This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...
The Case for ‘Christian’ Art –Steve Turner
No one ever told me that it would be wrong for a Christian to become an actor or a songwriter, a novelist or a dancer. It was implied…
But because art is also a record and reflects the questions and anxieties of the time, I would like to see contributions that reflect a Christian understanding of that time. I also would like to see them in the mainstream arts rather than in the religious subculture.
I am not saying this for evangelistic reasons. I don’t expect art to convert people, although I realize that art plays an important part in shaping our understanding of the world. I am saying it because debates are taking place in cinema, painting, dance, fiction, poetry and theater on issues where Christians have something to say, and yet they are not even being heard.
I think we should be in those debates as part of our mandate to look after and care for the world rather than because of the command to make disciples. We are not entering the debates to tell people what to believe. Art tends to show rather than to tell. It allows people the opportunity to experience another way of seeing the world. But if we are not there, people are denied the opportunity of encountering our perspective.
Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It Deserves –Paul Putz
Two books shine a long-overdue spotlight on the Christian convictions of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier…
…There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of 42, the 2013 film that depicts the inspiring story of Jackie Robinson. Observers noticed it at the time, pointing out that the film mostly ignored the role that faith played in Robinson’s life and in Branch Rickey’s decision to sign him to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947…
From Long and Lamb’s book, Robinson emerges as a committed and thoughtful mainline Protestant comfortable within black and white Christian communities. Well versed in the Bible and connected to Protestant institutions throughout his life, Robinson saw faith as a source of inspiration, hope, and American identity. He grew up with a personal moral code taught by most white and black Protestants in the early 20th century—no smoking, no drinking, no premarital sex. But he was also shaped by the social witness distinct to the black church, believing that Christians had a responsibility to combat racism in American society, that anti-racism was a mark of true Christianity, and that many white Christians were failing to practice what they preached. As for June Fifield’s concern that Robinson recognize the help of Branch Rickey, she need not have worried. “When I came to believe that God was working with and guiding Mr. Rickey,” Robinson wrote, “I began to also believe that he was guiding me.”
Creating Discomfort –Seth Godin
If you’re seeking to create positive change in your community, it’s almost certain you’ll be creating discomfort as well.
Want to upgrade the local playground? It sounds like it will be universally embraced by parents and everyone who cares about kids. Except that you now bring up issues of money, of how much is enough, of safety. Change is uncomfortable.
It’s way easier to talk about today’s weather, or what you had for lunch.
Usually, when we’re ready to launch something, we say, “this is going to help people, this is well crafted, I’m proud of it.”
What’s a lot more difficult (but useful) is to say all of that plus, “and this is going to make (some) people uncomfortable.”
I Hope I Die Before I Get Old –Jared C. Wilson
What makes Richard different from these old coots who go out shaking their fist at the things of grace? Well, God. But also: Richard decided to die before he got old. He decided to die before he died. May we all do the same.