Essay / Art

See This Sculpture? The Sculptor Didn't.

The caption under it says “Violin Player by Clara Crampton (The artist has been blind since birth.) You need not rely on the eyes alone.” It’s an illustration on page 7 of The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides (first published 1941). Nicolaides’ Natural

Essay / Art

Leo Steinberg Looked at Art

Leo Steinberg (1920-2011) died earlier this week (NYT obit), leaving behind a rich legacy of writing on art, both criticism and history. There are some great art historians out there, but it’s hard to imagine who can fill the void left by a Steinberg. Steinberg

Essay / Art

We'll "Figure Out" the Trinity, Get It?

This January I’ll be teaching an intensive class on the Trinity as part of Biola’s innovative IRIS program. It’ll be a three-week class that I’ll be co-teaching with nine other Biola profs, intentionally stirring together as many academic disciplines as we can fit into one

Essay / Art

"Here is Your God:" Songs from Isaiah

This weekend was the official release of a new set of songs from my home church, Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada, CA. The album has a website where you can listen to the songs online, buy the album, or buy individual tracks. There’s

Essay / Art

My First Publication Ever

Cleaning out the garage to make room for some basic woodworking tools, I found what I believe is my first publication ever. That is, it’s the first time I wrote something, was paid for it, and saw it printed by a national publisher. It’s from

Essay / Art

Giant Chocolate Bunny: Siedell's God in the Gallery

My review of Dan Siedell‘s book God in the Gallery just came out in the latest issue of Cultural Encounters. The same issue also has a short essay by Siedell, extending and updating some of his ideas about art and religion since the 2008 publication

Essay / Art

What is the What: Sudan, Manute Bol and Activistic Art

Last week, Manute Bol died. The tallest and thinnest man in the NBA, he was a shot-blocker on stilts, an amusing presence, really, a trivia answer. He was also, it turns out, a very good man. Bol grew up in southern Sudan, a largely Christian

Essay / Art

Seeing the Resurrected Son of God

Easter is not a day, it is a season. Thus, instead of remembering our celebration of Easter a few weeks ago as we polish off the last remaining ear of the chocolate bunny or choke down that final Peep, we need to be continually living

Essay / Art

Yourself and the Air Around You

Charles C. Ryrie has a hundred object lessons for teaching the young. No, really, a hundred. They’re all good for making doctrinal points clear to kids, and Ryrie tells you exactly what object to show the kids in each case: a chair, a comb, a

Essay / Art

Found Poem: Wrong Way — Right Way

Wrong Way — Right Way Air An Invitation A Paycheck Hell Sinners All The World What Death Is Rejecting Ignoring A Stopped Watch All-Seeing “Be Ye Ready” Heaven No Savior Substitute An Anchor My Glasses Dark Glasses A Grade Book A Love Letter Mosquito Bites

Essay / Art

The Baptism of Christ: 8, The Holy Spirit

In one sense, portraying the Holy Spirit in baptism icons is not a problem at all: the Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The iconographer does not need to try to get behind this simple assertion of the New Testament to ask “why

Essay / Art

The Baptism of Christ: Part 7: The Son

Christ in icons of the baptism is identifiable just as he is in any painting or icon: his traditional bearded face, and a halo (nimbus) with a cross inscribed in it. Of course there are exceptions: the Arian baptistery in Ravenna featured a beardless Christ,