The Culture

1. What do you envision (10, 20, 30 years down the road) as you think of arts and the imagination related to the topic of the day?

• Need for hope
• Need for spirituality
• Artists who weep over culture and involve themselves in what is going on
• Artists aware of different forms of art/encourage each other in community
• Artists to be renaissance people (changemakers) in the community
• Artists prophetically speaking into the culture
• Church body recognizes and values beauty in art
• Artists to be renewed and reanimated by the spirit of God
• Artists who are Christians to be the best in their field
• Strive for artistic excellence without forgetting the everyday things
• Artists who live the truth in the middle of the culture
• Be more connected to our local culture
• Affirm and celebrate the culture where we are
• Discernable Godly optimism
• Discernment between the demonic, distorted, amoral, and redemptive
• Careful looking at the history of culture
• Humbly disseminating seeds through our art
• Passionately embracing the beauty of our culture
• Affirming the good and reclaiming distorted aspects of culture
• Create a deeper understanding and recognition of our culture
• Engaging culture
• The ability to look at our culture and see Christ’s heart as we engage in it and facilitate transformation
• “Baptizing” …while being aware of contextualization and syncretism
• Use all of creation and created an expression to reflect God to the spiritual seekers of the age
• Futurology helps form our ability to initiate rather than react to culture

2. What are the issues (Stones) that have prevented this from currently happening?

• Culture clash –be aware of our cultural differences and give grace
• Different definitions
• Selfish heart – selfish with our time and resources
• Entrenched paradigms i.e. art is evil in the church
• Fear of differences and change – losing our birth culture
• Lack of hope
• Negativism/Fatalism/Resignation – Lack of hope passed off as reality
• Secularisation and denial of the supernatural
• Monoculturalism vs multiculturalism
• Christian artists not living true regenerated self
• Not expressing kingdom culture
• False spirituality
• Art provokes questions; Christians think they need the answers
• No room for ambiguity/mystery
• Culture not accepting Christian artists as an authentic voice in the culture
• Failure to learn the language of our society
• Not allowing art to speak for itself- every artwork has a message
• For Christians, everything must resolve itself
• Art is not truth but is rather the search for truth
• Need a new language of love, compassion, hope/truth lived out
• We/us/inclusion
• Children in schools not exposed to arts
• Un-holistic view of humanity, resources, church/artists/culture
• Need a new language of love, compassion, and hope
• Words with great baggage—transformation, reformation
• Lack of understanding of arts (and understanding of past)
• Absence of new movements promoted by Christian artists
• You/them instead of we/us (humility, repentance/take on shame of past)
• Truth debated rather than lived out
• Art seen as a luxury, not as a necessity
• Few Church-funded cultural projects
• Truth not seen as a person
• “Christian” Language that creates division, distance, confusion
• Legalism, rigidity
• Proposition instead of person / cerebral approach that is exclusive (deeds and no creeds or vice versa)
• Lack of renaissance attitude
• Brilliance (in theology) with no depth
• Specialties
• Media dominance
• Parallel structures
• Clash of culture
• Theology
• Church traditions
• Lack of imagination
• We are known for being against rather than for
• Reactionary rather than proactive
• Hostility towards the church and Christians
• Not wanting to understand the culture
• My humanity vs. my identity in Christ

3. How do we remove these stones and work with God to build His kingdom purposes in and through the arts?

• Communicating artistically to the emotions, to bring hope
• Good storytelling which changes paradigms
• Just do it! Consistently and persistently with passion
• Expose the truth through art
• Empower the next generation to serve God in a variety of ways
• Live the truth in every area of our lives
• Water hard soil with the arts so the stones can be removed (hard ground)
• Intentional integration into existing systems and stratospheres of culture
• Make room for mystery or questions
• Learn the language of the culture
• Christians as educators (with a new language, volunteer time in schools, etc)
• Christians living in the fullness of Spirit
• Thinkers/Doers with the breadth of humanity
• Encourage holistic view in training schools, universities
• Speak the language of our hearts, not of our Christian culture
• Create an opportunity for a new dialogue with theologians
• Partner with training institutions focused on creating memory/imagination
• Anthropologists with Christian worldview active in our universities
• Understand why stones are there in the first place

4. What are some strategic partnerships and resources that would be necessary in making this a reality?

• Learn about each other’s giftings
• Identify the releasers
• Unity between culture, church and artists (partnerships)
• Value each other’s callings whatever that may be
• Artists in seminaries building relationships
• Serving companies with artistic gifts
• Artists going into schools and other cultural arenas
• Apprenticeships
• Funding from EU
• Role models who bridge different worlds (cross-disciplinary)
• Books: Tomas Halik, Frederick Buechner, Ortega Gassitt, Umberto Ecco
• Micro stuff (blogging, thought for the day, You-tube)
• Media partnerships: Markus Spietzer, Christoph Leferz (Bavaria)
• Media partnerships: EU, EC (websites, micro-websites, etc)
• Arts pair up with humanitarian efforts
• Initiatives of Change (NGO working with UN-reconciliation through arts)
• Thomas Schirrmacher: Hope for Europe Theology Network
• Soul Works Foundation
• Crescendo
• Cross-cultural mission training centres

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *