It Was Good . . . Series
A Christian looks at the world through the eyes of one who has a restored relationship with the Creator, and receives a new vision affecting every area of life—including the creative process. So what does it mean to be a creative individual who is a follower of the creative God? The It Was Good . . . Series seeks to answer that question through collections of essays which offer theoretical and practical insights into artmaking from a Christian perspective. The first book in the series addresses all of the arts with an emphasis in the visual arts, the second book focuses on music, and the final book is devoted to the performing arts.
The Christian worldview is foundational to the approach a believer in Christ takes to making art and artmaking inevitably raises difficult questions. These books offer aids in developing some of the internal tools needed to work through those questions, and so to glorify and enjoy God while trying to speak with a clear and relevant voice to a fallen world.
About It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God . . .
" It Was Good is good, very, very good. For goodness’ sake, taste its goodness for yourself."
"It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God signals the Second Renaissance, the second birth of all that is best in the Christian tradition’s vocabulary illuminating the human nature. For this we give thanks and praise."
"This anthology’s contributors unabashedly but thoughtfully love the symbiotic good gifts of Creation and creativity. As artists and friends of art, they know that the physical world is too good a gift to allow it to be reduced to an object lesson about “spiritual things,” and that the making and perceiving of art is too valuable to allow it to be reduced to politics or theology. They know as well that God is good but not safe, and that the urge for safe art is often a worldly temptation away from goodness."
"For anyone anywhere who cares about beauty and truth and goodness, but who also feels the aches and sorrows and pains in contemporary culture, It Was Good is very good."
About It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God . . .
"Musicians will be encouraged and uplifted by the essays is this book, which seeks to put into words our shared wonder and gratitude for the gift of music in our lives."
—Karen Peris, The Innocence Mission
"Lively, engaging and eminently readable—this book shows that it is still possible to write about music in a way that enriches our experience of it. Above all, it will renew your gratitude to God for making such an art possible."
—Jeremy Begbie, Duke University, author of Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music
"Is it possible to fully elucidate the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, even physical experiences of music making? Perhaps the best way to go about it is to gather a choir of voices. It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God offers a rich resource of perspectives, each working to share some aspect or moment in the experience of that mercurial characteristic of human being we call music and its place in the life of faith."
—Dave Perkins, Associate Director of the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program at The Divinity School of Vanderbilt University
"Making music to the glory of God is both a calling and a delight. Dialoguing with other artists who embrace the same vocation is a source of particular joy for me, and this collection of thoughtful essays invites readers into reflections and conversations that will nourish and inspire. The diverse voices represented in It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God weave together rich harmony with subtle dissonance. If you listen carefully, you may just hear the answering voices of saints and angels in heavenly counterpoint."
—J.A.C. Redford, Composer
About It Was Good: Performing Arts to the Glory of God . . .
"This is a wise book written by experienced practitioners who have been in the trenches of creating art from a Christian worldview. It ain’t easy, and if you want to try it, I suggest that you read this book."
—Max McLean, founder & Artistic Director, Fellowship for Performing Arts
"It Was Good: Performing Arts to the Glory of God is a great book of wise counsel and encouragement. Whilst reading I felt comfort, guilt, challenge, and inspiration. It translates theology into practice, and point of view into purpose.
It Was Good rightly encourages the reader to see their art from a biblical, Christ-centered perspective. It provides, not one, but a range of scriptural rationales for the creative—a compass and series of maps to steer by that’s anchored in biblical thinking. It provides numerous perspectives to help the believer stand firm and grow spiritually in the creative performance industries. You won’t agree with every word—in fact the book is brave to be willing to contradict itself on occasion—but every essay will require contemplation and an active response from the believer.
I believe It Was Good: Performing Arts to the Glory of God is a must-read for every performing arts creative who wants to root their career and creative journey in their faith. Unlike other books I’ve read on the subject, this one is very accessible and meaty. You will come away satisfied by the contemplations and personal experiences that this book has to offer."
—Andrew Walkington, founder of The British Youth Film Academy
"Like its companion predecessors, It Was Good: Performing Arts to the Glory of God is both practical and theological. It’s no cliché that artists struggle to find their way in an increasingly pragmatic niche culture—even more so for Christians in the performing arts. The latter group finding themselves largely misunderstood and vocationally marginalized by the Church. After all, what true kingdom good comes from spending valuable time becoming a dancer? As it turns out, it’s not a waste of time at all. Especially so for the only audience who should matter: Jesus. As the title says, let it all be done to the Glory of God."
—Charlie Peacock, composer, recording artist, and co-founder of Art House America
We recommend ordering this book through Hearts & Minds Books. Use the discount code "SQHALO" and receive 10% off this and any other book you order through Hearts & Minds.
ISBN 0-9785097-1-4 | List: $24.99 | Readily available through Ingram.
ISBN 978-0-9785097-6-7 | List: $24.99 | Readily available through Ingram.
ISBN 978-1-941106-09-9 | List: $19.99 | Available Summer 2018