17 December, 2005

PRESBYTERIAN THOUGHTS celebrates Presbyterian art

It is not everyday that PRESBYTERIAN THOUGHTS celebrates the lives of people that are still alive. We usually dabble in the finer points of theology as well as discuss the thoughts and lives of people who lived long ago.

Today we look into the life of another Presbyterian. Mr. Makoto Fujimura is a PCA elder who is also becoming one of the hottest names in the art world. Mr. Fujimura is a New York City based artist who does beautiful work and is currently on display at the Chelsea Gallery in New York where he has painted enormous and hellish flames that are getting a lot of the art world's attention. Most of his work can be described as modern or post-modern, but it speaking volumes to the community of which he a part.
You can read more about his influence on the art community in this article entitled, ART aflame.

17 comments:

Janna said...

Is this the guy who is World magazine's Daniel of the Year? He does beautiful work!

Nate said...

The article linked is the World article.

I am very impressed with his work as well.

George said...

Maybe you should write about living people more often intead of dead old men from the 1500's who have nothing relevant to say about today's society. There are a lot of good authors out there and some of them aren't even Reformed. Imagine that.

Nate said...

Thanks "George" for your imput.

There are a lot of people who are not Reformed that have info for today..but that would be more suited for another weblog, don't you think?

(Plus most of my people are 16/1700s)

Anonymous said...

Oh writers from the 16 and 1700's are so much more in touch of modern society than those from the 1500's.

Nate said...

Anon

List 5 books that you have read from this time period from Reformed or Presbyterian men and tell me how they do not apply to modern man.

After you do this, I will list 10 that I have read and tell you how they apply in great measure.

But I would like details, not broad generalizations. Thanks.

The Director said...

Wow Nate. You get lots of rude people on this blog. Yikes!

Glad they leave mine alone!

Nater said...

Nate- I agree with George. I enjoyed reading about someone who is making an impact for Christ today. I think it would be beneficial if you avoided talking about those dead people who no longer have relevance to us today. Once someone dies, their legacy dies too and we must move on and find a new inspiration.

Droll Flood said...

George (curious, for sure!):
“Maybe you should write about living people more often intead of dead old men from the 1500's who have nothing relevant to say about today's society.”
-You speak as though you live in a vacuum. Um…’suck’ on this then:
-All of the authors of the Bible are gone and are with their Lord. Given your principle of those of the 1500’s being irrelevant, how much more Moses, Nehemiah, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, in general, the authors of Scripture etc….

“There are a lot of good authors out there and some of them aren't even Reformed”
-Yes, we call them Presbyterians!
Nathan Raih (and George):

“I agree with George. I enjoyed reading about someone who is making an impact for Christ today. I think it would be beneficial if you avoided talking about those dead people who no longer have relevance to us today. Once someone dies, their legacy dies too and we must move on and find a new inspiration.”
-God is not the God of the dead but of the living…the God of Isaac, Abraham, Jacob…He wasn’t afraid to be called their God…

“I enjoyed reading about someone who is making an impact for Christ today.”
-You live in a vacuum too? Look around yourself a bit. God blessed the works of those from 1400's-1700’s+ (not just those exclusively) that we would feel/know their impact even today in what they’ve expressed subject to the Word.

-By the way, Nate Eshelman is a good place to start in regards to those who are “making an impact for Christ today.” But you will not get him apart from history. That’s what makes him “relevant” because he doesn’t have to re-ivent the wheel thus leading to doctrinal stagnation in history (really, it wouldn’t be much of history: it would be more like that movie “Groundhog Day” where the guy keeps living the day over and over and over …even inventing new ways to kill himself ...hmmm)


“I enjoyed reading about someone who is making an impact for Christ today.”
-Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer? He’s still “hanging around” ? Please excuse my “dangling” preposition! Bonhoeffer’s dead…why did you even mention his book in your "favorite books" if he’s not making an impact for Christ today on your own terms?

-What do you mean by "move on and find new inspiration"?

shawn said...

You might consider renaming your blog, Presbyterian Battleground... Or maybe I could use that title.

Anyway, I'd love to see George's list, or Anon's (though I don't see how anyone hiding their identity has much to say about influence and being in touch) BUT I would love to see your list especially, so please make sure you post even if George doesn't come back.

Nathan Raih - if one's legacy dies when they die, and they, being dead, have no influence on contemporary society, then how can you or anybody else have a contemporary relevence, being alive presently?

In other words, if dead men cannot influence living men, then how can living men influence living men? and furthermore to what purpose do the living influence the living?

Do you have deceased relatives? Have they in any way influenced you, or others who are still living and influencing you? Do you have any dead Role Models? Heroes?

One more thought, if I have nothing to learn from the dead, who were once living, then I would logically conclude that I have nothing to learn from the living either, and in such case, dismiss whatever you say. - Now that's not fair is it?

I would encourage you to rethink your comments, because George is mostly wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Solemn League and Covenant doesn't apply to modern man.

Beth said...

Let me see scripture was inspired by a holy God. These dead men are just as depraved as we are today. Bibical doctrine does not change over time but the application of it does. I think that's why some of us prefer to read John Piper and RC Sproul over John Owen and Jonathan Edwards.

Nate said...

Stop the Battle!

Nate R was using sarcasm (something that does not come out well in print)

Anyhow...

People need to allow the church to have her voice.
We need to read theologians from all ages...developing theology as well as finding application.

If we were to only read/learn from modern men we would have no doctrine of the Trinity...

If we only read dead men we would have difficulty applying thoughts to things such as medical ethics, technology, & a few other ideas....
but the heart of man does not change...Owen and Edwards are VERY practical...people just will not let them have a voice in the church.

PS: This post is about Reformed Art...any thoughts?

The Director said...

Here's a few 'contemporary' authors that other Christians have told me greatly influenced their lives and thinking.

CS Lewis = Dead

Francis Schaeffer = Dead

Martyn Lloydd Jones = Dead

James Boice = Dead

JRR Tolkien (though I've never understood WHY people find his books life changing) = Dead

Dietrich Bonhoeffer = Dead

Tim LaHaye... well he's almost dead. He's WAY too old to have anything relevant to say to today's culture.

Putting an expiration date on Christian literature of any kind is just plain silly. Even the secular world acknowledges that men from centuries ago still have relevant messages for today. How many, many classes at universities all over the world are dedicated to the study of literature from the 1500's on? Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, Tennyson etc... the world acknowledges and celebrates their 'cultural relevance'... why should christians be ashamed of their own literary/theological heritage. What about John Bunyan?

Nate, will you please do a post on John Bunyan? Millions of copies of Pilgrim's Progress are still ciruclating the globe today.
Obviously, this dead guy from the 16th century is still relevant to SOMEBODY.

Janna said...

I second the motion for the Bunyan post!

As far as art goes, I have to say I was suprised to see a Christian doing so well critically in the world of modern/postmodern art. It's not a field many Christians even attempt.

Actually, it brings an important question to the church as it struggles for "cultural relevance" - Is postmodern art inherently anti-Christian? Postmodern thought is, does it follow that the art will be to?

Ellie said...

I still can see the tape in my head when people jumped out of the towers to their certain death and hopefully a life with Christ. That Mr. Fijimuras' entire family was saved is miraculous.I believe the asian culture has great respect for the elderly and their history. That he chose to learn the ancient technique of his forefathers, created major great works of art which he now uses as his Christian testimony to our lost and dying world is wonderful.It seems we are living in a time during which the Secular World is more open to the Spiritual Realm.Our pastor says that GOD is moving on our earth and of course it can only be that way since we are his created/creation.

To the members of the peanut gallery who dare to criticize your comentary of dead men. You honor Nate with your comments.Isn't there a saying that states.. What is old is new again? History repeats itself? All of the present is a mix of the past.

Al Gores invention of the internet is the last original accomplishment not related to history. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Keep the spiritual history lessons coming.Your all a bunch of smartie pants' anyway.

Droll Flood said...

Shawn:
Shawn is living.
All the living (too) are to be dismissed/ignored
thus
Shawn is to be dismissed/ignored.
I love syllogisms!