CIVA Biennial: Matter and Spirit

This week is CIVA‘s (Christians in Visual Arts) Biennial Conference at Biola University in La Mirada, California, June 16-19. The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, the non-profit ministry I serve, is hosting the Soul Space hospitality area. (Click here for a $50 Friends of The Grove discount.) Please join us for free drinks, snacks, creative projects and a chance to meet other artists from across the United States.

This year’s theme, Matter and Spirit, explores how matter and materiality shape our understanding of both art and faith. Through general sessions, top-notch presenters and workshops, CIVA will present how digital information and the hard and soft technologies that support it are transforming contemporary life. I’m particularly interested in the CIVA conference because…

The Prodigal God: Are We Loving Others or Judging Others?

[I] am only two chapters into The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian church in New York City and my immediate one-word response is: Amazing! Keller reveals the central message of Christianity: God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and moralistic self-righteous.

In short order, Keller informs us that the story of The Prodigal Son should really be called, “The Story of the Two Lost Sons.”

Both the Older Brother and the Younger Brother are lost, but the target of Jesus’ story is not the “tax collectors and sinners” who Jesus eats with. No, Jesus is pointing sharp, outrageous and scandalous words at the religious leaders who sit in judgment of all those younger brother types.

Dallas Willard on the Spiritual Transformation Process

What is your favorite book on the spiritual transformation process? Sorry, you can’t say the Bible. That’s a given. (Written by God with the help of a few mere mortals.) The very best book I’ve read that has had the greatest impact on my spiritual life, without a doubt, is Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice by Dallas Willard & Jan Johnson. This companion workbook accompanies Dallas Willard’s bestselling Renovation of the Heart, but what makes this workbook so wonderful…