1. My mind is fugitive 2. …disembodied souls hanging in crystals… 3. Contrition in me is largely imperfect. 4. My thanksgiving is never in the form of self-sacrifice. 5. The love of God is the business of reason, not emotion. 6. The nearness of things only comes after death. 7. I don’t want to have invented my faith to satisfy my weakness. 8. Every virtue must be vigorous. 9. The only way to live right is to give up everything. 10. I don’t want to be doomed to mediocrity in my feeling for Christ. 11. I want to feel. I want to love. 12. Hell is our only hope. Without it we are a wasteland. 13. The majesty of my thoughts this evening! 14. The Protestant has to think. The Catholic to submit 15. No one can be an atheist who does not know all things. 16. Only God is an atheist. 17. The devil is the greatest believer and he has his reasons. 18. Today I have proved myself a glutton—for Scotch oatmeal cookies and erotic thought. There is nothing left to say of me.
(These could also work as potential chapter titles for my autobiography There Is Nothing Left To Say of Me by Sufjan Stevens.)
There are many attempts to use the arts as a tool for evangelism. I understand the need to do that; but, again, it’s going back to commoditizing things. When we are so consumer-driven, we want to put price tags on everything; and we want to add value to art, as if that was necessary. We say if it’s useful for evangelism, then it has value.
And, there are two problems with that. One, it makes art so much less than what it can be potentially. But also, you’re communicating to the world that the gospel is not art. The gospel is this information that needs to be used by something to carry it.
Only, that’s not the gospel at all. The gospel is life. The gospel is about the Creator God, who is an artist, who is trying to communicate. And his art is the church. We are the artwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works. If we don’t realize that fully, then the gospel itself is truncated and art itself suffers.