Theopolis ArticlesFilter

  • The Clouds of Mt. Sinai

    The Mt. Sinai Hospital was neolithic on the black hill of Hollow, New Hampshire. Winter dampened the trees and the wind bit at the sparse branches, the sidewalks and stairs were perilous with soggy leaves, and the dim yellow light cast a pallor upon the milky stone building. Ambling inside the halls of determined walks […]

  • The Stone Upon the Well

    Sunday morning found me kneeling at the foot of my bed, trembling, pebbles of sweat leaping off the edge of my brow and nose, and hitting the floor in front of me, but not from piety was I procumbent; though as a minister for over a decade, I had made threadbare the knees of my […]

  • Letter to a Young Artist

    Thanks for sharing so honestly about your current crisis of creativity. I totally understand and relate to that; it’s happened many times in my musical life thus far, and I’ve begun to accept it as a normal rhythm of the creative process. I actually went through a serious dry spell as recently as a few […]

  • The Hermeneutics of Haiku

    “Three lines are enough” -Rabindranath Tagore My second favorite1 haiku was written by some internet wag: Haikus are easy But sometimes they don’t make sense Refrigerator. It captures not only the seeming randomness of haiku, but also the bewildering nature of poetry itself. Poetry, because of its compact expansiveness2, is a difficult art to master, […]

  • Tomboys and Totems

    “…a mystery without a solution, a horror story without savagery, a nightmare in which all the watches stop at noonday…” The Bestial Gardens of Men Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” (Luke 23:30) The following lines by Edgar Allan Poe, slightly reshaped, are the first […]

  • Birmingham Life and Culture Series: Joseph Bottum

    On October 25 at Avondale Brewery, Theopolis will be co-sponsoring the 2nd Annual Birmingham Life and Culture Series. This year’s event will feature author Joseph Bottum. Joseph is known for his writings on literary criticism, religion, and his short stories. Essayist and reviewer Mary Eberstadt has said that “his name would be mandatory on any objective short […]

  • Appreciating the Camera Work in Pornography

    If you are looking to start a fight with Christians, there is hardly a better subject to do so than the arts. Music, movies, paintings, and literature have provided no small battlegrounds for Christians to war. We are emotionally invested in the arts. A song, a book, or a film has affected us, marking a […]

  • Wall-E and the New Creation

    In an inverse Eden, a land laid waste, one works alone tending the trash. There are none like him in all the earth, inquisitive, playful and most drawn to those mysterious, dancing bipedal creatures who lost earth and left it to go wandering the vast wilderness of space. Humans have been driven from the earth […]

  • The Artist’s Litany

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8) O God the Father, creator of heaven and earth, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, who inspired Creation with the breath of your nostrils, who placed Adam in the Garden and told him to […]

  • The Enoch Factor

    After Cain murdered Abel and was driven out of the land of Eden, we read that he had a son whom he named Enoch, and that he founded a city that he also named Enoch (Genesis 4:17). The city, we are told, was named for his son. This was the first city ever built, but […]

  • The Importance of the Woman

    Now we notice that God said that it was not good for the man to be alone in this task. God determined to make a helper suited to the man (Genesis 2:18). In context, the woman is to help the priest guard and beautify the sanctuary, home, and workplace. Two things we need to notice […]

  • The Bride as Artist

    Genesis 2:15 says that the first man was commissioned by God to dress and to keep the garden. The garden was located within the land of Eden, which was one among many lands on the earth according to Genesis 2:8-14. The garden was the place where God would meet with the man on the first […]

  • Glorifications Versus Debasement

    Because of sin, the arts sometimes do not serve to glorify but to debase. Sinful men make their environments ugly, and create ugly art to “enhance” their ugly words. But since all men are still God’s images, no men are able to live with such ugliness all the time. Thus, even in the most debased […]

  • Words and Glory

    Arts and literature reviews in most evangelical Christian publications generally approach their subjects in terms of ideology. We are told whether or not the film or book is acceptable in terms of morals, sexual graphicness, and theological accuracy. While there is definitely a place for such reviews, I fear that all too often such an […]

  • The Openness of Literature & the Mystery of Art

    The Openness of Literature Let’s discuss literature for a moment. There are two ways a story or novel can close. The _rst is called poetic justice. When a story ends with poetic justice, the bad guys are all punished and the good guys are all rewarded. This kind of story is eminently Christian, because at the end […]

  • Arts and Play, Part 4

    Movies Movies as an art form have a powerful impact because they take place in a dark room, on a large screen, with no distractions, and because they entail many of the arts: music, acting, choreography, design and color, etc. A movie can be an overwhelming experience for a young person who has not matured […]

  • Arts and Play, Part 3

    Let us now switch gears and move to a discussion of art, literature, architecture, and music. In English, we speak of “playing” games and also of “playing” musical instruments. There is a connection between the two, in that both involve some degree of pleasure and recreation. At the same time, the arts are serious business, […]

  • Arts & Play, Part 2

    Gambling The Bible nowhere condemns gambling, and so we need to be careful in our assessment of it. Let me begin by making a strong case against gambling. Then I will surprise most readers by pointing out that gambling may not always be sinful. The reader should bear in mind that in this section we […]

  • Arts & Play, Part 1

    Most modern people regard the arts as essentially decorative. They are hardly very important, as compared to business, politics, or religion. Yet, from a Biblical point of view, the arts lie close to the heart of human life. The universe that God created is itself an artistic masterpiece by the Master Artist, and since man […]