imagination & creativity

October 29, 2008

I’m teaching a session on God’s design — as it relates to imagination & creativity — this week.  My preparatory study has been exhilerating.  (More in a future post?)

I’ve stumbled upon a new on-line acquaintance (I hope to make friend): Gregory Wolfe.  (Have you met him already?)  Mr. Wolfe is saying some things I think Jesus’ followers need desperately to hear.

I was indicted by his article Art, Faith, & Stewardship of Culture with [his] reference to “unwitting disciples of Karl Marx” and delighted by his article In God’s Image: Do Good People Make Good Art and the correlative concept that creativity is a constant invitation to virtue.  (Of course, both of these bits need badly the thoughtful and nuanced context provided with their respective articles in full-length.)

It’s so encouraging that some fellow sojourners are using their creative gifts to engage with our wide-world … in many of its dimensions.

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The whole creation will be set free from its bondage to decay, to share the liberty of the glory of the children of God. And are you and I not going to work for that in the present? We won’t build the Kingdom of God by our own efforts in the present; it remains God’s gift by his grace and by his power. But we can produce signs of the Kingdom in love and justice and beauty and healing and fresh community work of all sorts, internationally, locally, all over the place. And thereby celebrate the whole biblical story, the whole biblical story.

–N.T. Wright, The Christian Challenge in the Postmodern World

both and … (again)

December 30, 2007

godinthedock.jpgNow as myth transcends thought, Incarnation transcends myth.  The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history. It happens — at a particular date, in a particular place, followed by definable historical consequences. We pass from a Balder or an Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified (it is all in order) under Pontius Pilate. By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle. I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed. To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myth. The one is hardly more necessary than the other.

–CS Lewis, God in the Dock

ethan-10-months-086.jpg    I just saw these pics.  Best part of the memory? 

    Ethan loved the lyon-costume more than me.

 

 

ethan-10-months-070.jpg

My appetite for transcendence is heightened tonite, after an otr event of incarnate beauty and truth.  A nite of artistic expression where, (in the words of Archibald McLeish) the poetry was not only “true, but equal to.” 

For all the funky, frenzied, fuzziness inherent in this world; one thing seems crystal clear:  we’ve been set into the middle of things.  And much like the Latin writers of old, who played with starting their story in the middle, it seems (doesn’t it?) we are at once both groping forward and straining to peer behind.

On second thought, I’m not sure it was “transcendence” as much as good ol’ fashioned (mind-blowing) talent expressing itself in time & space.  (Is there a real difference?)  But something (or is it Someone?) was, indeed, closing the chasm for me.  Bringing the beginning and the end together.  Or teasing toward that, at least.

Such coverage of terrain … truth explained and experienced, expressed while at the same time embodied … makes me all the more wary of my (less than robust) majority moments.  (The ones that leave me scratching my head at a substantial gap I know so well: what I “know” to be true and what merely is.)

It is at the same time both hopeful and depressing to receive such glimpses of reality in full.  Hopeful.  (Wow; I hadn’t known so deeply this could be.)  Depressing.  (Wow; I hadn’t known so deeply this could be.)  Thanks Karin & Linford … I guess.

Alternative titles for JT Blog #1:

  • otr overdose?  (or was it the wine?)

  • (esoteric) analysis for all (time)

With consolation (regarding my blessed confusion), I remember the Word who Was.  I bet He Was fully.  (Both true and equal to.)  May we learn Him well.