The Faith and Fiction Round Table is a group, started by My Friend Amy, that determined six books relating to faith and mostly fiction to read together in 2011. We have discussions via email and then post our thoughts on the book.
This month’s book is What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters by Philip Yancey
“Sometimes we must go outside the church to get nourishment — art, beauty, knowledge — which we can then bring inside to appreciate fully.”~page 130, What Good Is God? by Philip Yancey
Is this true? Do we agree?
I, for one, certainly get nourishment outside the church. To give a quick example: Most of us read a mix of books, Christian fiction and general market books (I mean, not exclusively Christian fiction).
I believe strongly that artists within the Church should have the same level of craft and content as artists outside the Church. Restated: There should be the same quality of art inside the Church — being created in the Church, emanating from the Church — as there is outside the Church.
I hypothesize, though, that even if/when the Church is consistently producing art on that level, some people will need to seek (hopefully only) partial nourishment outside the Church.
But we’re neglecting the second part of Yancey’s statement. What about that second part, that to fully appreciate a work of art one must “bring [it] inside”?
If, by this, Yancey means that the artwork must be brought inside the Body, discussed and examined with the congregation, then I don’t agree. Sadly, the Church (I’m speaking in generalities here) isn’t equipped to discuss or appreciate art. The Church bought so fully into Modernism that is has no place for art. Still.
If, though, Yancey’s statement is read to mean that the artwork is most fully appreciated through a Christian worldview or lens, then I can’t argue. Sure. But that’s a pretty … unorthodox interpretation of his words, I think.
What do you think? Must we, sometimes, go outside the church to find artistic nourishment, but then bring it back inside to partake?
For more posts on What Good Is God? In Search of a Faith that Matters, please visit:
My Friend Amy Book Addiction, Book Hooked Blog, Books and Movies, Crazy for Books, Ignorant Historian, Linus’s Blanket, My Random Thoughts, Book Journey, Roving Reads, Semicolon, The 3R’s Blog, Tina’s Book Reviews, Victorious Cafe
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