For the Beauty of the Church, Book Review-Part One

Summer allows me some extra reading time for both pleasure and for professional growth and development. One of my selections this summer was For the Beauty of the Church edited by W. David O. Taylor. This is a really unique book...I haven't stumbled upon too many others regarding church and art and how they connect. Here are some things I found interesting to ponder from the first half of the book...

  • how can art serve to deepen and challenge our corporate worship? Artists should think specifically about how their art strengthens the communal dimension of worship.
  • the best liturgical art expands our awareness and experience of the church as a functioning corporate body that transcends time and place.
  • liturgical art should deepen the relationship between God and the gathered congregation.
  • liturgical artists should be able to get feedback from the congregation such as, "your song, your poetry, your dance helped us to pray, to hear God to know and love God."
  • thinking about Exodus 15:2 (The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.) how can an artist beautify God with praises?
The first half of this book is making me think I need to revisit the last chapters of Exodus beginning with 35 where instruction was being given to bild the Tabernacle. I know that, because of Jesus Christ we no longer need a temple to be The Church. But what can artists, pastors, and those that worship in community take from this Old Testament wisdom? I leave you with this thought and will look forward to posting about the second half of this book next week.