• Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable.(New Directions books.)
    In the sixties, Father Thomas Merton challenged artists to break loose from cultural and religious agendas that hindered them from creating freely and with excellence. He alerts us to the dangerous lies that lure artists to pride, to hollow success, and to what we now commonly call “selling out.”
  • Gregory Wolfe, Intruding Upon the Timeless
  • Jeremy Begbie, Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (Harper Collins, 1991)
    A critique of Protestant involvement and perspective on the arts.
  • Frank Ely Gabelein, The Christian, The Arts, and the Truth: Regaining the Vision of Greatness (A Critical Concern Book, edited by Dr. Bruce Lockerbie, Multnomah Press, 1985).
    Gabelein takes a scholarly, organized approach to the subject, examining Scripture’s perspectives on the arts, and challenges readers to a higher aesthetic standard, contemplating literature, music, education, the Christian use of leisure, and the social responsibilities of “Christian humanists”.
  • Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflection on Faith and Art (NorthPoint Press, 1980), Penguins and Golden Calves.
    Two must-reads-the first, a journal-like contemplation on L’Engle’s personal experiences as a maturing artist and Christian, full of insight on the relationship between childlike faith and artistry; the second, an examination of the value of icons and the danger of idols, and how modern Christianity seems to forget the power of icons out of the fear of idolatry.
  • Dr. Bruce Lockerbie, The Timeless Moment (currently out of print).
    One of the best overviews and most challenging contemplations on Christianity and the arts ever written.
  • H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture.
    An examination of various Christian approaches of how to be “in” the world, but not “of” it.
  • Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev, The Gift of Asher Lev.
    Two classic novels about a young artist who seeks to pursue his art in good conscience, in spite of opposition from family and community. A must for any “persecuted” artist.
  • Hans Rookmaaker, Art Needs No Justification (IVP, 1978).
    A Biblical defense for artists.
  • Leland Ryken, The Liberated Imagination: Thinking Christianly About the Arts (Harold Shaw, 1986).
    An overview of major issues confronting the Christian mind regarding artistic pursuits.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers, The Mind of the Maker (Harper San Francisco, 1987 reprint).
    A masterpiece on the subject of creativity in service of the Creator.
  • Frances Schaeffer, Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts (Good News Publishers, 1981).
    Schaeffer takes a look at the lamentable state of the arts in the Christian realm, criticizes the lukewarmness of the common fare, and philosophizes about how we got to here from there.
  • Phillip Yancey ed., Reality and the Vision.
    Wonderful. Challenging examinations of great writers by the Christian writers who were inspired by them. (Featuring Stephen Lawhead, Phillip Yancey, Madeleine L’Engle, and many others, considering writers from Tolkien to Flannery O’Connor.)

Further Reading on Christian Perspectives

  • The Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College – A superb online Christian literature resource.
  • G.K. Chesterton
  • Thomas Howard
    Chance or the Dance?
  • Madeleine L’Engle
    The Rock that is Higher
  • Anne Lamott
    Bird by Bird
    Traveling Mercies
  • C.S. Lewis
    C.S. Lewis Foundation
    On Stories