Essay / Art

No Mules Were Skinned: The History of the Muleskinner Blues

Let’s say you get obsessed with a song. And let’s say it’s an old song, one that’s been around a long time and has been performed so many ways that it’s no longer possible to name any particular version of it as definitive. If you’re

Essay / Art

Are Artists Creators?

What do people do when they make a work of art? What do we mean when we speak of human creativity? Are artists creators? Humans are made in the image of God; does this imply that, in our creativity, we mirror his creating? Surely in

Essay / Art

Spaaaace Tuuuunes!

Here’s some fun music by friends at my church: Lost in Space, by The Pop Rockets. Click through to the Noisetrade page to sample all five tracks and download them if you like what you hear. As for me and my house, we like what we

Essay / Art

Christ’s Death and the Fate of Western Lowland Gorillas

Paul Fryer’s striking art installation is a beautiful and realistic work… of a crucified gorilla. At first one might think his “Privilege of Dominion” is little more than a parody of the Christian faith, a repetition of ancient graffiti portraying Christ crucified with the head

Essay / Art

“We See These Things:” Drawing with Dale Leys

My drawing teacher, Dale Leys, has recently been the subject of a forty-year, three-gallery retrospective exhibit. And while I couldn’t go to Kentucky to see the shows, I was thrilled to see that Kentucky’s public television channel, KET, aired a 30-minute documentary about his work

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Essay / Art

The Life of Jesus in Paintings at the Getty

The Getty Center in Los Angeles is not really the best place to go if you want to see Christian art. Except for the remarkable collection of illuminated manuscripts, the Getty’s collection just isn’t built around the themes and images of the Christian visual tradition

Essay / Art

Dante, Illustrated by Boccaccio

I did not know this existed until today. I knew that Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75), author of the Decameron, admired Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). I knew Boccaccio had written a short Life of Dante, and I even knew that Boccaccio had studied Dante’s work intensely and lectured on

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Essay / Art

What You Can Learn from Calvin and Hobbes about the Message and the Medium

Anybody who has a message that they care about communicating should pay attention to the great lesson taught by Calvin and Hobbes: The lesson is that not every message can be communicated in every medium. Yes, I mean Bill Watterson’s comic strip about the tiger

Essay / Art

Hours of the Compassion of God

A set of images from the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a Dutch Gothic illuminated manuscript from about 1440 (see below for more information on the source). In a series of nine pages, the artist gives us the legend of the cross, which

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Essay / Art

Biola’s Jesus Mural: How “The Word” Dwells Among Us

One of the first things you’ll notice if you visit Biola University’s campus is our Jesus Mural, “The Word.” It’s iconic for us, our evangelical counterpart to Notre Dame’s “Touchdown Jesus.” It’s huge–27 feet tall–and all the more significant as it stands in the middle

Essay / Art

God Went Bowling

There’s a little song called God Went Bowling by a band called the Swirling Eddies. It was on their 1994 album Zoom Daddy, and it features an oompah beat driven by accordion. Over it all is the snide vocal of Terry Scott Taylor, the songwriter

Essay / Art

Dig Here Said the Angel

“I sell records worldwide now that I’ve died,” boasts the singer in one of the tracks on the new Daniel Amos album, Dig Here Said the Angel.  The character is a musician, obviously, but postmortem, and somehow (As a ghost? In a dream?) he’s assuring