About

Born and raised in Guatemala City, W. David O. Taylor is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary as well as the director of Brehm Texas, an initiative in worship, theology and the arts. He completed studies at the University of Texas, Georgetown University, the University of Würzburg, and Regent College in Canada. He earned his Th.D. at Duke Divinity School.

Taylor’s most recent book is Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans, 2019). He is editor of For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts (Baker Books, 2010) as well as coeditor of Contemporary Art and the Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds (IVP Academic, 2017). He is also the author of The Theater of God’s Glory: Calvin, Creation and the Liturgical Arts (Eerdmans, 2017), and his book Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life is due out with Thomas Nelson in March 2020. Taylor has published articles in the Calvin Theological Journal, Christian Scholars Review, Worship, Theology Today, The Washington Post, Books & Culture, Comment, Image Journal, Christianity Today, Christ & Pop Culture, Syndicate, AAR's Reading Religion, The Artistic Theologian, and The Living Church, among others.

For twelve years, in full and part time capacity, he served as a pastor at Hope Chapel in Austin, Texas. There he supervised an arts ministry and the adult education program, along with preaching regularly. Having recently stepped off as a board member of Christians In the Visual Arts, he now serves on the advisory board for Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts as well as IVP Academic’s series, “Studies in Theology and the Arts.” He is a member of the American Academy of Religion as well as a participant in the “Visual Commentary on Scripture” project. He is a core participation in the four-year project “Theology, Modernity, and the Visual Arts,” hosted by King’s College, London. He leads an annual retreat for pastors and artists at the Laity Lodge and has lectured widely on the arts, from Thailand to South Africa.

In 2016 he produced a short film with Bono and Eugene Peterson: "Bono and Eugene Peterson: THE PSALMS." In the June 2016 issue of Christianity Today, he and his wife were featured for their work with the church and the arts. His artistic interests include playwriting, modern dance and film, and in recent years, science fiction literature. He is ordained in the Anglican Communion in North America and he lives in Austin with his wife Phaedra, a visual artist, gardener and cook, his daughter Blythe and his son Sebastian.

He can be found on Twitter @wdavidotaylor and on Instagram @davidtaylor_theologian.

Comments

Joseph Tenney said…
Hi there! I obviously don't have your email :) but had a question for you. I'm not even sure this will get to you! So I'm an arts pastor up here in Chicago. Actually did my masters work in theology at Duke Div graduating back in 04. So as an arts pastor, I have the privilege of having many many conversations around art and theology with various people in our congregation. One question that surfaces is one related to "paying" an artist for a particular job. Say, it's painting a mural for Global Missions...I often hear, "why do we always have to assume we must pay an artist for their work for the Church? Why can't their contribution be that of a teacher or any other volunteer? Why must money be involved?" Now, I DON'T believe money MUST be involved nor do I believe artists cannot volunteer gifts and resources to better the Church. We all should. But how would you respond to the thread that lies behind that question? This staunchness towards money & arts?? I hope that makes sense...Any good reads out there on this subject?
Joseph, I've just "friended" you on FB so I can answer your question properly.
Hello! I've just completed episode 3 of a web series that looks at the day-to-day life of a pastor. (in other words, a CHRISTIAN created something) and thought you'd like it. In fact, i really think you'll like it. Do I put the link in this comments thing?
BNS: I'm not sure this is the best blog to promote your web series, but feel free to put a link in the comments section for now. Thanks.
Stephen Watson said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tarah VDW said…
Hello- I'm pretty thrilled to have discovered your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your life in art and faith. God's peace.
Tarah, thanks for saying hello. Very kind of you. God's blessings for the new year.
Kenneth Green said…
David,

enjoyed your blog. Also appreciated your presentation at Preaching in a Visual Age at Ecclesia through Fuller last November. I don't have a facebook account, but could you shoot me an email for a question off-line? seaktb@gmail.com
thanks, Ken Green
Wayne said…
David, do you have a copy of "God and Guitars" by Michael J. Gilmour? If not, I can send you one as I have not been able to get into this volume.
Wayne: I don't have that book but would happy to have it. You can send it, if you wish, to this address:

3536 Rose of Sharon Rd
Durham, NC 27712-3334

Thanks!

David
Joseph Tenney said…
Hey David, got a question I'd like to ask you. Any chance u got an email for just this sort of thing? :-)
Joseph: apologies for the delay. Feel free to write me at david D0T taylor AT duke DOT edu.
편집자K said…
Hi, David. I'm an editor at Inter Varsity Press Korea. We're about to publish Mark Labberton's book and we just found his "greatest" photos on your blog! Is it okay if we use one of them for our cover wing? It would be grateful if you let us! Please reply!
Dano said…
Hi David. I appreciate your work. Who should be an arts pastor? How does one start shepherding artists?
Phu Dat Huynh said…
God Bless, Pastor David
Let me encourage your faith when facing atheists

https://youtu.be/g6W4Dz30dU8
And this is the information below of the clip: Knowledge of human are as small as sands . Atheists are arrogant about their knowledge , not modest about the sands . If God created the universe , = 300 or 400 billion galaxies in the universe or more than that . Earth is 1 planet inside 1 galaxy , the earth = 5.972E24 kg = 5,972,190,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg = (1.31664251759790396e+25) lbs . 1 person weight 70 kg = 155 lbs . Universe age = 13.82 billion years , earth age = 4.543 billion years . Technology + knowledge of human's civilization = from the first production of stone artefacts, about 2.5 million years ago, to the end of the last Ice Age, about 9,600 BCE , = +2.5 million years , perhaps become civilized in 11000 years . Today do we know all about earth & the body of human 100% ? There are too many small things like virus that we can’t defeat them . If we don’t know all so do we have enough ability to find God’s evidence . I teach you about humility . The technology + knowledge of 11000 years human's civilation can find evidence of God or has enough knowledge to to answer " does God exit , the owner of universe which 13.82 billion years years old & 300 or 400 billion galaxies or more than that " ? It's too lame , faulty . U can read the debate between me & atheists here https://plus.google.com/112166857546472929462/posts/Wbb6r2J1rwv

Science is working. We don't know all. Imperfect knowledge. So if someone tell us that God doesn'ty exit so the answer base on imperfect knowledge. So the accuracy of the answer is imperfect. "​​Carl Sagan said 'an atheist is someone who knows more than I do.' Even he had to admit that he just didn't know about the existence of God," he reminded speakers, referring to the popular American astronomer and cosmologist​". Around us good people go to Heaven when they die, every day, and I tell the atheists that they should carry camera & follow good souls to heaven to get proofs of God. I have defeated atheists many times.
I have heard you speak at ArtHouse Nashville and sat on sidelines unable to attend when you have lead retreats at Laity Lodge. I should read your books, but I'm most likely about to start working a job that is intense training and meticulously inspected for months until I have mastered the trade but is there a book or recorded teaching in which you address the phenomenon that opposites attract, and sometimes a poet is married to a person who feels irritated with their spouse uses voice infection and robustly uses the word fascinated, instead of blandly delivering one word for all uses, like "interested?" I just used the words "interior landscape" which I just heard from another artist, and knew exactly what it meant, and it was like in conversation balm, but when I used it several days later with my polar opposite spouse, its was like a "bomb." I wonder if sometimes the spouses of artists feel like there is some code language, or arrogance or snobbery...or worse yet, what it there IS??? Do any of your books or materials discuss typical tensions in marriages involving creatives and non-abstract thinkers? As a creative, there have been times when I have felt like I have been among fellow creative where I walked away feeling like I was back on the playground in primary school, and I was snubbed and excluded. I do not want to do this to people. If I pick up on the cues like when they say, I don't know what that means, and I explain what I am trying to say in a different way. If I do that, I try for it not to sound patronizing. I wonder if I am as diligent about that inside my four walls where we all want to be more relaxed...we relax too much. But Hey, is friction common? How about when 2 artists are married and each needs their creative spaces, or if tow ambitions entrepreneurs are married, there may be some competition for where the energy is directed. Have you ever done a retreat for the spouses of artists< or attended and artists retreat when spouses were mandatory, and had their own sessions to attend, tailored or "Taylored" to nurturing and equipping and refreshing their hearts? If so that would be awesome, even though mine would probably not prefer to attend, and probably would not...LOL! I would bet some who are younger would enjoy something like that. What can you tell me? I'd have PMed you this on twitter, but I follow you and you don't follow me, so messages are undeliverable. On social media, and without and email, mostly it is only one way. Sorry for thinking out loud, and for posting here, there was no other means of communication I could see, so I decided to just throw the idea out there! If it is a good one, run with it please, and let me know when the retreat is, or the book title, that I can read it, in between sieges of classes etc...
Wayne said…
David, did you ever receive the copy of God and Guitars that I sent to the address you provided. Thank you.
Wayne, I haven't lived at our Durham, North Carolina, address for six years, so depending on when you sent it, I may or may not have received it. I'm so sorry about that, but I'll check on my bookshelves to see if it's there and I just don't remember it. Thanks!
Dear "wheresurtreasure," I don't think I know of any specific resource that would answer your question here. The only thing that comes to mind is a blog that Charlie Peacock and Andi Ashworth have created to share about their respective experiences of the creative life and the challenges that they face as husband and wife: https://thewriterthehusband.com/about/. I will also say that we're doing another Laity Lodge retreat for "mom-artists" and you'd be most welcome to join us there and to discover other mothers/wives who might be in a similar space. See the LL website for forthcoming details. Sorry I can't be more practically helpful, but just know that you're far from alone in this experience.

David
2 Words: "Not Alone" Tyvm
CP and Andi, already on it
Unknown said…
Dear David
I was so happy to find your blog. I live in England and for my dissertation for my BA in applied theology, I focussed on the work of Hans Rookmaaker with specific reference to beauty and the role and purpose of art within the 21st century. I had a great time coming to grips with this which led to my MA that I am currently studying in Philosophical and systematic theology. I am currently doing an essay of my choice upon the work and influence of Hans Urs Von Balthasar and his influence on theological aesthetics over the last 30 years. I was wondering if you have any advice concerning sources, books etc that you would recommend for this. I find the whole area of theological aesthetics extremely interesting and copelling, espeically as I am myself an artist and learning from others has been a true gift and privalege. Once I have finished my MA I hope I can continue studying towards my phd in Christianity and the arts with a focus upon theological aesthetics and the possible connections with aesthetic cognitivism and spirituality. thank you for taking the time to read this

Jack
Jack, just wanted to thank you for writing and sharing with me your journey through theology and the arts. It's an exciting field to be a part of and there are some fantastic things happening all across the disciplines. As far as a reading list goes, I might suggest taking a look at a list I put together a number of years ago. It's a bit outdated at the moment but you might find some good possibilities to get you started: http://artspastor.blogspot.com/p/recommended-reading.html. You might also look at the list of resources on the Transpositions blog: http://www.transpositions.co.uk/links/. And you'll find some good books here too: https://www.faithonview.com/art-faith-resources/.

Blessings on your continued studies!

David

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