Sunday, April 20, 2008

Austin, Texas: Transforming Culture

Last week I attended the Transforming Culture symposium on the church and the arts. (Among the sponsors was Christians in the Visual Arts, a partner organization with Gordon). It was a wonderful “density” of good words and worship and impromptu conversations under the live-oaks, hosted by the First Evangelical Free Church of Austin. I will be unpacking it for a good while to come. Plenary speakers were Andy Crouch (his breakout-session talk on consumerism was, all by itself, worth the price of admission), David Taylor, Jeremy Begbie, John Witvliet, Barbara Nicolosi and, pictured here on one of the mega-screens, the venerable Eugene Peterson. Even apart from his good words, Eugene’s very presence is a visual aid for one of his book titles: a “long obedience in the same direction.”

The symposium was the brainchild of David Taylor, one of my very favorite bloggers--check out Diary of an Arts Pastor. Taylor, arts pastor at Hope Chapel in Austin, is a terrific writer with a fine theological mind and a huge pastor's heart--one to watch. Through his blog, he became an arts pastor for me at a time when I badly needed one--see this post, for example.
He's at work on a book about the arts and theology, and, in addition, Baker will be publishing the plenary talks from this conference.

Check out David's blog for a nice summary of the proceedings. And here for photos and commentary. And still more: commentary and podcasts.

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