Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making


Andrew Peterson


B&H Publishing Group

Publication Date:

October 15, 2019




224 pages


After over twenty years of writing music (and publishing a few novels along the way), Andrew Peterson has had a lot of experience living the artist’s life. He’s also had many opportunities to teach about doing art well, especially through the Rabbit Room, a ministry for artists he founded in 2008. In Adorning the Dark he looks at his career so far, using personal stories as a springboard to consider what makes good art and a good life. Among other things, he covers:

  • What it means for artists to first find their identities in God
  • What it means to be a “Christian artist”
  • Why being selective is vital to writing well
  • How the right Christian community can help artists grow

Peterson is refreshingly honest about his mistakes as well as his successes, which makes his teachings much more relatable. By writing the book almost like a memoir, he also makes his ideas come alive in ways that a traditional book on writing couldn’t achieve. At the same time, he avoids the tendency too many memoirists have to talk so much about their struggles it seems like there are no real answers to their anguish. What readers get instead is a balanced look at the challenges that making art brings and the joys that come with making something. A compelling, enriching testament to art and the Creator who makes art possible.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians interested in what looks like to mark art (especially music or books), and how community, family and spirituality affect artists’ lives.

Christian Impact

This book will inspire Christian artists to see how their faith plays into their work, even if they don’t see themselves as “Christian artists.”

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

About ECLA Web Team

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals. This account is managed by the ECLA Web Team.


  1. Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson – G. Connor Salter - March 14, 2020

    […] Here’s my recent review of Andrew Peterson’s new book Adorning the Dark:… […]

  2. The Importance of “Thinginess” (Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists Pt 5) – G. Connor Salter - August 31, 2021

    […] everyday which we often associate with “folksy things.” Andrew Peterson’s book Adorning the Dark has some great chapters on making music, but also on the value of connecting to a natural landscape […]

  3. | Recalling the Call: The 80s Most Underrated Rock and Roll BandEvangelical Church Library Association - May 12, 2023

    […] Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making […]

  4. | The Jesus Music: A Visual Story of Redemption As Told by Those Who Lived ItEvangelical Church Library Association - August 26, 2023

    […] admitted that Napster wrecked everyone, worship musicians included—Andrew Peterson details in Adorning the Dark how he and other Christian musicians struggled in a post-9/11 market, and how they built a support […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: