Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts

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Imagine art that is risky, complex and subtle!

Imagine music, movies, books and paintings of the highest quality!

Imagine art that permeates society, challenging conventional thinking and standard morals to their core!

Imagine that it is all created by Christians!

This is the bold vision of Steve Turner, someone who has worked among artists--many Christian and many not--for three decades. He believes Christians should confront society and the church with the powerful impact art can convey. He believes art can faithfully chronicle the lives of ordinary people and equally express the transcendence of God. He believes that Christians should be involved in every level of the art world and in every media.

Yet art and artists have not always been held in high esteem by conservative Christians. Art rarely seems to communicate clear propositional truth, rarely deals with certainties and absolutes. And the lifestyles of artists too frequently seem at odds with the gospel. So the arts have often been discouraged among Christians.

Throughout this stimulating book, however, Turner builds a compelling case against such a perspective. He shows that if Jesus is Lord of all of life and creation, then art is not out of bounds for Christians. Rather it can and should be a way of expressing faith in creatively, beautifully, truthfully arranged words, sounds and sights.

This stirring call is must reading for every Christian who has been drawn to the arts or been influenced by them.

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Editorial Reviews

Terry Glaspey
"I have long been a fan of Steve Turner's poetry and journalism--he has a way of illuminating the intersection of the sacred and the secular in our lives. Now, in Imagine, he lets us glimpse behind the curtain and see the philosophy that undergirds his work. Highly readable, insightful and provocative, Imagine draws on historical and contemporary examples and biblical insights to offer a refreshing and balanced perspective on how faith can inform our creativity. Turner challenges us to move beyond our ghetto mentality and engage our culture with art that is creative, authentic and relevant. His book should be required reading for every Christian interested in the arts."
Michael Card
"Turner, in this well-rounded and thoroughly biblical book, issues a compelling invitation to everyone in the creative community to move redemptively as salt and light into the world of the arts precisely for Christ's sake."
Timothy R. Botts
"This affirming book says all the things I'd like my friends to understand about me as an artist. At the same time it challenged me to be more actively engaged with our culture through artmaking infused with the gospel."
Dr. Jeremy Begbie
"Drawing on years of experience, a first-rate poet sketches a Christian vision for the arts and artists in our time. With disarming directness he calls Christians out of their ecclesiastical ghettos to live that vision out. Readable, entertaining and bold."
Jim Thomas
"There are those who would ask, 'What has New York to do with Jerusalem? or the arts with religion?' Steve Turner answers that question as he calls the believing aesthete and the Christian church to come to the table, sit down and talk. In this informed and rare treatment, Turner challenges the Christian community to encourage the artist's voice to be heard and then challenges believing artists to allow their art to be influenced and enhanced by sound theology."
Brian Godawa
"Imagine: A Vision For Christianity & the Arts is a wake-up call to the Christian community to fulfill the cultural mandate and to develop a theology of creativity that both embraces our humanness and engages the world with 'muscular' Christianity. Author Steve Turner addresses the church and its involvement in the arts with a prophetic challenge--an appeal to be salt and light in our world instead of withdrawing into mere Christian subculture or pietistic retreat. But he is eminently balanced in his challenge to those of us who have accepted a call to be 'in the world' of arts/entertainment but not of it. He helps us break out of the compartmentalization and secular-sacred dichotomy that so often paralyzes the Christian artist and community from real impact on our world. As a screenwriter in Hollywood, my heart was exhorted with his warning of those who have gradually shipwrecked their faith through incremental assimilation of the very world they are trying to reach. With a strong and decisive commitment to Christ, Scripture and truth, he helps draw guidelines for avoiding the ignorance of all extremes when approaching the arts. If you are a Christian who consumes culture without discrimination, then you need to read this book. If you are a Christian who considers arts and entertainment to be worldly or a waste of time, then you need to read this book. And even if you are a Christian who thinks you want to serve the Lord by being a light in the darkness of any creative industry today, you need to read this book."
Doctor - Jeremy Begbie
"Drawing on years of experience, a first-rate poet sketches a Christian vision for the arts and artists in our time. With disarming directness he calls Christians out of their ecclesiastical ghettos to live that vision out. Readable, entertaining and bold."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830822911
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 4/18/2001
  • Pages: 131
  • Sales rank: 355,408
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Turner is a writer and poet living in London, England, where he regularly contributes to newspapers such as The Mail on Sunday and The Times. His many books include Conversations with Eric Clapton, U2: Rattle and Hum, Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now and A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song.
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Table of Contents

1. The Vision
2. The Church
3. The World
4. The Split
5. The Bible
6. The Mind
7. The Times
8. The Witness
9. The Life
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