The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Monday, March 31, 2008
Something to keep in mind: Jesus had a job:

He was a tekton, the son of a tekton, which meant that He was a builder of some sort. Most have taken this to mean carpenter, but Schneider suggests the additional possibilities of masonry, or jack of all trades. I have elsewhere seen the suggestion that it may have meant an architect. In any case, it was a respectable trade...

(quote taken from Doug Wilson's blog)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Teaching Culture
Exerpts from the "Trinity Catechism" authored by Doug Jones focusing on our cultural calling:

V. What marriage in creation is this?

Adam and Eve were married in the Garden,
a king and queen, enjoying peaches, hawks,
each other, sent to build bridges, phones, toys.


V’. What is the purpose of this marriage of Son and Church?

This new Adam and Eve pick-up the work
abandoned by the first - to raise a godly
seed, expand the feast, and build a garden city.

Jones calls this a catapoem - and with good reason. It is truly a catachism and a poem rolled into one.

Monday, March 24, 2008
More on the Exit of Polaroid Film
Article at the Boston Globe.

Here are some of my favorite creative examples of Polaroid film:

Talking Heads album cover.

David Hockney photo-collage (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Judging a Book...
Here some more background on the design of the new cover for Plowing from the Canon Press Blog:

Another cover that went through several revisions was Plowing in Hope written by David Hegeman. Once we eliminated the idea of a cello in the middle of a plowed field, simply because it was winter and the chance of finding a dirt field that wasn’t buried under snow was slim to none, David came up with the new concept. I wanted Brussels Sprouts on the cover and David initially stacked them on the picture frame. But he just couldn’t wrap his head around it, so you’ll now find a lone sprout on the back cover under a lighted pedestal. Here’s the little snippet from Plowing in Hope on The Brussels Sprouts Syndrome that captured my attention. If you look closely, you can see the Brussels Sprout on the white pedestal in the picture on the left.

The "David" here is David Dalbey. You can read the designer's thoughts on other cover changes as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Say What?
Here is a thesis only a Two-Kingdom advocate could love"

Keynote Address : James Elkins


On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art explains the curious disconnect between spirituality & current art. In his talk, Dr. Elkins will show why committed, engaged, ambitious, informed art does not mix w/ dedicated, serious, thoughtful, heartfelt religion. Wherever the two meet, one wrecks the other. Modern spirituality & contemporary art are rum companions; either the art is loose & unambitious, or the religion is one-dimensional & unpersuasive. That is not to imply the two sides should maintain their mutual distrust, but that talk needs to be very slow and careful.

--from a symposium held at Biola University this past weekend.

Hmm. I wonder if Elkins has ever heard of, say, Michelangelo or Rembrandt or Roualt or...

Friday, March 14, 2008
Degas at the PAM

I went to the Portland Art Museum last night with my wife, daughter and a friend to see the Degas, Forain and Lautrec show.

The Degas artworks were particularly excellent. There was a veriety of oil paintings, pastel works, sketches and monotypes all based around the theme of dance/ballet. He is an absolute master of drawing - a few quick marks or smudges capturing the essence of a scene or thing. He also excels in adding just the smallest bit of extra color to his studies to give them a bit of extra life and interest.

Makes me want to draw more...

Thursday, March 06, 2008
Stop Thinking Dualistically Now!
One of the ways that Christians devalue the physicality of creation and culture-making is to talk about the afterlife as "heaven." We are not going to spend eternity in heaven but rather on the New Earth.

Or more correctly, heaven and earth will be joined together as God's-realm - heaven - will be married to the earth. God will dwell with redeemed men and women on the redeemed earth. One such argument can be found in this essay by Richard Middleton:

Heaven is also the realm—in contradistinction to earth—where God’s will is perfectly accomplished prior to the eschaton. This is the assumption behind the prayer Jesus taught his disciples: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). It is the biblical eschatological hope that one day God’s salvation (which is being prepared in heaven) will be manifest fully on earth. Then earth will be fully conformed to heaven

But “heaven” simply does not describe the Christian eschatological hope. Not only is the term “heaven” never used in Scripture for the eternal destiny of the redeemed, but continued use of “heaven” to name the Christian hope may well divert our attention from the legitimate biblical expectation for the present transformatin of our earthly life to conform to God’s purposes. Indeed, to focus our expectation on an otherworldly salvation has the potential to dissipate our resistance to societal evil and the ddication needed to work for the redemptive transformation of this world. Therefore, for reasons exegetical, theological and ethical, I have come to repent of using the term “heaven” to describe the future God has in store for the faithful. It is my hope that all readers of this essay would—after thoughtful consideration—join me in this repentance.


Monday, March 03, 2008
Bad Instant Karma
I suppose this is somewhat old news. But I just heard on NPR Friday that Polaroid will soon stop making instant film. I find this really sad.

I have been a fan of Polaroid film for years. I own an SX-70 and an old peel-apart camera (the kind with the bellows) which I have used off and on for years. These cameras have always intregued me.

I can only hope (along with countless artists) that someone steps up to the plate and licenses these products and continues to make this wonderful film.