Archives for posts with tag: Creativity

Much of my personal journey as an Artist and a Christian has been the work of healing the assumed and severe dichotomy between these two aspects of my life but as I continue to work out this process I am continually and joyfully surprised by how much work has already been done to shape a well thought out Christian view of Aesthetics, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Traditions of Christianity. Being a child of Protestant, Evangelical culture I grew up under explicit teachings about Catholic fallibility and a implicit suspicion of artistic culture, however, reading things such as this letter from Pope John Paul II, it is hard to keep those old biases in place. Depending on the finer details of one’s own theological position you may find a few things here to take issue with but to base your appreciation of the Pope’s letter on a few minor points such as the divine position of the virgin Mary is paramount to refusing to be kissed by your spouse because of the perfume they are wearing. If it feels that John Paul II tries to tie artists too closely to a Christian ghetto of Biblical imagery I think is only because he seeks so fervently to affirm the divine goodness in the creation of art and that in Biblical imagery (and supremely in the Incarnation) we find a trusted precedent for bringing forth the sacred in the physical and, in some sense, both are magnified in the embrace.


Makoto Fujimura Soliloquies - Joy, 64x80  Minerals, Gold on Linen

Makoto Fujimura Soliloquies - Joy, 64x80" Minerals, Gold on Linen

TO ARTISTS — From the Vatican, 4 April 1999, Easter Sunday.

To all who are passionately dedicated 
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty 
so that through their creative work as artists 
they may offer these as gifts to the world.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)


None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you. Read the rest of this entry »

iWoodmans Wife/i by Steven Kenny

Woodman's Wife by Steven Kenny

Two Comparative Quotes from Daniel Tammet and J.R.R. Tolkien on Creative Perceptions of Reality

On 26 January 2009 in an interview for BBC’s Radio 3 program Nightwaves Isabel Hilton spoke with Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant with “the most remarkable mind on the planet”, on his latest book Embracing the Wide Sky, and about the difference between emotional intelligence and the kind of intelligence he has mastery in. Read the rest of this entry »

“Creativity”, Erwin McManus 7/05/09 (click to download mp3)

Erwin McManus, one of the leaders of the Mosaic community in Los Angeles, speaks out of David’s confrontation of Goliath on Creativity.

One thing about sermons on Creativity that I have noticed is that most of the time the sermons would be more appropriately named “On the Right Usage of Creativity”, which is a very necessary teaching but can bypass some of the more fundamental issues of creative people and become a teaching on being unique in the way you do things and the drive for permanent ‘new-ness’ which often accompanies artwork and both of those things can be misleading guides if not grounded properly. Erwin touches on a few aspects of healthy creativity that are good to take to heart; this is not a teaching on ‘what Creativity is’ so much as an example of where creativity can be seen, but it does give some very good guidance for the underlying attitude which governs the creative person.

“You are never going to discover your full creative potential until you’re willing to step into a crisis, a challenge, a problem, an issue bigger than you. You’re never going to discover the full creative capacity you have until you desire to step in to situation bigger than you that requires more than you ever demand of yourself.” -sermon excerpt

If you enjoyed Erwin’s teaching you can subscribe to the Mosaic Podcast from iTunes or find old teachings on the Podcast page of Mosaic’s website.

On April 25 I and some of my friends from the Madison Boiler Room took a little day-trip out to meet with some new friends in Milwaukee that we had met at the KC Boiler Room spring retreat a month before. I had met some students in a discipleship training community at Brew City Church and through a brief conversation they ended up asking if I would come out and chat with them and a few of their fellow Christian artists out of some of my experiences and studies on art in the Church.

Well, come the night of the 25th ‘dinner with a few friends’ turned into a living room cosily packed with a score of young adults and art students from across the Milwaukee area including multiple sets of siblings, two tables covered in a delicious meal, and one slightly overwhelmed and very humbled me. As the number of rsvp’s to a dinner conversation with ‘a guy from Madison we met in KC’ hit double digits I began to wonder what exactly God was up to, I felt the pulse of God throbbing in this moment but was as yet unclear about the specifics of what it meant.

Dinner was the sort of event that makes you think of all the best sorts of extended family holiday gatherings: people in the kitchen scrambling to get the last dishes out into the kitchen, someone with raised hands and voice pointing out where the beer and wine has been stashed, people engaged in chewing conversations as they talk around mouthfuls of pre-dinner delectables, laughter bouncing around the room from one person to another; and the occasional verbifying of the word ‘Friend’. “Yea, Friend me and we’ll do coffee.”

I was home, this was family and not just because Facebook says so. This is the sort night I look forward to; gathering with like-hearted people curious about what God has to say to us at this time. I was curious myself. I still am curious to find out what God is sparking in these moments. Moments like this that gather young, talented, and creative Christians together seeking to know how there passion finds its rest in God. Moments like this where young ambassadors from two cities and multiple church fellowships pray over one another. Whatever God is igniting there I want to be apart of it because I’m pretty sure that whenever it goes up in flame all the world will gather around for warmth.

Yea, these are my people.

You can download the mp3 recording of the nights talk from the link below. For those of you in Milwaukee I will also soon send out a write-up of the images and words from the prayer time at the end of the night. With joy,

01 Arts Talk in Milwaukee 25Apr09 Introduction

02 Arts Talk in Milwaukee 25Apr09 Talk

03 Arts Talk in Milwaukee 25Apr09 Questions