Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snakes in the Garden

“Umberto Eco in his anthology on ugliness made the observation that Rococo and Baroque architecture and Thomas Kinkade paintings fail for the same reason in that they attempt to tell a story without the necessity of redemption.
The core of every great story – whether that story is portrayed on pilasters and domes or in watercolors on parchment or words on a page – will always take us through this drama of redemption. Now there is a story before the drama of redemption begins and once the drama has concluded, and those are glorious portions of the story, but the bulk of the story from our temporal perspective is always that process of redemption. So one of the things that we’ve got to do is enter into the dialogue of this fallen culture and use its cultural forms and be like the good tour guide who points out where the redemptive touch points are – help people begin to connect the dots so that they can see the truth – so that they can taste and see that the Lord our God, the Lord is good."

-George Grant at the 2008 ACCS conference on truth, beauty, and goodness

Later Doug Wilson commented that he’d love to commission an artist to paint a glowing little village of cozy cottages after the style of Kinkade but with a huge dragon soaring across the sky toward them. He also pointed out the striking truth that there is a way in which, as Christ said, the hookers and tax collectors were closer to the Kingdom than most of the ‘nice seeming’ Rococo/Kinkade people.

Illustration: Bill Sanderson from JRR Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

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