“Discovering God Through the Arts: How We Can Grow Closer to God by Appreciating Beauty & Creativity” is a new release from Moody Publishers that immediately caught my attention. In this book, author Terry Glaspey asks (and answers) the question “what does art have to do with faith?” I’ve always been interested in this topic, because I believe that art - including music, films, novels, etc. - can be beneficial for more than just entertainment. This book helped me articulate HOW the arts can help build our faith and encourage thoughtful contemplation and growth in all areas of life.
To give you an idea as to the content of this book, some of my favorite chapter titles include...
- The Eyes of a Child: Rediscovering a Sense of Wonder
- A Bigger Picture: Bringing the Scripture to Life
- The Best Kind of Heartbreak: Helping Us Deal with Our Emotions
- Quiet Places: Assisting Us in Prayer and Contemplation
- And many more...
Every chapter in this book is written with a warm and colorful writing style - not at all dry and boring as some books in this genre can be. I learned so much, and am eager to start including more art in my life. Poetry, for example, is something that I have passed over as unimportant, nebulous, and difficult to understand... But see what Mr. Glaspey has to say about William Blake’s poem “The Tyger”: “Granted, you aren’t going to learn anything about the mating habits of the tiger from this poem. Nor will you gain much insight into its diet. But you will come to understand more clearly about how this most fearsome of beasts is a creation of God... As is so often the case with poetry, the poet tells us not only what something is, but what it means. Perhaps to truly understand the tiger you require both ways of knowing. You need both scientific observation and you need a poetic eye.”
This is just an example of some of the rich treasures of increased understanding and greater capacity for art appreciation that you will glean from reading this book. One of my favorite features is at the end of each chapter, where there is a section called “Questions and Spiritual Exercises” that allows us to apply what we’ve learned to our own lives, rather than just moving on and forgetting about it.
If you have ever asked yourself “What does art have to do with faith?”, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and begin discovering God through the arts today!
I received this book courtesy of Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.