Daniel Montgomery, the lead pastor of my church here in Louisville, Sojourn Community Church, recently posted a list of his top five favorite “books” on art and the church. I encourage you to read the whole article for his reasoning, but he ends up with these as his conclusion:
- For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts, edited by David O. Taylor (I totally agree with this as a contendor for my number one spot.)
- Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, by Harold Best (Perhaps essential, but mainly in the later half. I would not have put it in my top three.)
- Art for God’s Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts, by Philip Graham Ryken (A great introduction to a biblical theology of art. Another contender for number one in my list, but it should not stand as one’s only read on the subject.)
- Mike Cosper (not a book, but our Pastor of Worship Arts)
- Michael Winters (also not a book, but a Sojourn deacon and the director of Sojourn Visual Arts and Sojurn’s 930 Arts Center who, as Daniel notes, really should write a book)
I agree with Daniel on all of these, but in my next full-length post I will “round out” my own personal list of books I think deal greatly with this issue. I am currently in the midst of forming an “essential reading” guide for those Christians wishing to engage the arts culture, and this will lay the groundwork of that coming thesis.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Begbie of Duke and St. Andrews has perhaps the most comprehensive list of them all.