The Envy List #16: Creative and Christian
Being religious and artsy fart-sy at the same time.
1.Listen in as author/your new BFF Liz Gilbert gives artists creative therapy. (Not a Christian show at all, btw!) Listen...
With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.
—"Magic Lessons” podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert from the Maximum Fun network
2. The story of a fraudulent miracle. Read more…
…oil appeared almost every time Jerry picked up the Bible, a leather-bound copy of the New King James translation. The oil moved to the back of the book, saturated the endpapers—a heart-shaped splotch appeared over a map of Israel—and then started at the beginning, in Genesis 1. Eventually Jerry had to put the book in a Ziploc bag, and then in a large plastic bin he bought at Tractor Supply.
…Believers say the translucent oil has cured skin conditions and cancer. They say it has generated crystals, changed color, and increased in volume—inching upward in the Tupperware container over the course of a few hours. They say small vials of oil refilled themselves overnight. “A Bible flowing with oil—something many are calling a modern miracle—continues to gather huge crowds,” the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported this past November.
—"The Bible that Oozed Oil” by Ruth Graham (not that one) at Slate
3. What can black theology teach the white evangelical church? Read more…
“A poor, sharecropping black woman is not who many first think of when they imagine a ‘theologian,’ but that is exactly who and what Fannie Lou Hamer was. Although her formal education stopped at sixth grade, she learned theology in the worn wooden pews of rural black Baptist churches and at the feet of her mother. She employed her knowledge of the Bible to develop a sophisticated political theology that led her to become one of the most notable activists in the civil rights era. Hamer’s combination of courage in the face of racism and faith in God inspire my own efforts for racial justice today.”
– Jemar Tisby, founder of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective
—"25 Black Theologians Who Have Grown Our Faith” compiled by Kate Shellnutt from Christianity Today
4. Christianity and the start-up lifestyle would match on Tinder (unfortunately). Read more…
Reynolds, who describes his midnight conversion as “getting an upgrade to [his] operating system,” came to see the mission of his own company as a way of fulfilling the charge God had given him. If that sort of talk sounds a little elevated for a product that is, as Reynolds also acknowledges, basically “a focus group on your phone,” or if you're not used to metaphors that compare salvation to a software update, welcome to the worlds of both Christian and startup evangelism—worlds that, as recent trends in the American Midwest demonstrate, are increasingly intertwined.
—"Deliver Us, Lord, From the Startup Life" by Kathryn Joyce at Wired Magazine
5. My favorite newsletter about the arts by Christian author, Michael Wright. Read more…
This week I want to put art and spiritual traditions “in the same room” so to speak. Below you'll find quotes from both Wassily Kandinsky's landmark Concerning The Spiritual in Art (1911) paired with quotes from The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers (c. 500-700). While their vocations and historical contexts are different—Russian artist and Egyptian monks—many of their concerns resonate with one another. What would these sun-soaked monks think of Kandinsky's paintings? How would Kandinsky's art change after discovering spiritual wisdom hidden in those desert caves?
—”Concerning the Spiritual Life in Art,” the “Still Life” newsletter from Michael Wright
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