Christians and Kitsch blurb, page 9

Last night I read a little further into A Profound Weakness: Christians and kitsch. Having gotten past introductory stuff of minor interest, I found the meat of Spackman’s writing riveting — and it’s not new stuff for me, but it’s written in a striking prose that’s both easy to read and profound. It’s going to be difficult for me not to just retype all of the text here, to actually choose a “blurb.”

But I will do just that. The following is from the first of Spackman’s four “Kitsch Bitch” choruses which is titled “We have to take the arts back from the devil!”

    “Take the arts back? I don’t think so. God still has
    them. The question is, does he have us? Perhaps we are just jealous that the rest of the world has been enjoying them while we have wallowed in fear and self-pity. In doing so, we have already lost a spiritual battle — as in this story from the first book of Samuel.

      And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.’ So none of the people tasted food.

      Now all of the people of the land came to a forest; and there was honey on the ground. And when the people had come into the woods, there was the honey, dripping; but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.

      But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; therefore he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his countenance brightened.

      Then one of the people said, ‘Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying “Cursed is the man who eats food this day.”‘ And the people were faint.

      But Jonathan said, ‘My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?’

      I Samuel 12:24-30

    There is a lot of ‘honey on the ground’ (of creativity, revelation and discovery) that we have in our arrogance and legalism refused to taste.

    Christians do not have a monopoly on God. In fact, if he was not at work in the world and amongst non-Christians, none of us would have become Christians. Most of the powerful works of art throughout history were made by non-Christians. Much of this art expresses, consciously or unconsciously, truth we all share as humans, truth that is from God and about God, despite the fact that the artist does not necessarily know God or even acknowledge him. It is time for the Christian community to start listening to the cries of those around us, and to start tasting the ‘goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’ (Psalm 27:13).”


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Christians and Kitsch blurb, page 9

  1. Pingback: Lookin’ Good for Jesus: Lip balm « The Aesthetic Elevator

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