What do Mothers Read? (Sidetrails Pt 2)

In the last few blog posts of my series on how evangelicals differ from high church Christians on entertainment, I’ve discussed several trends. I’ve talked about how suburban values inform evangelical institutions, how high church liturgy encourages a recognition of sin that evangelicals often miss, and other related ideas. Many of these ideas have been …

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Sentimentality and Substance (Sidetrails 1)

In a recent post about "kid-friendly entertainment," I pointed out that for a certain audience, "Christian art" and "family-friendly" automatically go together. You can also use the term "sentimental," or "inspirational" to describe that kind of art, which dominates faith-based films and Christian Romance novels. There are several reasons why "Christian" and "family-friendly" don't always …

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Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists: Concluding Thoughts

I recently finished a 7-part series on why evangelical Christians have often struggled to create good art, compared to Christians who come from high church traditions (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, etc.). I will discuss a few points (such as the need for art that captures "the thinginess of things") in more detail in "sidetrail" …

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Must It Always Be Kid-Friendly? (Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists Pt 7)

The following is part of a series on American evangelicals, considering why American Christian artists who produce high quality work tend to Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox or other high church denominations. Several years ago, I was in a Christian college's creative writing class where everyone had to write a novella on a topic of their choice. Since …

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Cover art for a blog post on Frank Miller. Black background with white text stating "Dark Knight Returns," "300," "Daredevil," "Ronin," "Holy Terror," "Frank Miller." The phrase Frank Miller is placed in front of a red stain. Graphic by Gabriel Connor Salter

Frank Miller, 9/11 and the heroism question

I'm sitting now in my backyard, thinking about Frank Miller and 9/11. These aren't things many people would put together, but for graphic novel fans with a strong sense of the genre's history (or people interested in Marvel's Daredevil) they've intertwined in a way that shows how artists can be deeply affected by catastrophe, and …

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The Negative Way (Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists Pt 6)

The following is part of a series on American evangelicals, considering why American Christian artists who produce high quality work tend to Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox or other high church denominations. It’s been said so many times it’s almost passé, but evangelical entertainment isn’t known for deep treatments of spiritual problems. There are plenty of Christian Fiction …

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The Importance of “Thinginess” (Why Do High Churches Get All the Good Artists Pt 5)

The following is part of a series on American evangelicals, considering why American Christian artists who produce high quality work tend to Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox or other high church denominations. In a previous post, I argued that evangelical culture is essentially suburban, and averageness tends to be a central feature in suburban cultures. A related problem …

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