Saturday, February 18, 2006

Excrement, Art, and Culture

I have some further thoughts about art and culture. The NEA has had a tendency to fund controversial art (duh). For some post-modern reason, shock art has been in the forefront in our society for quite awhile (note to artists...get over it already)! Many Christians were up in arms a few years ago, because the NEA funded a piece, if I remember correctly, that was a cross covered in urine. I wonder why we were up in arms? Isn't that a true reflection of our society? Christians considered it an affront to our Christianity, but Jesus stated that the cross WOULD be offensive. Isn't that particular piece representative of a culture that does urinate all over the cross? What was the intention of the artist I wonder? Was it to represent his disgust for the cross, or was it a statement of how Christ is reviled by society. Why are we surprised that the world treats the cross in such a manner. Our society in general is obsessed with excrement anyways. Look at most comedies in America. I label most comedies "scatological humor". There is at least one scene of flatulance, or somebody on a toilet, or references to excrement (I blame the British! They do it with a little more finesse though). Our culture for the most part is going down the toilet, and we as Christians are walking around with toilet paper stuck to our shoe too,wondering why everyone is snickering as we walk by.

I believe this is all intentional on the part of a sovereign God. The dulling of our senses, the dumbing down of our culture, the blatant offenses bring about a stark contrast between Christianity and the world. Why we as Christians scramble to be accepted by the world is beyond me. Why would we want to join throngs eager to embrace such superficiality?

another lamentable fact is that when the Book of Romans states that all of creation speaks of the glory of God, how much of creation is our society absorbing? We view fleeting images of creation on television or movies. The focus is on the superficial. Celebrities, shock art, bare it all biographies, sound bite news, meaningless (which therefore makes it all so so meaningful) art, and trendy spirituality ala Madonna.

I saw a film about banned art in Germany in WWII. Hitler was a frustrated artist, and his art was stilted, amateurish, and his subjects were very very blond. He decided to open a gallery of all the banned (mostly jewish artists) art in Germany. His intention was for people in Germany to file through the gallery mocking the "horrible" art. That particular gallery became the most frequently attended gallery in Germany. The work represented in the gallery gained notoriety and acclaim internationally, and many of the artists are still held in high esteem. Hitler's art is, at best, forgettable and lamentable.

As God's hand of restraint lifts, I wonder how we as Christians respond to such a disposable, constantly shifting (fifteen minutes of fame) culture? If we know we have been given a gift of artistic talent, writing, or do we use our gifts for God's glory? Hopefully we understand that we do more than tack a scripture onto our work and call it a day.

Christian Art?

Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece

There is an interesting discussion over at Purgatorio about what constitutes Christian art. Above is an altarpiece in a church that housed a hospice for plague victims. Jesus is shown broken and covered in sores. It was painted in an effort to comfort those who were broken and in pain. This picture is in stark contrast to many contemporary versions of Jesus.

Another question. Does "Christian art" even need to portray images that are obvious Christian symbols or Jesus figures? Go over to Purgatorio and join in the discussion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ponderings of the Last Month

I haven't posted much lately because it has been a hectic month and a half. Bruce and I came back from New Hampshire with his 20 year old son who stated that he wanted a new start in life. We were staying in a small apartment and needed to find a bigger place. We found a lovely home with large trees and lots of space. I have been busy painting a large picture of Yosemite and dealing with a 20 year old with lots of angst ridden problems.

To my husband's chagrin, his son Nathan last week informed us that he wants to move back to NH. He leaves today. Nathan has been dealing with many emotional problems brought on by a breakup with his girlfriend. So now we have this big house, and are wondering what God will use it for. We hope to have Bible studies eventually. I guess to be honest, my hope is that somehow God will allow us to start a Sovereign Grace Church here in Reno. In order to start that process, we have to have a group of like-minded people with the same desire to move in that direction.

We are also considering having my elderly eccentric mother move in with us. I was convicted by a teaching by Alastair Begg last year about taking care of our elderly parents. Hah! He never met my mother! She cusses worse than any sailer and is strongly, STRONGLY, opinionated about politics. She tells the same stories over and over, and you have no idea how many times we have heard that President Bush graduated from Yale with only a C- average. My husband and I hope that somehow our lives can be a testimony of the love of God in her life. Umm...she is also strongly, STRONGLY, opinionated about "religion".

We have been going to a Reformed Baptist Church recently, which has wonderful teaching, but we sure miss a blend of contemporary songs and traditional hymns. I played on the worship team at our previous church, and miss that as well. I tend to hold onto things like that lightly though. Music is a peculiar beast, and it is best to leave it in God's hands. The present church has a piano, a female singer (who constantly chews gum while singing), and a male worship leader.

The sun set yesterday with clear sharp skies. We awoke this morning with a covering of snow. What a fast moving storm! I get a small glimpse of the mountains out of the family room window. A sliver of white and granite mountaintop with dark storm clouds rolling down. I am ready for Spring.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rick Warren: United Nations Pawn

Brannon Howse has written a hard-hitting article on the press conference several days ago held by 85 evangelical leaders who have signed on with leftist environmental groups to "stop global warming". Rick Warren, of course, is one of the leading voices. The article points out an interesting source of funding for this newly political "Gang of 85" evangelicals.

According to the New York Times, the group's efforts are being funded by such liberal organizations as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Hewlett Foundation. The Rockefeller Brother's Fund has given grants to such radical environmental groups as Greenpeace. Let's not forget that it was the Rockefellers that donated the land and formed the United Nations.

According to a press release by the pro-life group Human Life International, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund supports many anti-Christian ideals and organizations including the United Nation's Millennium Peace Summit:

The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit called for organized religions to support the United Nations' world peace aims. Among the items for consideration is the Charter for Global Democracy, which has been described as the new "Ten Commandments" for the world. The summit is a project of the United Religions Initiative (URI), along with other groups. The URI favors abortion, sex education, same-sex marriage, and population control. The event is being funded, among other private entities, by the United Nations Foundation. and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

According to the website of, in 2001, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation approved a grant of $600,000 to International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) to provide "sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru."

HT: Slice of Laodicea

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Reformed Baptists are NOT Smiling Over This Cartoon!

Reformed Baptists are "up in arms" so to speak over this inflammatory cartoon posted recently. Check it out here

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ominous Trends in the Educational System

Previously, I posted a series of articles by Denise Hohnholz about the state of education, through manipulation, with the use of Hegelian Dialectics. Here is an article that explains some of the prevalent thinking out there about who is chosen, and how, to be our educators. I find this ominous.

Many education schools discourage, even disqualify, prospective teachers who lack the correct "disposition," meaning those who do not embrace today's "progressive" political catechism. Karen Siegfried had a 3.75 grade-point average at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but after voicing conservative views, she was told by her education professors that she lacked the "professional disposition" teachers need. She is now studying to be an aviation technician.

In 2002 the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education declared that a "professional disposition" is "guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice." Regarding that last, the Chronicle reports that the University of Alabama's College of Education proclaims itself "committed to preparing individuals to"—what? "Read, write and reason"? No, "to promote social justice, to be change agents, and to recognize individual and institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism," and to "break silences" about those things and "develop anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist community [sic] and alliances."

Brooklyn College, where a professor of education required her class on Language Literacy in Secondary Education to watch "Fahrenheit 9/11" before the 2004 election, says it educates teacher candidates about, among many other evils, "heterosexism." The University of Alaska Fairbanks, fluent with today's progressive patois, says that, given America's "caste-like system," teachers must be taught "how racial and cultural 'others' negotiate American school systems, and how they perform their identities." Got it?

The permeation of ed schools by politics is a consequence of the vacuity of their curricula. Concerning that, read "Why Johnny's Teacher Can't Teach" by Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute (available at Today's teacher-education focus on "professional disposition" is just the latest permutation of what Mac Donald calls the education schools' "immutable dogma," which she calls "Anything But Knowledge."

You can read the rest of the article here

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Big Hair on Christian Men

Paul Crouch
Benny Hinn
Joel Osteen
John Eldredge
Oops! This is not a man!

What is it about big hair on some Christian men? Does it imply a more spiritual relationship? I thought it was a Texas thing...but no! I think that the bigger the hair, smaller the....grasp of I worded it on another blog recently. Why is it that I feel like I am in a 1980's retro time machine when I see pictures of these guys. Hello, we are so OVER the 80's already! Now you have to admit...these guys can certainly afford a better haircut. Here are some pictures of prominent (prosperous) Christian men with bad haircuts. Can you guess that I am in a tabloid mood? Oh yeah...wild men don't necessarily have to have wild hair either.