Bezalel's Compass

December 16, 2013

Trust

Filed under: In Other's Words, On Existence and Time, Quotes: probably out of context — Tags: — Eric G. Ivers @ 11:46 pm

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so” – Douglas Adams

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July 20, 2013

Liturgy, Architecture and Theology

“Liturgy is a splendid NT word that carries a wealth of meaning, all of which is bound up with the idea of service to God. It is applied to the priests, the offerings, the vessels of the temple used in the service of God (Luke 1:23, Heb. 9:21),  the “sacrificial service” (Phil 2:17), and the service of officers of the Church. That this evensongword liturgy should come to be used of worship indicates the importance with which worship was rightly held as service! But the service of worship must be governed not by tradition, let alone by aesthetics, but by theology. Thus Conrad H. Massa has well said that for the Reformers “the liturgy of the Church was the working out of its theology in the activity of corporate worship.” Thus, there is a propriety in speaking, as does Hammond, of “liturgy and architecture,” and meaning very much the same as “theology and architecture.” Architecture, however, must be liturgy (i.e., service to God) in working out the theology of a church [building] in its physical structure. Just as liturgy is theology in action, so architecture is theology in material structure. Thus liturgy seems a word more appropriate to describe the role of architecture, rather than its underlying basis. Both architecture and liturgy must be determined by theology”. -Bruggink and Droppers, Christ and Architecture

April 3, 2013

Remembering My Own Self

Early Days

Every year, this day, April 2nd,  I remember:

“The title of the free, of the “coming generation,” could not be bestowed on those whose future was not hewn out by the older generation’s voluntary restraint and opening up of their “coming.” Future and freedom, liberty and “coming” are two aspects of the same thing. Without foresight – no freedom. My father’s foresight is my freedom. My own “future” is made possible by the love of the preceding generation.” – Origin of Speech, E.R.H.

My son, hear the instruction of you father and forsake not the law of you mother…  if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou inline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searcheth for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

February 26, 2013

John Calvin, Decorum and Church Architecture

John Calvin wrote, “Decorum ought to be observed in the sacred assemblies” (Commentary on I Corinthians). According to Calvin, the chief principle governing public worship is decorum, a concept that describes how we are to behave, dress, and, I would add, build. For Calvin, decorum is a general principle that includes qualities such as propriety, gracefulness, dignity and, yes, beauty. Indeed, these are the qualities that should be sought in church architecture…

…The dignity, decorum, and beauty that we seek in designing places for public worship should extend also to the external witness of the church. We must not forget that, besides being a gathered body of believers, the local church is also an earthly institution. Like all civic and commercial institutions, when churches construct buildings, they are building public statements about their identity. In other words, all buildings—whether art museums, gas stations, big-box retailers, or churches—bear witness to the institutions they serve. – Reforming Church Architecture, David Gobel

February 22, 2013

Is Your Church a City Set on a Hill or a Lamp Under a Bushel?

Filed under: Ideas Have Consequences, In Other's Words — Eric G. Ivers @ 7:14 pm

“As our pilgrim makes his way to the modern church, he must carry a detailed road map with him. He can’t locate the modern church by means of a steeple or by following the sound of pealing bells. Accordingly, he neither sees an inviting spire nor hears a welcoming peal. Instead, he keeps alert for road signs to direct him to the modern church, which is inconspicuous, like a lamp hidden under a bushel”. -Ugly as Sin, Michael Rose

December 11, 2012

Advent – The Faith of Abraham

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, In Other's Words — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 5:25 am

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Advent – Jeremiah’s Hope

Rembrandt-Jeremiah_Lamenting_the_Destruction_of_Jerusalem.normal“The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” – Jeremiah 33:14-16

December 7, 2012

Advent: Waiting on the LORD

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, In Other's Words — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 2:34 am

Meissonier_Jean-Louis-Ernest-IsaiahIsaiah by Meissonier: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”. Isaiah 40:31

December 5, 2012

Advent – Isaiah and the Massacre of the Innocents

Nicholas Poussin, 1594-1665 “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked”. (Is 11:4) The advent of Christ, against all Victorian and subsequent sentimentalities, came first and foremost during the darkest hour of a ‘scorched earth’ warfare. (Rev. 12) Poussin’s classical restraint is synchronously paired with the dramatic passion of the scene; the brutality of the soldier, the terror of the mother, the almost audible cry of the child, the mindless agony of a mother clutching her dead child. The stillness of the frame, the low viewpoint of the perspective, the closeness of the cast, all serve to bring us into this world of abominable cruelty. This world becomes personal, individual, all-to-real, dare I say real-lifelike. This is the world of Christmas. Its our world. This is the world for which his name was “called Jesus: for He will save His people from their sins”. (Matt 1:21)

December 4, 2012

Advent – Virgin Birth and What Cannot Be Concieved

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, In Other's Words — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 2:37 am

Sandro Botticelli - Mystical Nativity 1500There is a lot being communicated here, but three things pop out. First, this scene conjoins the spiritual realm and the physical realm in one cosmic gift event through the redemption of creation; the demons beneath the feet of men are scattered as the angels in heaven rejoice. The world of creation is being saved and marks the beginning of the end of evil. (Jn. 3:16) Secondly, while this one singular event is being played out, time is simultaneously stretched. The manger scene itself is the beginning or entrance to the grave and the life of Christ is meant to be remembered between those bookends.

Lastly, while discussing the Virgin Birth, Karl Barth concluded: “The Virgin Birth at the opening and the empty tomb at the close of Jesus’ life bear witness that this life is in fact marked off from all the rest of human life, and marked off, in the first instance, not by our understanding or our interpretations, but by itself.” The Virgin Birth and the empty tomb tell an in-conceivable story.

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