Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sights and Sounds of Pentecost


Bruce Benedict over at Cardiphonia asked if I'd write a brief reflection on the Pentecost album which he recently produced. I was glad to and I continue to enjoy listening to the music created by the different songwriters included in the project.

All I'll add here, in honor of Pentecost Day, is two things: a book recommendation and a video. The book is by my friend Steve Guthrie, titled Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of becoming Human. I cannot more highly recommend it to church leaders and artists and to anyone who cares to discover the decidedly exciting person and work of the Spirit. Steve's book is both critically and constructively important. The church is certainly better off because of it.

The video comes courtesy of another friend, Erik Newby. Watching it reminds me of a few things. It reminds me of a place I love dearly, the Laity Lodge, which in turn reminds me of the state I love dearly, Texas. It reminds me of the painstaking labors that artists endure in order to produce 25 seconds of beauty. And it reminds me of the peculiar work of the Spirit, the Creator Spirit, to free creation to be particularly itself.

As Colin Gunton says in The One, the Three and the Many, all material particulars of creation are real--what they are and not another thing--by virtue of the way they are held in being by the Holy Spirit. For Gunton the Spirit’s peculiar office is “to realize the true being of each created thing by bringing it, through Christ, into saving relation with God the Father." Because creation and all its parts have been loved by the Spirit, they possess their own glorious haecceitas or thingness.

Erik's photographic video magically highlights all the particular things that occur over Laity Lodge between 8 and 10:10 pm. I don't recommend watching it on a small screen, though. Pump that video up to full screen and enjoy the stars at night which "are big and bright." For that matter, watch it twice so you can catch the details.

All honor and love to the Holy Spirit, today and all year long.

(Art credit: Makoto Fujimura, "May Hour Pentecost")



Laity Lodge Time lapse from Erik Newby on Vimeo.

7 comments:

Jay said...

Great stuff as always, David. Is there anyway I could contact you to ask a few questions regarding arts ministry?

w. david o. taylor said...

Not a problem, Jay. Shoot me an email at david (dot) taylor (at) duke (dot) edu.

Steve Guthrie said...

Thanks so much for the kind words about Creator Spirit , David! That means a lot to me. (Although the words in your post that meant the most to me were: "my friend, Steve Guthrie"!) Hope you're doing well, my brother.
- Steve

w. david o. taylor said...

Steve, I meant every word and I hope your book succeeds immensely.

Ben said...

David,
Great reflection - right on! And thanks for getting me on to Cardiphonia and all the resources therein. So cool!
I'd love to chat with you and pick your brain about the issues you touch on in your reflection. It's great to have more good songs being written on the Holy Spirit for congregational worship - we certainly need them to help correct our binitarianism - but it seems to me that singing these songs, while good and helpful, isn't enough. Perhaps I'm assuming too much, but I imagine you'd agree with that statement. What I'm interested to know is, if you do agree, what else, in your opinion, is needed in the evangelical church to not just reform us from binitarianism to trinitarianism in our thought/prayer life (our theology), but what is needed for the evangelical church to more fully know the Holy Spirit, engage with and participate in his ministry, and be formed by the Spirit's unique work? That is, what is needed for actual, significant and radical change to happen in places in which the Spirit has been diminished, ignored altogether, misunderstood, shyed away from, etc.? Not that there's a quick and easy answer, but...

w. david o. taylor said...

Ben: this is Ben Bowman, right? Or another Ben. If it's Mister Bowman, let's hang out. I'm fascinated by your question and would love to explore it with you. In the meantime I'll recommend three books:

1. J. Torrance, *Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace*.

2. Woods & Walrath, editors, *The Message in the Music*.

3. Leanne Van Dyk, editor, *A More Profound Alleluia*.

Ben said...

Yes, this is definitely Mister Bowman, Mister W. David O. Taylor. We definitely need to hang out. You know, I've been busy with little mundane things like having babies and such... Thanks for the book recommendations. I'll give you a call sometime soon.