I hear the train a comin’
The task of the artist is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know. By means of art we are sometimes sent—dimly, briefly—revelations unattainable by reason.
He was intent upon filming the landscape of the human soul.
Everything should not be shown, or there is no art; art lies in suggestion.
“Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“God breathes through us so completely . . . so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet, it is our everything.”
“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.” Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” If that’s right, then it likely follows that C.S. Lewis was the greatest theological mind of his time. The scholar who came to his faith with great […]
One of these mornings One of these mornings I’m gonna lay down my cross Get me a crown One of these evenings, oh Lord Late one evening, my Lord Late one evening I’m going home to live on high Starts as soon as my feet strike Zion Lay down my heavy burdens Put on my […]
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Art imitates life – or is it the other way around? Some artistic expressions have become so tied to our common experience that our lives seem synonymous with their content. This is not […]
Theology offers the Christian believer not just a faith which demands belief, but one which makes sense intellectually. As such, theology is a necessarily intricate discipline; probing the revealed thoughts of God is no light, simple task. Christian theology done right, whether it is biblical, systematic, or historical, brings the minds of the current generation […]
The evening news has a reputation for blood thirst. “If it bleeds, it leads” they say. This is almost universally considered bad taste, but the practice continues because it draws an audience, albeit for wrong reasons. Artists, like filmmakers, for instance, have traditionally let some time pass before depicting horrors. The tragedy of September 11th’s […]
“God was executed by people painfully like us, in a society very similar to our own—in the over-ripeness of the most splendid and sophisticated Empire the world has ever seen.” Heretics were once tortured and executed. We know that, of course, but who decides what heresy is? Human judgment is always subjective and has […]
“We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” Prayer is communication with God, but what does that mean? Prayer emphasizes God’s mystery, inscrutability, and immanence—God is closer than our very breath. We get to know […]
By now you have seen the apocalyptic images of Houston Texas with its entire infrastructure completely submerged in the floods of Hurricane Harvey. As one of her lifelong residents, I assure you that no photograph captures its impact. Tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of people saw their homes swept away by the water. Even […]
“Oh,’ the priest said, ‘that’s another thing altogether – God is love. I don’t say the heart doesn’t feel a taste of it, but what a taste. The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch-water. We wouldn’t recognize that love. It might even look like hate. It would be enough to […]
ISAIAH 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. There are […]
I look around as heads begin to bow and white, black and brown hands reach out together in a sacred moment, and I can’t help but thinking that this is how it should be everyday.
I am not afraid; I was born to do this. Few stories captivate the heart like that of Joan of Arc. The incredulity of a young teenage maiden, leading the armies of France at the behest of God is epic by definition. She has been portrayed in every art-form, but today we examine what is […]
“The more I visited in the Southwest,” she wrote in an essay about the novel, “the more I felt that the story of the Catholic Church in that country was the most interesting of its stories. The old mission churches, even those which were abandoned and in ruins, had a moving reality about them; the […]
“Quite suddenly I became aware that everything was full of special meaning, and this made everything holy. The instinct of Moses to take his shoes off when he saw the burning bush was very similar to my feelings. I saw many burning bushes in Cookham. I observed the sacred quality in the most unexpected quarters.” […]
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with […]
“The imaginings of the boy I once was, who sat engrossed in the Bible on long winter evenings, were reawakened. When I read, I saw pictures: the richest Middle Eastern fantasies. They constantly flew around in my mind’s eye until much, much later the grown man and artist painted and painted them, as if inspired […]
“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.” The term “bigger than life” is now cliché but it is in no way ironic when applied to G.K. Chesterton. It begins with his stature (6’4” […]
POEM 260 “I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell! They ’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!” We all have countless opportunities to nurture genius, but […]
“I have no doubt an inheritance of religious feeling, and for this I am glad, but I have also a decided and I hope an intelligent religious faith not due to inheritance but to my own convictions. I believe my religion. I have chosen the character of my art because it conveys my message and […]
Some conversions of faith are quiet events in the stillness of one’s heart. Others, however, are epiphanies of disquieting thunder. Such was the case with James Tissot. Already a successful painter whose playboy reputation was apparently well-earned, Tissot was changed by a vision he experienced during mass. This single event profoundly altered his course for […]
When I have a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion, then I go out and paint the stars. In many ways, it was just business. Van Gogh made his living by painting so he was sensitive to the market. He painted at least twenty-one versions of Starry Night because they seemed to sell well. […]
The straight line is the line of Man, the curve is the line of God Cathedrals are breath-taking by design. Their architects have always sought to portray religious grandeur (at least overtly) but detractors have likewise accused them of self-glorification. Today’s masterpiece is almost unrivaled in aspiration and it is still incomplete. As Terry Glaspey […]
Brothers, be not afraid of men’s sins. Love man even in his sin, for that already bears the semblance of divine love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the […]
“I feel like I don’t fit at all.” “I wish there was greater understanding that we are not ‘strange.’” “What about us—are we valuable?” “I sometimes feel isolated, scrutinized, and ignored.” I heard statements like this over and over again as I interviewed people for my new book. The really dispiriting thing is, these people […]
SURPRISED BY JOY C.S. Lewis “Turning to the bookstall, I picked out an Everyman in a dirty jacket, Phantastes: A Faerie Romance, George MacDonald. Then the train came in. I can still remember the voice of the porter calling out the village names, Saxon and sweet as a nut—‘Bookham, Effingham, Horsley train.’ That evening I […]
COMMENTARY ON PSALM 104 John Calvin “There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice,” and, therefore, we are “not only to be spectators in this beautiful theatre but to enjoy the vast bounty and variety of good things which are displayed […]
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Countless altar calls have been based on this simple message: Christ is knocking on the door of your heart, but you must […]
NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. […]
LIFE REFLECTIONS Felix Mendelssohn I know perfectly well that no musician can make his thoughts or talents different to what Heaven has made them; but I also know that if Heaven has given him good ones, he must also be able to develop them properly. Some people make it look easy. While many masterpieces are […]
I am not so weak as to submit to the demands of the age when they go against my convictions. I shall leave it to time to show what will come of it: a brilliant butterfly or a maggot. The Bible says that God has made himself known to all men at all times through […]
You will not be named by your shame.
First impressions are often disastrously wrong.
THE CREATION Franz Joseph Haydn Now heav’n in fullest glory shone; earth smiles in all her rich attire. The room of air with fowl is fill’d, the water swell’d by shoals of fish; by heavy beasts the ground is trod. But for all its glory, “the work was not complete.” There wanted yet that wond’rous […]
Is it possible that the God who created good also created evil?
“Jesus was not a theologian. He was God who told stories.”
Grace will lead me home.
And he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah.
In reality, Bach was nothing less than a theologian who worked with a keyboard.
Someday, the Creator, who cast out His children from Paradise, will bring Paradise right back to them.
Many times our unresolved grief can lead to a crippling addiction.
John Calvin and his followers had limited congregational singing to the actual words of Scripture—and largely that meant the psalms. Watts saw no reason why Christian songs of praise should be limited in this way.