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Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts [Paperback]

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Item Number 83946  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 2, 2006
Publisher   P & R PUBLISHING #97
ISBN  1596380071  
EAN  9781596380073  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
What does God say about the Arts? Can you be a Christian and an artist? How do the arts impact your church? The creation sings to us with the visual beauty of God's handiwork. But what of man-made art? Much of it is devoid of sacred beauty and is often rejected by Christians. Christian artists struggle to find acceptance within the church. If all of life is to be viewed as "under the lordship of Christ" can we rediscover what God's plan is for the arts?

Publishers Description
Encourages Christian artists in the pursuit of their calling and provides artists and non-artists alike a short introduction to thinking Christianly about the arts.

Buy Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts by Philip Graham Ryken from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781596380073 & 1596380071

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More About Philip Graham Ryken

Philip Graham Ryken Dr. Philip Graham Ryken ’88 is the eighth president of Wheaton College.

A Wheaton native and the son of longtime professor Dr. Leland Ryken and Mary Graham Ryken, President Ryken attended Wheaton as an undergraduate, majoring in English literature and philosophy. He met his wife, Lisa, during their first few days at the College, and they were married before their senior year. The Rykens have five children: Josh, Kirsten, Jack, Kathryn, and Karoline.

Dr. Ryken earned a master of divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford. Dr. Ryken returned from England to join the pastoral staff at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1995, preaching there until his appointment at Wheaton.

President Ryken has published more than 30 books, including The Message of Salvation (InterVarsity 2001), Art for God’s Sake (P&R, 2006), Loving the Way Jesus Loves (Crossway, 2011), and expository commentaries on Exodus, Jeremiah, Luke, and other books of the Bible.

Philip Graham Ryken currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. Philip Graham Ryken was born in 1966.

Philip Graham Ryken has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Gospel Coalition Booklets
  2. Preaching the Word
  3. Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition
  4. Reformed Expository Commentary

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Religious   [658  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Aesthetics   [599  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Loved this book ...  Jun 28, 2008
This book prompted me to sign up for a painting class in my area. It challenged me to stop wasting my gift; God gave it to me and it's my responsibility to cultivate it.

Dr. Ryken does a wonderful job pointing out the importance of the arts and the role the arts should play in our society and the Christian community. He may push some buttons for those who see the arts only as an avenue for ministry -- thus the subtitle, "A Call to RECOVER the Arts".

RECOVERY seems to have as its foundation DISCOVERY which will require Christians to take the time to learn about the arts and do some hard thinking about the role they should play in the Church and a believer's everyday life of worship of a God who remains the consummate artist.
Art for God's Sake  Apr 21, 2008
This was a short essay on the topic, not much to it, a little bit of repeat for me from reading The Creative Call.
Art, for God's Sake   Jan 18, 2008
Well written support for my purpose - visual arts as expression of love of God's creation.
Reabable and worthy  Jan 10, 2007
Five stars for this brief discussion of art from a Christian perspective. Ryken, minister at Tenth Presbyterian Philadelphia, interacts with the abilities of Bezalel and Oholiab, artisans of the tabernacle, to develop his topic. His discussion is very brief (less than 58 pages) but pointed. Both art and artist are viewed in relationship to God's greater person and glory. The author also deals with different kinds of art and the question of "Christian art". Writing from a reformed perspective, Ryken looks for the transformation of culture and speaks in light of the postmodern generation. The book is really too brief but will be especially good for those on the outside who desire a greater glimpse.
Superb Primer on a Christian View of Art  Jun 22, 2006
A small book on a big topic is a dangerous proposition. It may show disrespect for its subject by bragging that it can be read in a short time, such as Kant in 90 minutes. (Kant in 90 minutes is not Kant at all.) On the other hand, a short book can thoughtfully introduce a profound subject worthy of further consideration; it may be a primer. Art for God's Sake is a worthy primer; it addresses the relationship of Christian faith and art in the hope of helping Christians "recover the arts."

Philip Graham Ryken, Pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and the author of several previous books, including Written in Stone (an insightful study of the Decalogue), has in sixty-four pages outlined a biblical view of art's place in God's world. Ryken is moved by the plight of the Christian artist whose calling and work is misunderstood or rejected by the church. He realizes that Christians may be suspicious of art because of their concern for idolatry and their repulsion toward much of contemporary art, which has abandoned the ideal of beauty and revels in the bizarre, the transgressive, and the outright ugly. Ryken also laments that Christians too often reduce art to utilitarian and evangelistic purposes that fail to honor art as art. Further, Christians often laud art that does not take the brokenness of life east of Eden seriously. Quite frequently, Christian art is little more than pious kitsch, which he aptly describes as "tacky artwork of poor quality that appeals to low tastes" (p. 14).

Yet art should be consecrated to the glory of God, and Ryken instructs us briefly to that end. Thus he develops a sound theology of art based on the beauty of God's creation, our status as creative beings made in God's image (Genesis 1:26), and God's calling on individuals to create works of art. Ryken ruminates at some length on the significance of the calling of Bezalel and Oholiab, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to be skilled craftsmen in the construction of God's tabernacle, his beautiful dwelling place (Exodus 31). God "called artists to make the tabernacle, and to make sure that they did it well, he equipped them with every kind of artistic talent. By doing this, God was putting the blessing of his divine approval on both the arts and the artist" (22). Moreover, these craftsmen produced "three kinds of visual art: symbolic, representative, and nonrepresentative (or abstract) art" (33), thus showing God's endorsement of these forms. These are only two of the significant insights that Ryken draws from the tabernacle.

More generally, "the kind of art that glorifies God is good, true, and, finally, beautiful" (42). While truth and beauty are not identical, contra Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn," they belong together. Ryken notes, "The problem with some modern and postmodern art is that it seeks to offer truth at the expense of beauty. It tells the truth about ugliness and alienation, leaving out the beauty of creation and redemption" (43). On the other hand, "A good deal of so-called Christian art tends to have the opposite problem. It tries to show beauty without admitting the truth about sin, and to that extent it is false--dishonest about the tragic implications of our depravity. Think of all the bright, sentimental landscapes that portray an ideal world unaffected by the Fall..." (43). (Ryken does not name names, but he is surely thinking of Thomas Kinkade's paintings.)

Ryken aptly summarizes this thesis in the concluding chapter, "Beautiful Savior." "This is the Christian view of art: the artist is called and gifted by God--who loves all kinds of art; who maintains high aesthetic standards for goodness, truth, and beauty; and whose glory is art's highest goal" (p. 53). He then concludes with a meditation on Christ's death and resurrection in light of this thesis. The ugliness of human sin required that an all-beautiful and all-glorious God send his Son to become a disfigured and mutilated sacrifice that we might be redeemed. In this sense, "the cross screams against all the sensibilities of his divine aesthetic" (55). Yet this was the only way for redemption to be won: "Sin had brought ugliness and death into the world. In order to save his lost creation, God sent his Son right into the absurdity and alienation. There Jesus took our sin himself, dying to pay the price that justice demanded. It was such an ugly death that people had to turn away" (55-56). But God transformed this ugliness into beauty through the resurrection, in which Christ is given a glorious and triumphant body. In light of these tremendous realities, "we should devote our skill to making art for the glory of God, and for the sake of his Son--our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ" (58).


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