Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Review of The Beauty of God

The good folks at Reformation21 just published a review I did of The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts. This is a fascinating collection of essays on the arts from a theological perspective.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Watching Film

I love films. There are some movies that I enjoy, but I love films. The difference is not just in the content of the story, but how the story is told. Too often Christian reviews of film get stuck on the plot and then try to show how that agrees or disagrees with Scripture. The worldview of the narrative certainly matters, but how that worldview is expressed specifically through the medium of film also matters—and it matters greatly. A good filmmaker can tell you more through non-verbal expression than the actual dialogue can. To understand what the director is saying through his craft, you need to understand some basic elements of his tools—lighting, framing, camera angles, color, sound, symbolism, etc. The story is but one layer of the total expression.

A skilled director shows the audience what to think about a character by how they are presented on screen and in a manner that is often absorbed subconsciously. As the characters are thus presented, the story itself gains levels of meaning and symbolism well beyond the actual words spoken. Film is a specific art and it tells a story in a unique manner. The story is a great place to start in understanding the worldview of a film, but the art of the filmmaker transforms that narrative into something different than what a play or book portrays. Part of the beauty of a good film is a film that understands how to be a film in how it tells a story.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Worship Notes 24 October

Covenant renewal through worship is a corporate act between Yahweh and His people. As such, it is only natural that worship is corporate—not only in the singing of hymns, but also with confession, prayers, creeds, and responses. When the assembled body vocalizes God’s word in confession or prayers, that very act knits them together as His people and rejects individualism. God calls his people and they respond.

Worship involves repeating back to God what He has said about Himself. For this reason, we use Scripture for the Call to Worship, Psalm of the Month, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Benediction, the words before the sacraments, and hymn lyrics as well as the proclaiming of the Word in the sermon. God has defined Himself through His Word, and with great confidence and joy, we come before His throne and together proclaim His worth in the language He prescribes. This not only guards against theological error and creates great freedom, but it also increases our knowledge of Him enabling the people “with one voice to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Current Reading

Quote on Worship and the Sabbath

“God’s intention was to bless his people through the constant and conscientious observation of the day, week after week and year after year. Believers are sanctified through a lifetime of Sabbath observance. In other words, the Sabbath is designed to work slowly, quietly, seemingly imperceptively in reorienting believers’ appetites heavenward. It is not a quick fix, nor is it necessarily a spiritual high. It is an ‘outward and ordinary’ ordinance, part of the steady and healthy diet of the means of grace.”
—D.G. Hart and John R. Muether
With Reverence and Awe

Current Listening

Monday, October 8, 2007

New from the Art World

From the art world, news that a painting by Leonardo has been recovered, and drunk vandals ripped a Monet painting.