From among these three, do you have a favorite or one that you found most useful?
Jayme: Well, the Rose book is a very polemical critique of Modernist church architecture while the Torgerson offers a tacit acceptance of Modernism. I wanted to read their counterpoints. I agree most with Rose--though not necessarily always for the same reasons he offers. But, if you only wanted to read one book on this subject--and are looking mostly for satisfaction, enlightenment, and that good ole "ah ha" factor--I'd choose the Taylor book, hands down. (Of course, that is assuming that you've already read John Ruskin's The Stones of Venice and Margaret Visser's The Geometry of Love)!
I am an avid reader of your blogs, in fact I have it bookmarked to see if you have daily postings. I am very curious about something. If you do not mind, I would like for you to share your method of reading. You always seem to be working on three to four new books every few days it seems. Do you speed read or skim for important information or read slowly?Thank you for this blog and for keeping us up to date on your reading list.
So, how important is architecture and aesthetics? I'm a member of a reformed church with excellent preaching and a big heart for mercy ministry - two very important things, but....the "church" is a converted department store where members bring coffee into worship and wear flip flops and shorts in the summer. By most accounts, ours is a healthy church, but it makes me sad that my five year old son will never feel a sense of awe when he enters his home church. What are your thoughts about someone stuck in this situation?
I hope that you'll respond to the two previous comments, especially the latter. Thanks!
Silas: I do read in batches and tend to have several books going at once. If I am reading for information, I may skim from time to time. But, I am an avid advocate of reading slowly. James Sire's book, How to Read Slowly, is one of my all time favorite texts for reading worldviewishly and joyfully.JFred: Architecture is very important--just look at the attention that is paid to it in Heaven, to say nothing of all the architectural marvels we have inherited as a legacy of Christendom. But, good architecture is a process that takes time, money, and will. So, I would urge patience with your current congregation. The critical need for our time is not so much new cathedrals as the vision, leadership, and worldview for a Biblical aeshtetic. Great art and architecture will naturally emerge from that kind of cultural renewal. But that of course, takes time.
I'm also curious about your reading methods... if you read so many books slowly, how much time do you typically commit to daily reading? Next fall I'll begin working on a masters in the classics, so I'm always interested to hear how others absorb their books.
Beck: I try to read in snatches all day--so, I am never without a book; if I am waiting in line somewhere, I am reading; if I have to wait for an appointment to show up, I am reading. But, I also schedule in time to read throughout the work day. I schedule that time as faithfully as I would schedule an appointment. And I try not to let anything interrupt either.
I'm much obliged for your response to the architecture dilemna. It just doesn't seem to be a priority in our congregation where most members I talk to say they come to hear the excellent preaching, given by our sweater-clad pastor who roams back and forth on the pulpitless platform. Donald Bruggkink comments on this in the current issue Modern Reformation magazine: "The absence of a pulpit while not in itself a denial of the presence of the gospel, nonetheless visually contributes to the emphasis upon the speaker, individualism, and the cult of personalilty." Surprisingly, RC Sproul concludes his book "The Holiness of God" with a powerful statement about the human need for a "threshold experience" one encounters when entering a sacred space. Sadly, that doesn't, and I don't think will ever happen at our church. As much as I hate church hopping, I'm getting the itch to look around for a more liturgical church with solid preaching, if one actually exist.
JFred: Oh yes, such congregations do indeed exist. They've not yet gone the way of the Unicorn! Gospel preaching, glorious worship, and Biblical order are by no means incompatible. Our congregation in Franklin is striving for just such balance, for example.
Post a Comment