Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts

Reviewed by:

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

Title:

Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts

Author:

Steve Turner

Publisher:

InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

2016

Format:

Paperback

Length:

131 pages

OVERVIEW

“Some people,” Turner writes in his introduction, “think you are only really glorifying God if you are doing something religious.” As a music journalist and poet, he’s met artists who’ve struggled with that idea for many years, wondering if they can only serve God by creating “Christian music,” “Christian films” and so forth. Turner provides a framework for how Christians can holistically develop their artistic gifts, unpacking the following:

Turner primarily uses musicians and authors as examples (as he admits early on, those are the mediums he knows best). For that reason, readers interested in those areas will find the book especially helpful. Ultimately though, the principles he describes will apply to any Christian interested in art. Building on ideas from great writers like Harry Blamires, Hans Rookmaaker, and Francis Schaeffer (Turner studied at L’Abri in 1970), Turner casts a vision for how Christians can be artistically skilled, adept at understanding the world they live in, and capable of speaking truth into that world.

A life-changing primer on doing art well.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Recommended Audience:

Christians interested in the Protestant Reformation and later evangelicalism’s relationship to the arts, Christians interested in how to successfully pursue artistic giftings and honor God.

Christian Impact:

Turner appeals first to Scripture, showing how these ideas fit into God’s desires for human beings to do well and flourish in the skills he gives them. He also unpacks misconceptions about Scripture (such as what it really means to create “whatever is lovely”) that hold many artists back. Secondly, he considers how Christians throughout history have navigated these questions, from early Christian art to Martin Luther’s Reformation.

Note:

ECLA readers who enjoy this book may also enjoy Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura. To read ECLA’s review of that book, go to:

https://eclalibraries.org/2020/08/19/culture-care-reconnecting-with-beauty-for-our-common-life/

Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts


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