In a post entitled “The Deeper Magic” Rich writes:
Christians have always had a difficult time with the imagination. Our suspicion of this God-given faculty causes us to either suppress it or condemn it. We fail to realize that the same dangers that lurk behind the use of the imagination also haunt the use of our reason. Rationality – just like imagination – can be corrupted and distorted. In other words, rationality can be used for destructive and inhuman purposes in much the same way that the imagination can.
Well I wouldn’t say we’ve ‘always’ had a difficult time with imagination but I know what he means.
When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment he answered “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Now there is lots of wisdom in this statement but I particularly note we are called to love with all our minds. Not just the rational part. All includes loving with our imagination. Our imaginations are God given so lets use them for God’s glory.
2 thoughts on “Sacred Imagination”
“Christians have always had a difficult time with the imagination”? What nonsense. Milton. Dante. Lewis. Tolkien. Coleridge (think Kubla Khan). Leonardo. Michelangelo. Many of the greatest imaginers of all times have been Christians. Where have art and music and literature flourished as much as they have in the Christian world? Even the lush landscape of Hinduism has not matched it.
Well, that’s sorta why I objected to the ‘always’ comment.
However I believe that his comments are largely true with respect to modern evangelical Christianity. Of the personages you mentioned only two come under the evangelical banner and they weren’t exactly Calvanists were they? For many evangelical churches the height of creativity is a ‘witty’ church banner – puke!
I believe it is fairer to say that Christianity has gone through regular periods of iconoclasm and modernist evangelicalism, still in the grips of iconoclasm, now finds itself way out of step with an increasingly visual and creativity driven culture.