This fall our Table Talks focus on Christianity and the Arts. We want to speak to the University’s theme “Spirit and Story” as well as acknowledging the launch of the Center for Christianity Culture and the Arts.
The relationship between Christianity and the arts has varied widely through the centuries. For a lengthy period of time in the Middle Ages, the church was a major benefactor of the arts. However, for various reasons certain branches of the Protestant Reformation looked askance at the arts. For example, George Müller, the famous prayer warrior and founder of Christian orphanages in 19th century England, stated that he only went to the theater twice after his conversion. He recalled of the first visit: “I went to a concert but felt that it was unbecoming for me, as a Child of God, to be in such a place.” In a similar vein, Scottish Brethren preacher John Ritchie was asked if he objected to a believer reading a high-class work of fiction. He did: “Novels—the best of them—are lies…to speak of high-class falsehood is strange language…. Can any child of God be helped in spiritual life by that? Certainly not. Our advice, therefore, is, have nothing whatever to do with fiction. Read and meditate on the Word of God.”
In our contemporary context, there is still a palpable tension with the arts in certain Christian communities, while others embrace the arts as a very specific part of a church planting strategy, and still others embrace arts with little Christian reflection at all.
So it is into this somewhat confused conversation that our Fall Table Talks will speak. We will look at specific examples of the arts and reflect on how they express and interact with the Christian Gospel. I think our times will be insightful and enjoyable so please make plans to attend!
Commentary on Northwoods Journals
Kurt Simonson will be a featured photographer in an exhibit in the Biola Art Gallery this fall. Our Table Talk will look at some of the pictures featured in his exhibit and hear comments and interaction with them from Jon Anderson and Chris Davidson.
To view Jon and Chris’ presentation, click here: Commentary on Northwoods Journals
To view Chris Davidson’s powerpoint commentary, click here: Chris Davidson on Home is Where
To view Jon Anderson’s powerpoint commentary; stored on Google Drive, click here: Jon Anderson powerpoint on Home is Where
Monday, November 4th Trevor Hart—President’s Luncheon
Though this is not technically a Table Talk, we want to strongly encourage all of those who regularly attend Table Talk to join the President’s Luncheon on November 4th. The guest speaker is Dr. Trevor Hart, a professor of divinity at St. Mary’s College at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Dr. Hart is Biola’s fall 2013 Visionary-in-Residence, and is a leading thinker on Christianity and the Arts.
Wednesday, December 4th The Incarnation and the Arts
We will consider various responses to the incarnation from the visual arts, literature and music. It will be a great preparation for your Advent!
A variety of faculty shared their musings and ministry related to the Annunciation event.