Are the arts as trivial and inconsequential in and for the church as their place in the Protestant church would seem to indicate? Being an arts organization, perhaps Renew the Arts has overestimated the crucial value of the arts in the church out of some unwittingly self-serving desire to think of ourselves and our work more highly than we ought. We’re certainly willing to explore this possibility and examine again why we’re so dedicated to this cause. Toward that end, in this our season 1 finale, Justus and Michael ask themselves the question, “Are we overstating the importance of the arts?”
Stay tuned at the end to hear “For Senses” by Civilized Creature off the record Of the Uncaused Cause. We think the song addresses the crucial importance of receiving Jesus in every way He has presented Himself to us—sensory and non-sensory. Washingtonian Ryan Lane heads up Civilized Creature, and he has been gracious enough to let us use his track “Refiner’s Fire” as our theme song for this season. We’re so thankful for his generosity, and we hope you all check out his prolific output of edifying music.
Even though a redemption story composes the heart of every Christian’s personal history, so many quite talented Christian artists have found such stories sometimes impossibly difficult to tackle in fiction. In this episode, Justus and Michael discuss why redemption stories are so difficult to tell naturally and believably, bringing in a few literary examples along the way.
Stay tuned at the end for a song off of Warbler’s Sea of Glass called “The Idiot,” a personal testimony of how the fantasy of unbelief is disassembled by “the beauty of reality.”
Why does the contemporary church tend to reject its artists, and why do so many artists reject the church? Can we do anything about it? In the episode, Justus and Michael explore some of the bones of contention and roots of bitterness which keep so many artist Christians on the fringes of the church, and they explain how reconciling the church and her artists would be of inestimable benefit to both.
Stay tuned at the end for “In the False Church,” from Songs for Friends by Physick, a raw denunciation of the lukewarmness of contemporary Protestantism, styled in the language of the Old and New Testament prophets.
If the church removed non-biblical restrictions on art, would that create too much freedom? How far is too far? Michael and Justus discuss how censoring yourself, as an artist and as a consumer, is a necessary component in ensuring that artistic liberty remains constructive and encourages discernment. Freedom should never be license for sin. Stay tuned at the end for “Father Song” by Brock’s Folly off of I Have Seen the End.
Along with our first-ever guest, visual artist Joe Goode, Justus and Michael discuss the crucial difference between seeking unity and seeking uniformity in the church. One crushes diversity, while the other necessitates it. How could the arts play a part in this? Stay tuned at the end for “Primary Issues,” by Brock’s Folly from their sophomore effort The Great Commoner, a song borne from the hope that there can be unity in the essentials of Christ’s Spirit.