Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Art, Truth, and Fairy Tales

I wish I was better at writing book reviews.  I love reading.  Books have altered my thinking and helped me understand my salvation and made me a more compassionate person and filled me with passion and I think everyone should read them.  And this book has done all of the above, and I think everyone (literally, everyone who reads English) should read this book, yet words fail in knowing how to convince you. 

I could tell you that Saving Leonardo is about art history and worldview.  Uhhh...yeah.  Are you ready to run over to and buy it? 

So how do I explain that this book is a life-changer, and so much more than just about art history and worldview? 

Well, this is what the author herself says:  "Artists are society's barometers, sensitive to new ideas as they percolate through the cultural atmosphere." 

Artists reflect culture.  They reflect worldview.  If you want to understand culture, you must understand art. 

And why do we need to understand culture and worldview? 

"To use a biblical metaphor, all Christians are called to be missionaries, responsible for learning the language of the society they are addressing.  Within the boundaries of their native land, they may not face a literal language barrier.  But they do face a worldview barrier as they seek to communicate with people whose thinking differs from their own.  And they need training in how to overcome that worldview barrier.  They must learn how to frame the biblical message in ways that connect with people's deepest convictions."

Have you ever wondered why evolution is seen as the One and Only Truth, despite its many flaws?  The worldview behind the ever-changing definition of gender?  Why Christians are seen as dangerous?  Where postmodernism came from?  Why screeching is considered music and a grid of straight lines is considered art? 

If you feel like you know that abortion, homosexual marriage, transgenderism, and other forms of secular thought are wrong, but you are tired of feeling "intolerant" and "homophobic" and therefore just keep your mouth shut, then you must read this book.  If you are scared about the slide of our society into secularism, and as a result try to shield your children against anything remotely non-Christian, then you need to read this book. 

Yes, this book is intellectual.  In some ways, it is a textbook.  And that description alone will turn off a lot of people.  But I plead with you to believe me when I say that first of all, Nancy Pearcey is far more interesting than any textbook you've read before, and what she has to say is far more important.  Vital, actually, if you want to understand modern culture and why certain movies are being made and what is motivating your next-door neighbor. 

Nancy Pearcey's first book, Total Truth, revolutionized my life a number of years ago because it introduced me to the concept of worldview.  I still highly recommend that one as well, but you can start with either one.  Both are fantastic.  Both are on my Top-10-of-All-Time list. 

I read Pearcey's books and I am very proud to be a Christian.  I read her books and I am convinced more than ever that what I believe is true.  Really, truly true, for all of mankind, literally and historically....not just "true to me," not just "my own personal spirituality" but true in the sense that Jesus Christ was a real person who was God-in-the-flesh, who lived and died and rose again (literally and historically) and that He changed the course of history, and my life.  Some fairy tales really are true.  That's why we like them. 
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