Andrew Peterson reflects on art produced by Christians (and people), on the tendency for either didactic purpose or decorative impulse to be seen as polar extremes, and how Christian art can sacrifice the effect of inspiring people for the outcome of instructing them.
He contends it should never be an either/or.
Creation of art is not the sacrifice of agenda for cosmetic outcome.
It is the balance of intent and form.

Art and agenda can and do coexist. Having an agenda isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, some of history’s greatest works of art are dripping with agenda. If you’ve ever walked into a cathedral in Europe, you’ve just walked into a monumental agenda. The architects weren’t just making beauty for beauty’s sake. They were (some of them, at least) striving to bring glory to God, building a three-dimensional story for us to walk into, one designed for very specific reasons (to create a feeling of mystery and smallness in us, to draw attention to the cross of Jesus, to pull our eyes upward toward light and glory, to retell the story of Scripture through paintings and stained glass). The fact that these architects and artists had an agenda doesn’t at all reduce the power of what they made. Agenda isn’t necessarily bad. Even someone who doesn’t believe a word of the Bible walks into Notre Dame Cathedral and falls silent. But a Christian familiar with the symbolism, the narrative, not to mention the actual Triune God the cathedral was made for, is just as awestruck at the beauty, but also gets the truth thrown in with it.
Agenda is bad when it usurps beauty. Christian art should strive for a marriage of the two, just as Christ is described as being “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Truth without beauty can be a weapon; beauty without truth can be spineless. The two together are like lyric and melody. This is not to say that beauty itself is not a kind of truth, nor that truth itself isn’t beautiful. …
Andrew Peterson, Adorning The Dark, B&H Publishing, Nashville, 2019, pgs 84-85.

I was told Friday that I obviously was planning to get another display unit to balance the existing ones in my library.

I was a little surprised to find that out, but since it was obviously what I’d been planning, I had no excuse but to carry out my plan.

I’ve repositioned some items while I think things through.

Alison Krauss’ rendition of Don Williams’ song You’re [I’m] Just A Country Boy is achingly beautiful.

Here’s Williams’ original which is wonderful as well.

Melanie Penn wrote and sings When We Meet Again, featuring Ben Shive on piano.
Simple, earnest, and heartfelt. Inspired by the message delivered by Queen Elizabeth on April 5.

This is the video recorded for Mount Gambier Presbyterian Church for the weekend of May 24, 2020.
Why do some of the stories of Elisha’s life seem similar to the events of Elijah’s?
God uses repeated patterns and events to establish a recognisable likeness of grace that is fully expressed in the person of Jesus.

The Unclouded Day is one a number of wonderful acoustic recordings released on the YouTube page of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Nashville.
Featured on this track are Bethany Carson, guitar/vocals; Russ Carson, banjo; and Nate Burie, mandolin.
There is an additional verse of J.K. Alwood’s lyrics that are not included in this rendition, but they deserve to be noted.

O they tell me of a home where my friends have gone,
O they tell me of that land far away,
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the uncloudy day.

The lyrics:
1.
Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
Oh, they tell me of a home far away;
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.
Chorus.
Oh, the land of cloudless day,
Oh, the land of an unclouded sky,
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.
2.
Oh, they tell me of a King in His beauty there,
And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
Where He sits on the throne that is whiter than snow,
In the city that is made of gold.
Chorus.
3.
Oh, they tell me that He smiles on His children there,
And His smile drives their sorrows all away;
And they tell me that no tears ever fall again
In that lovely land of unclouded day.
Chorus.

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 21

Q & A 36
Q What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love,1 peace of conscience,2 joy in the Holy Ghost,3 increase of grace,4 and perseverance therein to the end.*5

*1 Romans 5:5.
*2 Romans 5:1.
*3 Romans 14:17.
*4 2 Peter 3:18.
*5 Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5.

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