The author is a journalist and poet who has written highly-regarded biographies of Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton. He is also a churchgoing Christian. He has a privileged perspective on how a Christian artist exercises his vocation, offering suggestions such as: ''Christians should be writing poetry infused with godly perception rather than poetry about religion,'' or ''I don't believe that every artist who is a Christian should produce art that is a paraphrased sermon.'' Sounds just right by us. He then goes on to trace historically the fortunes and misfortunes of the arts within Christianity, and to propose biblical and theological contours of the nature of art and the range of its expressions of good and evil. Turner argues passionately, yet with maturity and balance that the split between excellent art and the Church can be healed, that the Church must bring art back within it without smothering or co-opting it.
An Eighth Day View:
Imagine art that is risky, complex and subtle Imagine music, movies, books and paintings of the highest quality Imagine art that permeates society, challenging conventional thinking and standard morals to their core Imagine that it is all created by Christians This is the bold vision of Steve Turner, someone who has worked among artists--many Christian and many not--for three decades. He believes Christians should confront society and the church with the powerful impact art can convey. He believes art can faithfully chronicle the lives of ordinary people and equally express the transcendence of God. He believes that Christians should be involved in every level of the art world and in every media. Yet art and artists have not always been held in high esteem by conservative Christians. Art rarely seems to communicate clear propositional truth, rarely deals with certainties and absolutes. And the lifestyles of artists too frequently seem at odds with the gospel. So the arts have often been discouraged among Christians. Throughout this stimulating book, however, Turner builds a compelling case against such a perspective. He shows that if Jesus is Lord of all of life and creation, then art is not out of bounds for Christians. Rather it can and should be a way of expressing faith in creatively, beautifully, truthfully arranged words, sounds and sights. This stirring call is must reading for every Christian who has been drawn to the arts or been influenced by them.