Welcome to THE MATCHBOX, a growing blog library of essays, links, podcasts, lectures, and books designed to feed a healthy conversation about faith, culture, and the arts. The Matchbox lies somewhere between a blog and an e-zine; hopefully not quite as disposable as the average blog but not professional enough yet to be considered a true publication. Our aim is to nurture a conversational network between Christians in the Arts and between the communities they inhabit in order to encourage a full-hearted discipleship to Jesus.


The MATCHBOX: ART & FAITH JOURNAL exists for the purpose of aiding artists.

It really all comes down to that for us. We are convinced that artists do better in community, and specifically in communities that are willing and excited to wrestle though a serious conversation about the—sometimes murky—issues of what it means to be an artist of the best degree, so our intent in the MATCHBOX is to encourage that kind of conversation.

The specifics of how the MATCHBOX is guided comes from three foundational assumptions that [1] Jesus is who he says he, that [2] interacting and learning with him is the single greatest opportunity available to every person on earth, and that [3] our apprenticeship with him influences our creative, and vocational lives as much as our spiritual lives.

(We are aware that being so brazen about our beliefs could be unsettling; we are fine with that. After all, even the most egalitarian man thinks he is right for being so). In following those premises, The MATCHBOX is committed to addressing the Practices of being a Disciple of Jesus and an Artist as well as the worldview Perspective which undergirds that position.

THE PERSPECTIVE : Our commitment is to present a intellectually responsible exploration of a Christian worldview and theology specifically focused on the Aesthetic, Imaginative, and Creative aspects of human existence. In some cases this exploration is into new territory and we hope to give artists (and the church) a language with which to address issues of art and imagination that is complimentary to a serious commitment to being a disciple of Jesus. However, in most cases we find that there is already a lot of good work that has already been done throughout history to address this issues of the human imagination in a Christian theology and the literature simply needs to be rediscovered and presented to the next generation of Christians in the Arts. We hope that not only will artists themselves learn and be benefitted from a solid theology of art but that this will help give church communities a theological framework which allows them to encourage, celebrate, love, and release the artists in their community to be fully themselves.

THE PRACTICE : Our commitment is then to practice and show how a healthy christian theology of art influences the way we make, evaluate, and experience the arts and how our lives in general are enriched by having our creative and imaginative nature flourish. In doing this we commit to presented case studies of how we mature as artists and explore and evaluate the trends of movements of current art culture in a thoughtful way. Because artists do not live in isolation (even when they wish they could), the application of a healthy theology effects the characteristics of our daily lives in relationships, education, work ethic, finances, and entertainment. Obviously, given the focus of the MATCHBOX, we will be somewhat sparse of some of these issues but we believe that being a healthy artist includes things like being able to have healthy relationships, not live in squalor, and be able to hold down a job when our artistic endeavors don’t bring in the necessary finances. Because of this, we also hope to have the MATCHBOX address at times issues of a more general nature of how we live well together as the church of Jesus and in the world of our current age.

What this all looks like in practice is us posting (hopefully with a regular consistency) essays, articles, interviews, podcasts, conversations, books, and links to other resources that address these two areas of a Jesus-centered perspective and practice of art. Because we recognize that there is already a surprising amount of good teaching for Christians in the Arts much of our work is simply to highlight and point the way to good materials that we find in our research and studies.

The reason we chose the title of The MATCHBOX was because our intent is not to create a self-sustaining online community through the MATCHBOX, but to give artists the intellectual matches to spark healthy conversations and lives. The heat and light a match brings is very temporary and if it is going to produce the intended results it must be thrown into the midst of some good, dry tinder. While most of the materials and literature we present here require individual and solitary study, they are only truly live-giving if they are used within the context of the communion of the Church. This is simply to encourage you to recognize that while gaining knowledge is good the true wealth of learning comes when it is worked out in life with other Christians in community, especially a community which aims to approach every aspect of our lives and society with an intellectually responsible engagement in order to see the rule of God exercised “here in earth as it is in Heaven”. We are convinced that inspiration and knowledge has an expiration date and so we hope that you who come to The MATCHBOX are able to use these resources in the midst of a conversation with other Christians and other Artists.

Because our end goal is simply to aid artists and to further conversations about what the life and death of Jesus Christ means for art, human creativity, and the imagination The MATCHBOX is merely the online repository of the teaching and discipling that we are committed to living out in our daily life, the problem is that we only have a limited amount of time and resources to meet with artists because like most of the rest of you, we have to work day-jobs which keeps us from being able to go and visit and be with you (which is what we would prefer to do). However, if you appreciate the material you find here and would like to meet us in real life and talk through these issues in person you are more than welcome to contact us and we can work out something. The 24-7 Prayer Madison Boiler Room, the host community of The MATCHBOX, regularly hosts guests and interns and we would thoroughly enjoy offering our hospitality to you if you want to visit us. We hope you feel free to write us at The MATCHBOX and the MBR with any questions, comments or contributions.

Be well, friends.


About Us: A brief Biography on the contributors of the Matchbox and the Madison Boiler Room, our home community.

A Note on Source Materials: The materials posted, quoted, and referenced here come form people who’s personal convictions range across the map and so we thought it appropriate to post a note about our stance on and how we handle the materials taken from people of such varying personal beliefs.