Thank you to everyone who has passed along an email or a kind comment about yesterday’s post. I appreciate that you take the time to read this little blog.
A few times I’ve been asked about the origin of this topic and whether the blog post was a sneak peak into my book project. And the answer to that question is no. In the process of research for my book I did read four books that touched on the topic of art, but my book is mostly unrelated to the topic of art. The article had a different origin.
The unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates. And I apply this to many of the assumptions I have in my life, at lest the ones I can see. Unexamined assumptions, when I do see them (or when they are pointed out to me), require some level of investigation and reflection. And one of these assumptions has haunted me for some time now.
When I can find the time in my schedule I like to get away for a day at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. (even better if it’s a date with my wife). The museum is only a short trip from where my hat hangs. The museum architecture is stunning, and the collection features works by many of the world’s greatest painters and sculptors including Picasso, van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Cranach. Every time I leave the NGA I leave with a worshipful heart, grateful to God for all the artistic talent he has given and aware of his kindness. But is there a theological footing for this assumption? Can I honor God by delighting in art even if I am unsure of the artist’s spiritual condition and motive for painting?
Eventually questions like these will pile up in my mind and they will press me on to do some investigative work. And once I begin investigating I typically don’t stop until I find clarity on my question and examine my assumptions by the light of God’s word and by the theologians he has given to the Church. All this to say that it was personal inquiry that planted the seeds of thought that later became my article on art.
Speaking of the book, later in the summer I hope to introduce you to the topic and the broad outline of my project. By God’s grace the book seems to be progressing well. The first round of edits are now under way and I hope to have them completed by the arrival of summer. A second round of edits will begin sometime in August. Hopefully by the end of October I’ll be done. In general I think the project is developing better than I had hoped and the feedback so far has been good. But much work is yet undone. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.