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Postmodern Restoration 2: Pioneers through art June 13, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

When Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell emerged from their confinces of their Presbyterian backgrounds and melted into Christiany in general, they were visionary, and, quite frankly, ahead of their times. They sought after Christian unity not based upon heaps of agreement, but upon what the least amount of required agreement was necessary. They wrote and spoke and used their enlightened modes of communication to advance their cause.

I wonder if they were around today, products of postmodern culture, if they might actually have the same desire to melt into Christianity in general, but do it differently. I wonder if the might be Bono-like poets and musicians. I wonder of they might be dancers or inventors, artists or sculptors. My hunch is that they would be poets, musicians, or architects. They would shape with beauty. Their message would be more interpretive, contemplative, mysterious.

These postmodern restorationsists would stand for something just as strongly as they did a couple hundred years ago, but they would go about it all different. They would be pioneers through art, breaking new ground in theology and unity by what they created rather than by what they said, per se.

When they read their Bibles, what they would see is not so much rules and morals and "Thou shalts," but rather they would see a story, a riveting story. Their minds would wonder where this story was going and how they get to contribute to it. Rather than close down their creativity, the Bible would ignite it. They would look through church history and gain similar mojo for their creative juices.

What is exciting is that now more than ever, art is on the radar screen in the Restoration corner of the Christian world. The worship revolution of the 1980's and 1990's was merely the first overture of a Chrstian art Rennaisance. Right now it is mainly in the world of music – and the sheep are being separated from the goats right now. Too many goats. But that doesn't matter because in the abundance of art expressions, the artist and the art "consumer" each are drawn in to something meaningful. When art is sparse, then a whole slice of what it means to be human (and Christian) is ignored.

Another advantage Christian art pioneers have today is deep well to draw from in history. Creativity is not merely making new things, but it is also in the creative combining of old and new. Old and new themes, technologies, and forms merged into one can make meaning better than any other thing.



1. judyThomas - June 13, 2006

Sorry I can’t see BWS and AC as Bono-like poets==more like Al Gore environmentalists. I do think they would be looking for a way out of the morass of sinking denominationalism (including the church they began). I am going to have the privilege of going to Cane Ridge soon. Maybe I will catch a breath of fresh wind there.

2. fajita - June 13, 2006

Hey, what a treat to get to go to Cane Ridge. Some crazy stuff happened there.

And yes, how could I leave out the environmentalists?

We’ll be in Nashville Saturday and Gail & kids are staying all week. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see you.

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