by Nathan Corbitt and Vivian Nix-Early
Whether or not you are an arts enthusiast, if you’re serious about missions and ministry in the twenty-first century, don’t miss this timely and insightful read. A book on the arts that actually gives a biblical perspective is hard to find.
Baker Books, P. O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287, 2003, 286 pages, $19.99.
—Reviewed by Byron Spradlin, president, Artists in Christian Testimony.
Whether or not you are an arts enthusiast, if you’re serious about missions and ministry in the twenty-first century, don’t miss this timely and insightful read. A book on the arts that actually gives a biblical perspective is hard to find. It is refreshing to read that the arts are not just for the elite, but can also provide environments for the gospel to transform individuals and communities.
Taking it to the Streets is not primarily a missions text. But if one knows anything about connecting with a culture, one will immediately see how the book’s purpose—to show how the arts are strategic delivery trucks for the gospel—relates to the missionary project.
Most of the world is non- or semi-literate. Therefore we need non-elitist artistic environments in which to help non-literary and non-academic Christians learn and express their faith.
The biblically-revealed truths of God must be embraced within the context of the family and community. This embracing comes through the culturally familiar expressions, practices, symbols, customs, rituals, celebrations, songs, stories and pictures of our daily life—most of which are artistic in nature. Understanding, appreciating and participating in a community’s artistic cultural expressions is one of the most effective ways to connect with a community.
Corbitt and Nix-Early provide readers with helpful new vocabulary, many other book and resource suggestions and more than thirty-five great case stories of artist-ministers in action. This might be one of the few books that explains how a biblical view of the arts—imaginative rearrangement of human metaphors, symbols and signal systems in ways that connect us to the transcendent realities of life and of God—can help us understand and participate in the connection between the material and spiritual dimensions of life.
Art is not just a tool. Nor is art simply a way to declare information. Artistic expression is a constant component of people’s lives. Christian leaders must come to recognize this reality if they are serious about the cause of missions. Corbitt and Nix-Early help us see that artistic Kingdom servants are some of the most unseen, untapped resources in the arsenal of God for world evangelization.
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