I'm excited at the prospect of an event that's organised for Saturday 19 May. The Central Baptist Association will be hosting, 'Faith Engaging with the Arts - A Day to Explore’, at Loughton Baptist Church, Milton Keynes, from 10.30 - 4.00 (with refreshments from 10.00 a.m.)
We hope to explore broadly, through presentation and conversation, issues of art, culture and creativity; and specifically how we appreciate and understand them as Christians, and how they relate to spirituality and encountering God.
I'd really like this to be not just a one-off, but the beginning of something that might develop. It would be good to do some serious thinking together about the arts from a Christian perspective, and to ask some hard questions. Are they just an optional extra? Isn't other stuff more important? How do we discern God in the arts? Could the arts be perceived as the Holy Spirit's playground? ...
Other issues might be around the use of the arts in the life of the Church, and not just in it's worship; and the nurturing of artistic expression.
There are a number of conversations going on around these themes, some of them within academia, and some among Christians involved in the arts within their own disciplines. Normally the local church is likely to be too small to have this sort of conversation, but an Association of 153 Baptist Churches might just provide a suitable arena. Friends from other churches are most welcome.