Controversies, Augustine, & Art 11.4.16

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  1. This insightful essay on the Jen Hatmaker controversy that goes beyond LGBTQ issues to speak about the movement of the church overall. It includes a satirical video parodying Sunday mornings at churches that attempt to be relevant.
  1. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. I am honored to be sitting in this woman’s class every Tuesday night. She’s insightful, intelligent, and straight-forward. Total Truth gives an overview of where we are in the American church today and in the past: Pearcey challenges American Christians to realize that truth is total, not merely located in the “spiritual” realm. Part 3, on the evangelical movement, is a helpful way to see how we arrived in our current state of Christianity. Pearcey’s skill as a writer and thinker is evident in this work, and I can attest that she is wise and careful in her thought! Buy it here.
  1. Putting Art (back) In Its Place by John Skillen. After I read the introduction of this book, I was hooked. I met Dr. Skillen at the recent Society for Classical Learning Alcuin Retreat, and his commitment to understanding art and its place in our lives is singular. In the classical movement, we often talk about truth, goodness, and beauty—but our discussions of beauty and aesthetics are sometimes lacking. Skillen has emerged as a leading voice in this conversation, particularly when it comes to interacting with art in our daily lives. Read his book, and you’ll be inviting both art and artists into your communities. Buy it here.
  1. On Christian Doctrine by Augustine. This short work of Augustine’s is a gem: he shows that our ultimate enjoyment should be in God, discusses the interpretation of Scripture, and even lays out rhetorical styles for the Christian teacher. But the most striking part of this book (and all of Augustine’s work) is the theologian’s humble and prayerful approach to teaching. Sometimes I think I learn more in the way he presents his ideas rather than the ideas themselves. Buy it here.

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