Book Review– Discovering God Through the Arts: How We Can Grow Closer to God by Appreciating Beauty & Creativity
“Many Christians, I have discovered, have a limited vision of the place the arts hold and are content with using them for simple purposes. For them, the arts are often used as decoration, as a distraction from life’s stresses, or as a sign of devotion. My argument in this book is that they can do so much more. when we ask little from the arts, we will likely receive little in return. But if we allow them to do so, they can enrich our walk with God in life-changing ways” (10).
This is the aim of Terry Glaspey in his latest book, Discovering God Through the Arts, to prove to his reader the value that interacting with the arts, whether film or music or literature or art, can have on their spiritual life. It is a thorough survey of the many ways that immersing oneself in the common grace of the arts can contribute to our life with God.
Terry Glaspey, author, lecturer, and teacher at Northwind Seminary, takes his reader on a continent-crossing journey, traversing the wealth of museums and cathedrals peppered across the globe, a journey that spans the centuries and genres bursting with beauty, from ancient paintings and architecture to modern films and music. Along the way, he stops and ponders on the many ways that art contributes to our development as humans and as Christians, discussing how it can cultivate attentiveness, wonder, and empathy, and how it confronts us with the deeper things of life. In encountering art, if we’ll allow it, we’re forced to reckon with the God who has made the cosmos his canvas.
This is a book worthy of your time. If, like me, you’re someone who’s drawn to the arts but not quite sure how to handle them competently, Glaspey’s work will help. He writes with proficiency, includes numerous images, poems, and excerpts from works he finds valuable, and, as a bonus, closes the book with a lengthy list of recommendations sure to satisfy the reader’s desire to dive more deeply into the arts.
[I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]