Does Character Matter in an Artist, or any Profession?

Contrary to what much of the modern world will claim, character is the fundamental requirement for excellence in every field. 

In the late 1990s, President William Jefferson Clinton had an affair with one of his interns. He then lied to a grand jury about the case. During the controversy leading up to his impeachment for perjury, his defenders argued that his lack of character, in this and many other circumstances, did not matter. The economy was booming and the world was at relative peace. They said that Clinton was a good president, and that his character did not matter.

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Does One Art Form Bring More Glory to God than Another?

A discussion of professions, the arts, art media, and the glory of God

It is Christmastime, and Christians around the world are singing “Glory to God in the highest.” We rarely consider what they mean. In church, we may parrot the Westminster Shorter Confession, which states that the purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Again, the words ring true, but what do they really say, and how can we really do them?

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Look What You Made Me Do

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By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55092301

A Christian perspective on Taylor Swift’s song, on her career, and hoping she will replace her lost innocence with virtue.

I rarely comment on trends and events in the entertainment world, mostly because I don’t follow it.  I do follow my daughter’s life, however, and she asked me to comment on Taylor Swift’s latest music video, Look What You Made Me Do. So here I write, as a fool rushing in where wise men never go.

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The Misty Mountain String Band

For Bluegrass and Americana, you can’t do better than the Misty Mountain String Band (MMSB). I saw them for the first time on 12 May 2017 at an open-air concert in Louisville KY. Formed in Louisville in August of 2012, the MMSB has toured throughout the southcentral United States and released three CDs – Red Horizon, Brownsboro, and Went to the Well.

Paul Martin plays the mandolin and banjo for the band, although he is also an accomplished guitarist. He and his wife Moonbeam have three girls. Paul is the son of George Martin, a professor of World Religions Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). Derek Harris is the upright bass player for the MMSB and handles much of the business.  Brian Vickers, the guitarist, is a professor of New Testament at SBTS. Finally, Neal Green, a minister of worship at the Ballardsville Baptist Church in Louisville, plays fiddle.

Derek graciously gave me permission to add the MMSB’s music to the MD Harris Institute. Enjoy!

The Misty Mountain String Band

MMSB – YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

Experiencing Art

We will enjoy and appreciate art more if we know more about art. Here are some tips. 

My family lived in Stuttgart, Germany in the early 1990s and during one “in-law” visit, my father in law asked to go to an art museum. I was skeptical; I wasn’t raised to be a fan of art, and had no interest in becoming one. Out of love and respect for my father in law, and in the interest of family harmony, we went. The museum was amazing, my eyes were opened, and I never eschewed art again.

While traveling in Eastern Europe in April of 2000, our family visited the National Art Museum in Warsaw.  I had always had a love of history, and our experience in Germany demonstrated the close tie between history and art, so I wouldn’t miss it. To see the Polish art was to feel the joy, and the suffering, of Poland over the centuries.

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Christianity and the Arts

How and why Christians should engage in the arts at church, at home, and in all areas of life. 

**Source Images for the The Church, the Arts, and Shaping the World for Christ.**

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Fatherhood and Ballet

Going to your children’s events to see them is not enough. Dads have to learn to enjoy what their kids enjoy.

Last week I was at a ballet studio watching my daughter dance. It was a fun show, similar to ones that I have seen countless times before. Since my oldest daughter was three, I have attended ballet recitals, shows, and the annual Nutcracker. Over the years, ballet has become an important part of our lives.

It was not always this way. My mother was not a dancer and she had two boys. Our nearest cousins were boys and so were all of our friends. Boys dance, but finding a boy in a typical ballet school can be as hard as finding a Republican in New York City. We played football, joined Boy Scouts, and attended church, but never danced, or knew anyone who did. This all changed when our oldest girl was born.

In the early years, I went to ballet performances to see my daughter, the cutest person in the world to me. From Coppelia to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I didn’t want to miss seeing her dance or giving her flowers after a performance.

When my little ones started ballet, they began asking me questions after their performances. “Daddy”, one would ask, “What did you think about the Russian dancer?” or “How did you like the Sugar Plum Fairy?” The first time my oldest asked a question like this, the blood drained from my face and I stammered a helpless “They were great, sweetheart, what did you think?” In truth, I didn’t remember the Russian and I couldn’t tell the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Snow Queen. I wasn’t attending dance performances to enjoy dance; I was going there to see my daughters. I thought that this was enough.

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