Books and Resources

Art and the Bible
By Francis A. Schaeffer

While this book is compact at only 60 pages, it is not light reading. In that span, Schaeffer does an excellent job of supporting the various art forms by looking at Scripture.
Theology of Play
By Jurgen Moltmann

Does ‘playing’ have a place in the life of a Christian? Moltman writes about the value of play from a theological perspective. It helped me to look at recreation and play in a different way.
Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture
By William D., Romanowski

Romanowski is a Professor at Calvin College, and having heard him at Jubilee and Messiah College, I can attest that he has thought through many aspects of popular culture from a Christian perspective, though, of course, his perspective is different than many Christians. He both affirms and questions popular culture, and goes beyond the oversimplistic view some Christians have. Context matters.
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
By Madeleine L’Engle

L’Engle is a well-known author and also a mother (having done both at the same time). This book came about because she was asked to write a book about faith and art. While some books on faith and art are clearly written from an outline and research, this book is more an exploration, and it’s in the process that L’Engle shares some of the most profound insights. And that’s what makes this the best, and most true, book on faith and art that I’ve ever read.
The Liberated Imagination: Thinking Christianly About the Arts (Wheaton Literary Series)
By Leland Ryken

Ryken begins this book by asking really pointed questions about Christianity and the arts, ones that made me stop and say, “Wow.” As a writer and an academic, Ryken gives a comprehensive analysis of what it means to ‘think Christianly about the arts.’ It is also the most objective book I’ve read on the subject.
The Prophetic Imagination
By Walter Brueggemann

This book is not for the faint of heart. It is both dense and deep. Brueggemann takes a sociological view of the Biblical prophets (Moses, major and minor prophets, & Jesus), and contrasts the royal consciousness with the alternative community of God. In his view, the Prophets role is to criticize (help them see reality) and energize (help them re-imagine) the community. I happen to agree with him (which means that I don’t see future-telling as a primary role of a prophet).
The Christian Imagination: G.K. Chesterton on the Arts
By Thomas C. Peters

It has taken me awhile to get to Chesterton, and wow, I am blown away. A Christian apologist who was also an imaginative artist. He wasn’t a big fan of rationalism, and didn’t have a problem letting people know what he thought. Chesterton is one of the most profound writers I’ve read thus far.
Hidden Art
By Edith Schaeffer

In this down-to-eath book, the wife of Francis Schaeffer writes about what it means to be creative in everyday life. Art is sometimes viewed as the domain of the creative elite. While certainly some are really skilled, anyone is capability of being creative in some fashion, and this book is a practical reminder of that.
Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future
By Tom Sine

Mustard Seed vs. McWorld takes a hard look at what it means to be a Christian in an increasing global society. Whether one likes globalism or not, it’s a reality, one fraught with challenges and opportunity. As the world continues to change, we, as Christians, need to keep out eyes open and seek new opportunities to be creatively influence the world around us.

Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts
By Steve Turner

Steve Turner is a journalist who has spent a number of years in the music industry. As a Christian, he has great insight into what it means to be a Christian artist in the world at large and not just contained in a Christian sub-culture.
The Gift of Art: The Place of the Arts in Scripture
By Gene Edward Veith

This book does a very good job of looking at the arts in Scripture and laying a theological foundation for art.
Coffee House Ministry, The
By John D. Perry Jr.

I originally found this book at the Erie County Library. In the 60s, John Perry, a student at Yale, researched Chriistian coffee houses across the country and laid out a step by step manual about how to do it. This book is amazing, not for the how to, but because of the 3 chapters laying the theological foundation of the coffee house and the chapter about setting up the volunteer program. It’s out of print, but well worth acquiring.
It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God
By Ned Bustard (Editor)

 

 
The Creative Call: An Artist’s Response to the Way of the Spirit (Writers’ Palette Book)
By Janice Elsheimer

 

 
Taking It to the Streets: Using the Arts to Transform Your Community
By Vivian Nix-Early