Edge of Faith July 2017 - Page 45

I finally identified five primary themes, the first one being cleans- ing; baptism as the washing from sin, stripping off the old person. sound like? What did it smell like? What did they see and what did it feel like to walk through these rituals? And so, I began to try to — one way to say this is “began to put flesh on these bones,” and I realized that worked for a lot of other people, too. It’s almost more fun for me to think about this as a movie rather than a text. How can I make this vivid? How can I make it seem like something you could easily imagine and imagine yourself expe- riencing? That’s what I was after and that’s what art is, for me. It’s just a way of doing theology, but it’s a very important way for me. I think it’s a way that many very text-based scholars struggle with because they don’t really know how to do it, or they don’t trust themselves, but actually we all do it and we are a much more visual culture than we ever were. I live in awe of moviemakers. I live with my camera. My camera is my closest companion on any trip and I think about how wonderful their work is; that they can tell these stories with some- times just this beautiful landscape shots or faces or close-ups and I’m just thinking it says so much more to me. It’s like poetry. I love to read poetry. That’s not just prose, text.  I found your book refreshing. Most books that I read are in theology or apologetics or philosophy and I enjoy all those, but they are a lot of just concepts and theory and they just keep going and going. It’s very refreshing to pick up a book and it has that extra stimulus you get through looking at pieces of art and discussing the imagery that it provokes. It is a refreshing change.  I would like to say this. I think that one misun- derstanding that people often have is that art illustrates things. It doesn’t actually. Art ampli- fies and interprets things and speaks a different way to them. When we don’t have those pictures; when we have those textbooks without those pictures, we take away an enormous capacity for knowing; knowing more than we would just get from reading the text. I don’t think it’s true any- more, but when I was a child when you got older they took away your picture books and they gave you chapter books. Now you were a grownup and you didn’t need the pictures any more. I think that was terrible; it was just tragic because it took away so much of a way of knowing things. It made it seem like pictures were silly or for the unfortu- nately uneducated. I think that’s more of an American thing. In Europe, they still have serious books for adults that are graphic novels like Maus and some of those more serious writings, but they are in art form. It is exciting. You are going to be more stimulated in reading