catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Christian art and the cino editorial policy!


Mar 19 2003
04:05 am


I love the site, it looks so pertinent to the needs of many cultural activists. A positive vision for the church needs to encompass the arts, but also art education, art galleries, exhibitions, patronage and art criticism! I think that’s what puts so many people off, they see the scale of the work and think, ‘I can’t do this on my own and I don’t know anyone else who does’! We therefore need to be good pastors, good enablers and builders of communities, in a word good ‘disciplers’, if indeed that is a word! So your website is crucial to spreading hope to the many of those marginalised because of the gifts they have received from God, but of which the church is strangely suspicious of.


Yes, we do have a few christian bookshops in England, however I find them un-inspirational and sadly culturally superficial. They seem to major on salesmanship of the gospel, ’I’ve tried it, it worked for me and it can work for you too!’ kind of messages. Are we discipling the nations or just selling another product on the shelves of Woolworths?

I have an MPhil in Education (with particular reference to art education — you may have guessed!) from a Paganista University and have recently started a group for undergrad and recent graduates in the Bristol and Bath area (South West England). This started as a result of one of our congregation (I go to an Evangelical Anglican Church in Bristol due to the fact that God has a bigger sense of humour than me!!) was told that her faith was ‘inappropriate for a student at this college’. So it was red-rag-to-a-bull-time and I counselled her how to proceed with such blatant discrimination. I should point out that in England you are not permitted to discriminate against Muslims, Jews, homosexuals, trans-sexuals, people that want to talk to trees or need counselling because they were abducted by aliens that all looked like Jack Nicholson, but it is fair game to treat Christians anyway you like.

We (the group) are hoping to put on an exhibition at Bristol Cathedral and apply ourselves to being activists in the arts. Learning how to put together such things, get funding, produce videos etc for the public. The learning curve will be steep, but I think we all feel there is a need to be a cultural activist in pagan england.

Art has gone through a debunking of sorts. Socialism striking at the heart of what was seen as bourgeois culture. It is not only anti- christian at times but anti-art! However, God’s first commission to us was one of cultural engagement. This hasn’t been dropped by God as a lawful pursuit for the erstwhile Christian, but basically ignored by the evangelical church in this country. Things are changing, but young budding christian artists are inculcated week in and week out from our pulpits, with the idea that art is a dubious activity and that we are only hear to preach the Gospel anyway! It is then difficult to teach them about things like a distinctive christian art, they don’t have the visual language to pursue their calling. One of modern (early twentieth century) art’s aims, was that it was endeavouring to break from the past and this meant, in part, the destruction of a visual language that had been developed and handed down via the historical christian community. We have lost the vision to educate artists with this visual language, in fact the language and wherewithal to develop it, has been lost under the rubble of twentieth century modernity.

Ooops, sorry that sounded like a sermon.