Monday, January 28, 2008

Art Work

Okay readers! Now that I know I have some i'm going to ask a favor of y'alls. Right over to the right of your screen is a poll that closes next Tuesday.. just out of curiosity, i'd like to know your fav. art work of mine from the class Christianity and the Visual Arts.

The series can be viewed here, although many of you have already viewed it. Just let me know what's the favorite and then on Thursday i'll post the manifesto that goes along with all the works...

Thanks for your input.. and if you don't like any of them or if you want to prove your case of why you like/don't like the works, please please leave a comment! And you can't offend me, this is just out of curiosity on my part.

On a more personal note, this weekend we traveled back to our old stomp'n grounds in the DC area and spent time with the Jaycees, our awesome ex-neighbors, our church family, and our family in Springfield VA. It was so refreshing to catch up with everyone. We are so blessed to have such people in our lives. Our only regret is that we had such a small time to visit with everyone.

Anywho.. thanks for your input and i thank you in advance!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Art Guild

I'm creating a new group here at the seminary... the LTS Artist Guild! You can find the blog here...

Here's the Manifesto:

In the spirit of the TH320, Christianity and the Visual Arts we seek to continue to use art as a medium to communicate the transcendent. We seek to awaken the mummified visual circuitry of the Protestant Tradition. Here is how we'll seek to do it:

Each month a theme will be given out and the members of this guild will compose an art work based on this theme. This artwork can be done in any medium and style. At the end of each month the art shall be posted here and discussed.

Pretty cool huh? Very excited to get it up and running!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Group Project

For our final group project in Christianity and the Visual Arts we had to create a worship space. We picked Lent. This is the 99.9% completed scene, the only difference being the candles were lit when everyone else walked through it. Ours was the most elaborate by far (someone even cried!). The cross is suspended and has barbed wire around it, if you can't see it in the video. The other groups did Advent, Pentecost and Easter. The Easter setup is at the end of our video that ours opened up into. I'd like to say this was planned, but it wasn't. Just goes to show there's no such thing as coincidence.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

In The Name of Love

There once was a man who said, "Let's judge people not by the color of their skin but on the content of their character."

This man also wanted people with white skin and people with black skin to live together in peace, love, and justice.

They killed this man.

But how can you kill a dream?

And so it goes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Christainity and the Visual Arts

Just started a class for my January term and it's all about art! yay! Coming from a Catholic background i'm used to seeing art in church... however i arrive at seminary to discover that protestants are rather unsure as to what to make of art. Protestants cited the following problems with art:
1. God revealed through words, as the Bible is just words! no pix.
2. Images are finite and cannot contain the infinite.
3. Pix are distracting.

I think this is rather strange as in my book a picture is worth a thousand words. Isn't most of our language visual anyway? It's raining cats and dogs, clean sweep, ballon payment, fragile economy, don't spill the beans, are you picking up what i'm putting down? Images convey meaning and we are visual beings before we're verbal.

We are a part of nature... we are animals. Our hearts beat, we are hot and cold, we are carbon based beings, we are effected by chemistry, we bleed, sweat, and digest our food. However we are also something else. We are spiritual beings as well. We cannot name it but there is that age-old nagging, that cosmic awareness of that Other. Other that is beyond or beneath or apart from reality. We cannot name it but we try. Augustine called it a certain restlessness. Tillich called it the depth dimension. Some call it transcendence, ultimate meaning, Truth, higher power, etc. We are driven by this mystery.

Flesh and Blood yet a Mystery that words cannot express. Art can.

Art can show the hidden. It can reveal that which cannot be explained, transcending the world not only of objects but also of facts and even ideas. This is the territory of image and symbol.

Sometimes i can't explain things.. but i could paint it for you. Like musicans can't tell you how they are feeling but they can play it on their instruments. Poets use language in much the same way. Art is our visual language that we must be conscious of. We can't stay on the margins, we must join in!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Subversive Gospels

Let's transcend labels. Labels are useful but we too often confuse labels with the actual complex entities our labels describe. This is what i'm getting after rereading much of the Gospels. The Gospels are very shocking and subversive, and Jesus is asking us to get over our preconceived notions.

Here's an updated parable:
A Bible believing pastor of the largest church in the area meets with a confused teenage male. The pastor starts by saying "Dear Lord, thank you for this chance to witness to this young man. Thank you for helping me make up his mind."

The young man begins his own prayer, "Dear Lord, I don't know if i believe in virgin birth, bodily resurrection, or even if you exist as a personal being, but I thank you for the brain I have so that I can keep on searching for you." God heard the teenager's prayer!

This is a loose metaphor for what the Gospels are saying everytime Jesus talks to a Pharisee. The Pharisees were not the bad guys, as we think of them today, they were the ardent, honest scholars who faithfully believed. The Gospels are SHOCKING! Met to shake us out of our notions, overturn what we think is going to happen. Jesus upset the normal order! Jesus was like the teenager.

People who believe that they're already at their destination haven't even started yet. People who are humble enough to admit that they are searching are closer than they realize to the truth. Gospels original intention is to shock and overturn belief, not to reinforce it. The God of Jesus is the God of EVERYONE.

Further Reading:

The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus by Peter Gomes

Rule of Three:
Watching: 300
Reading: The Apocraphal Gospels
Listening: Jimmy Eat World: Futures

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 was Heaven (save for that damn condo!)

1) DRINKING BUDDY OF THE YEAR-
Kate always gets this title... but the outside the marriage award goes to Jim and Linda!

2) LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD (longest friend) -
Jeremy Rober

3) NEWCOMER AWARD (newest friend)-
Dawn! Dawn gets the award cause i met her last!

3) HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR?
last day at capitol! first day of class!

4) LOW POINT OF THE YEAR?
not selling our condo...

5) BEST HOLIDAY?
Halloween

6) YOUR SONG FOR 2007?
Title Track- Death Cab for Cutie

7) MOVIE FOR 2007?
Children of Men and Stranger than Fiction

10) WHO DID YOU SPEND VALENTINES WITH?
Kate!

11) BEST RELATIONSHIP?
all of them!

12) WHAT WERE YOU FOR HALLOWEEN?
A vampire and a french horse jumping course designer (separately)

13) RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR?
Annie Bailey's

14) BOOKs OF THE YEAR?
A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
Intro to Biblical Studies by Stephen Moiyse
God, Christ, Church, Intro to Process Theology by Marjorie Suchokie
Living Buddha, Living Christ by Nicht Naht Hann
A Storm of Swords- George R.R. Martin
Post Evangelical by Dave Tomlinson
and a ton of others i can't even think of yet!

15) BEST DECISION MADE THIS YEAR?
to go to seminary

16. BIGGEST PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR?
placement in a church and planning for a cross cultural adventure!

17) MOST STUPID IDEA WHEN DRUNK?!
pelting fellow classmates at the gala with hershey kisses

18) TV SHOW OF THE YEAR?
Battlestar Galatica and My Name is Earl

19) MOST LOYAL FRIEND?
Steve and Jim... the three amigos! Weaver

20) BIGGEST CHANGE OF THE YEAR?.
Promoted at work, quit work, went to school again! moved to Lancaster PA

21) BIGGEST RETARD AWARD?
me! here's to me drinking a beer that tasted like bananas and throwing it up the next day. i blame linda ;-)

22) NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?
transcend notions- be more understanding of where people are and learn how to interact better.

23) Best Sports Moments?
Seeing the Cavs, Indians, and Browns do really well.
Seeing Farve on an awesome team again!


24) CDs of 2007
Trentemoller's The Last Resort
The Deathcab Collection I picked up
Reggie and the Full Effect- Songs not to get Married to.
Bright Eyes- I'm wide awake, it's morning
The Dixie Chick's Taking the Long Way

here's the previous best of's: 2005, 2006