread the 95 theses:
The Reformation was viral marketing. Luther was the first blogger.
Celebrating the Reformation's Liberation of Art
From Abraham Kuyper's Stone Lectures:
Religion also rises to that higher plain where it graduates from the symbolical into the clearly-conscious life, and thereby necessitates both the division of worship into many forms, and the emancipation of matured religion from all sacerdotal and political guardianship. In the 16th century Europe was approaching, though slowly, this higher level of Spiritual development, and it was not Lutheranism with its subjection of the whole nation to the religion of the prince, but Calvinism with its profound conception of religious liberty, which initiated the transition. In every country where Calvinism has made its appearance, it has led to a multiformity of life-tendencies, it has broken the power of the State within the domain of religion, and to a great extent has made an end of sacerdotalism. As a result of this, it abandoned the symbolical form of worship, and refused, at the demand of art, to embody its religious spirit in monuments of splendor.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Those who seek in scholarship nothing more than an
Friday, October 27, 2006
What Christian Culture Looks Like - Part IX
My younger daugher is working on a school project on an historical person from the Colonial/Revolutionary period. I suggested Paul Revere who not only was a war hero but a great craftsman/artist.
Revere's father was a Huguenot and silversmith. Even if Paul Revere had never made his "famous ride", he would still be important to American history. He is one of the greatest American silversmiths and was an innovator in the foundry industry.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I came across an idea in an article the other day which refered to boiling down an idea to its "haiku level". I kind of like that.
So what is Christian culture "boiled down to the haiku level"...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Alan Jacobs whos insightful A Visit to Vanity Fair is a wonderful expose of contemporary culture, turns his insightful eye to examine the iPod. (It is part of a review of The Perfect Thing - the book of the week at Books & Culture.)
This little electronic gadget, like a pocket-sized Freudian analyst, has somehow revealed—worse, allowed me to reveal—my inauthenticity, as though its famously fingerprint-attracting polished metal back had lifted itself before my appalled face and cried, Behold!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Skillen on Culture
Bill Edgar recently hosted a conference at Westminster Seminary on for his Gospel and Culture Project titled "Biblical Matters: Biblical Reflections on ‘Going Global’" One of the speakers was James Skillen, who made the following observation:
Recent Christian youth movements have issued a call to “redeem the culture.” As well-intentioned as this is, it is not really the call of Christ. It is not us redeeming culture and then offering it up to Christ as our gift to him, but rather our recognition that we are but servants of the Christ who judges and who himself redeems, not just our culture, but every culture of the world. We serve his kingdom, wherever we do so, as humble, repentant sinners, people who live out of deep gratitude. There is no shortcut to the redemption of all things. No political party, no economic plan, can bring it about. Neither is there a shortcut to global Christian unity. We must see ourselves neither as Americans first nor as anti-American, but rather first always as Christ’s disciples, ambassadors to all the world.
I agree with Skillen up to a point. We need to avoid provicialism of all forms as we approach culture-making. Our ultimate allegiance is to Christ. We also need to see that culture is a global mission. The is the upshot of Genesis 1:28ff. We fill the earth and we rule and develop the whole of it.
But do we really have a problem of being too focused on national matters? Are we focussed too much on American cultural ideas? Maybe so. Our vision can be too limited. But the antidote to the problem of nationalism is not globalism. Rather we need to focus on local development. We need to meet the needs of those who are in our immediate community - whereever in the world that might be. If we establish Christian culture in the local scene, we can expect the spillover to bless the nation and even the world.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The Native Tourist was feeling pretty sick this week. But now he is feeling much better.
I should be up to blogging soon...
Friday, October 13, 2006
...as in "let them live in cake."
This little tidbit from the NYT review of Marie Antoinette got me thinking:
No mere backdrop, Versailles, where much of “Marie Antoinette” was shot, is the film’s subject and, in some respects, its star. Like Hollywood — which it resembles in some interesting and hardly accidental particulars — Versailles is a place with an aura and a power of its own, with an almost mystical ability to warp the lives of those who, by accident or choice, come to dwell on its grounds.
If this really is the undertheme of this movie - that decadant architecture/environment leads to a decadant lifestyle - then this is a message of which we all need to be keenly aware. Our cultural environment is shaping us. Whatever we choose to rub elbows with (and we DO have choice in most things) is going to have an effect on our thinking and values and even our beliefs. Which may be a reason to skip seeing Marie Antoinette.
We at least need to think about. We must be deliberate.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I did something I haven't done in a long time: I went to an art lecture at George Fox University, which is located a couple of blocks from our home. The artist was one of the faculty members: Tim Timmerman. (He also has a show where I work in Salem.)
At first, I wasn't crazy about his works. But hear him talk about his process and his symbols and his sources, I came to appreciate what he was trying to do. I think I like his more finished works better.
One thing I realized: when one works with very personal symbols (as Timmerman does), one opens oneself to have their art works misunderstood. The same happens in poetry. I guess the question is whether this is a problem...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Same Goes for Christian Art and Christian Culture in General
"But it is impossible to make a good omelet with rotten eggs. If staff members of a Christian school are not walking in fellowship with God, then they cannot be in fellowship with one another. If we walk in the light, John says, we have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7). If the people working in the school are under the chastening hand of God, then it does not matter how many education conferences they go to. It does not matter how intelligent they are. It does not matter how many books they read. It does not matter that they adopted a classical Christian curriculum. The whole thing stinks. The enterprise is comparable to insisting on rotten eggs as ingredients and then determining to make the omelet good by improving the kitchen, firing the cook, or changing the recipe. Refusal to deal with sin is folly, pure and simple"
taken from Doug's blog
Friday, October 06, 2006
I recently stumbled over a unique, hand-built ediface called the Ecokathedraal which, in case you couldn't already tell in located in the Netherlands.
I'm not sure what it is entirely about, but it is a beautiful structure. (I guess I can read more about it here.) I really admire stone walls and brick work, and the way this is pieced togather with various subtle color variations and textures - and apparently no mortar.
I am currently landscaping our backyard, including some brick paths I have laid out, so I find this very inspiring!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Another Cool Thing about Oregon
are its microbreweries!
Nothing to Sneeze at
Did Anyone Tell You thatits Archives Week?
It is in Oregon, and I suspect it is elsewhere too.
Just thought you wanted to know.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Two interesting pieces on home design can be found at Books & Culture:
A look at Sarah Susanka "Not so Big House" series
Lauren Winner meanders throught a number of thoughtful books on house and home
Monday, October 02, 2006