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Addicted to Mediocrity: Contemporary Christians and the Arts [Paperback]

By Franky Schaeffer (Author)
Our Price $ 12.74  
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Item Number 128133  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.62" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 1981
Publisher   Crossway Books/Good News
ISBN  0891073531  
EAN  9780891073536  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this provocative book, Franky Schaeffer shows how Christians today have sacrificed the artistic prominence they enjoyed for centuries and settled instead for mediocrity. The evidence for this sad state of affairs abounds. We are flooded with "Christian" doodads, trinkets, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc., that use God's name as an advertising slogan. --"Things Go Better with Jesus"--putting the Creator of the universe on the same level as soda pop! Moreover, Schaeffer writes, "Whenever Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have attempted to 'reach the world' through the media--TV, film, publishing and so on--the thinking public gets the firm idea that, like soup in a bad restaurant, Christians brains are best left unstirred." But it doesn't have to be this way. Schaeffer shows how Christians who care can begin to reverse the slide toward mediocrity: by demanding excellence in the arts and media, and in all areas of life; by giving our time, talents and money to those things which are worthy of our support and are truly honoring to God; by staying away from the cheap, the shoddy, and the make-a-fast-buck mentality. Schaeffer offers not only an unflinching critique, but specific and practical direction for becoming "unaddicted," and for recovering artistic excellence. The punch, humor and satire of the text is effectively enhanced by nineteen original drawings by Chicago artist Kurt Mitchell.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good for bible study, maybe not art teachers  Dec 16, 2007
While this book is simply states and placed in question answer format, it gives the impression of being written for a bible study class. Art and The Bible by Francis Schaeffer is much better oriented towards offering advice on what Christian art is and how it applies to Christians in today's times.

This book talks about how Christianity and art have fallen away from each other and how we can get back on track. Again, an excellent Bible study read and talk book, but not much of a "for-fun" read.
Baffling  Oct 3, 2007
Few people who have reviewed this book are apparently aware of Mr. Schaeffer's own artistic work in the years following the release of this book. This book was published in 1982. Three years later, Frank Schaeffer began directing feature films. Go and watch one of these films (all directed by Frank Schaeffer):

Baby on Board (1992). Slapstick comedy starring Judge Reinhold and Carol Kane.
Rebel Storm (1990). Futuristic action film starring Zach Galligan and June Chadwick.
Headhunter (1989). Occult horror film starring John Fatooh, June Chadwick, and Steve Kanaly.
Wired to Kill (1986). Post-apocalyptic action film starring Devin Hoelscher, and with Merritt Butrick.

While it's true that Schaeffer's film work was consistent with one of his ideals (none of these is labeled or promoted as a "christian" film), with regard to artistic excellence they all fall completely flat. Not a single one received even an average review. All are considered some of the worst of the medium, and the low points in the careers of those who acted in them. Don't take my word for it. Watch any one of them yourself. You'll likely find yourself scratching your head over the dichotomy between what Schaeffer says in his book about how Christians (or anyone) should approach the arts and what he actually did in the years following the release of his book.

Unfortunately for Schaeffer, it completely undermines his credibility on the subject, and sheds a harsh light on the book and what was apparently behind it; the desire to lash out, embarrass and humiliate evangelicals. Who can argue the truth behind his main points? No thinking person can. It has been the elephant in the room for years in the evangelical world. A widely read book on the topic was badly needed (still is).

Christ made it clear that his followers are called to speak the truth boldly, which Schaeffer clearly did here. But he also calls his followers to walk in humility. It's sad that Schaeffer didn't approach this book (or those that followed) with that attitude. It would have blunted the apparent hypocrisy of his later artistic efforts.
Interesting   Jan 3, 2007
A little too much filler for me. His dad, Francis Schaeffer, has a similar smaller book on the same topic that is better.
Good addition to my library  Nov 11, 2006
This book fits well with other similar books as a welcome addition to my growing library of books on art and Christianity.
Franky Hits the Nail on the Head  May 30, 2006
If you're a Christian involved in the arts, you MUST read this.
Even though the book was written back in 1981, Franky's comments about contemporary evangelicalism indulging themselves in propagandizing, sloganeering bad art with the label "Christian" slapped on it is more relevant that ever.

Franky attacks the false notion that if you're a Christian and you are an artist that any art you do MUST have an overt, and obvious "Christian" theme to it. Creativity in and of itself is Godly, and good and Evangelicals need not slap a cheap propagandizing slogan on it to justify it.

Likewise, Franky tears down the false assumption that some actions in the Christian life are "spiritual," (ie . reading your Bible and praying) while others are "non-spiritual" (ie playing with your kids.) All of the Christian life is spiritual.

I can't recommend this book enough!

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