Mulberries by the fencerow

tantalize the eyes
As they ripen, they glisten, they glow
though some remain white
as if unripe

In the floodplain below the bluffs of St. Paul
I found some ripe fruits that had started to fall

I tasted one thinking, “Hmm. Not bad,”
at least at first.
I then realized the flavor lacked anything grand
No tartness to meet the unsatisfied thirst
its singular flavor an unbroken curse

Birds flock towards them, a fast-food throng
On branches they sing their repetitive song

A sweetness with no complexity
Too many o’ these berries could make one throw up
Barney & flannelgraphs from that tree
No honest assessment when the going gets tough
Just yet another: “Your Grace is enough.”

Many of my friends have admitted, “I can’t stand ‘Christian art.’ I also usually doze off during my church’s sermons.”

Ever notice how “Christian music” quite often speaks in (generally “safe,” inoffensive) propositions to a Christian audience? Or how “Christian movies” tend to end with an altar call, not to mention how it tends to end about as realistically as a fairy tale, “happily ever after” (with somebody crying, getting converted, and/or getting married in the end)? How is that going to reach anyone? How is that going to make anyone think that God’s Way is anything other than trite, cheesy, shallow, and forced?

Something has gone wrong. We are losing the future: people in their 20’s and younger Consider Scripture. Does it fill itself with propositions spoken to an audience in monologue?

Truth is, Scripture consists largely of many kinds of art: poetry, drama, songs, and other devices. (See also: “If You Don’t Get Poetry, You Don’t Get the Bible,” by Michael Minkoff.)

Jesus famously speak in parables. And yet somehow, American sermons manage to turn even all of this art into propositions (often delivered in an uncompelling, uninteresting way).

So without further adieu, here is my announcement: this blog will use art. It will use art not only to further an understanding of chesed, it will also use it to hopefully promote greater excellence in art. (See also: “Are Sermons Enough to Preach the Whole Counsel of God?” also by Minkoff.)

This could mean drama, photography, parable, songs, short stories, etc. I may also follow it up with an exposition post if necessary (after all, Jesus explained his parables to those with ears to hear).

This could involve posts by guests. We’ll see!

P.S. Don’t take my criticisms of Christian art the wrong way. I’m still unlearning many bad habits I picked up from watching many “Christian movies” and only listening to my local “Christian music” station as a child. My works are still very much works-in-progress, even as I am a work-in-progress.


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