The Center for Faith & Work is a ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City (of Tim Keller fame), focused on the church becoming more engaged with its surrounding culture. The other day I came across their information on being a patron of the arts. The little article has this quote from Ted Scofield:
Christians cannot abdicate the arts to secular society. We must consume, study, and participate in the arts if we are to have a seat at the table. Whether it has a religious theme or strikes us as irreligious, we must be patrons if we are to have an impact on how the world interprets and responds to the arts. We cannot be wary, we cannot be afraid, we cannot be self-righteous. Christians must look, listen, read, and experience the arts if we are to lead our culture to renewal.
This is so true. These conversations are going on in the art world, in music, visual arts, dance, etc. If we are to engage culture, especially on a deep level, we must engage the arts. And by not being involved in the arts community, we are abdicating our voice, our responsibility, to bring life to the world.
There is an easy way to apply this truth right now. Paste magazine is one of my very favorite magazines on music, with an emphasis on independent music. There are few other music-related publications that offer the depth of insight and critical interaction found in Paste. But the current economy has its effect everywhere and this magazine is no exception. In order to offset some of their advertising loss, they have set up a donation-system. They have around 100 rare or live or unreleased tracks from artists wanting to help, and a donation of $25 or more will not only get you these tracks but will put you in a lottery for other merchandise, like a cruise or an autographed R.E.M. poster. I’ve already donated and got my tracks and there are some cool musics in there.
Here are some of the artists: The Decemberists, Neko Case, She & Him, Cowboy Junkies, Of Montreal, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Over the Rhine, Bob Mould, Arrested Development…to name a few. So read the article from Faith & Work and if you’re a music fan and don’t know about Paste, check them out. Here’s a donation link: