Bezalel's Compass

July 19, 2013

Christ and Architecture

Geneva“The situation of the Presbyterian/ Reformed churches in America is very much akin to that of the Church of England, so well described by Peter Hammond (in Liturgy and Architecture, 1960). Like the Anglicans, we have simply not given enough thought to our to our theology in relation to church architecture. Unlike the Church of England, however, we are not imitating the “traditional” churches of an earlier age; rather, we are being tossed about on a shifting sea of eclectic borrowings. This situation will continue until we are willing to give some very serious thought to our understanding of the relationship between gospel and architecture. If the gospel and its proclamations are important, and if architecture can proclaim the gospel in a significant way, then we must consider with absolute seriousness its architectural proclamation” -Bruggink.

If art is a language endowed with meaning, how has church architecture proclaimed the gospel to you?

In response to the quote above, I present to you G.K. Beale’s “The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The church building where Calvin preached in Geneva

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March 30, 2013

The Prophecy of Isaiah

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, Praise — Tags: , , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 1:33 am

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:16

We live in a world of common place alienation, loneliness and exile, but Isaiah reminds us that the LORD has not forgotten His people, that he is not far off and that he will draw nigh to His people. He will cause His face to shine upon us and our faces will be lifted up in joy.

Peter Paul Rubens-The Crucified Christ

March 29, 2013

What Wondrous Love is This

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

What wondrous love is this that God would be made flesh and dwell amongst a broken creation, to be despised and rejected by His own, the king of heaven and earth mocked by His servants, tortured and nailed to a cross? This is the love of God, that He should give grace toward those of such lowly and de-meritted intentions. Christ was incarnated to save those just like us. To re-orientate us within a new creation. To save the world by an unyielding sacrificial love.
Tiepolo - Christ Carrying the Cross

March 2, 2013

St. Francis Xavier

Filed under: Architecture, Art — Tags: , , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 3:01 am

St Francis, Stillwater OKThis is a recent collaborative project between Hord Architects, Franck & Loshen for a new church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. With 45,000 square feet housing a sanctuary, chapel, parish hall, school and administration while perched upon a high rising bluff, it literally is a city set upon a hill for the local community to comprehend and appreciate. Kudos to my associate Matthew Lee for an great rendering. This will be an eventful week!

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

January 7, 2013

Essence of Christian Architecture

How we worship effects and shapes how we live. What then should we expect of christian architecture to support our thanksgiving? Some basic principles should guide how we think churches ought to be (and look like) churches…and enunciate the testimony of Christ’s kingdom on earth and as it is in heaven.

1) A church should have verticality – it reorientates our vision towards Christ enthroned and His majesty over the horizon of our earthly being.
2) A church should be durable – it proclaims that Christ’s kingdom is established, is meaningful and here for the long haul.
3) A church should be objectively beautiful – it’s a glorious thing He has done. The re-creation of our fallen world inaugurated at the cross and its final eskaton is provided as a glimpse during the act of corporate worship.

If your or your church is striving toward this end…lets talk. Its a conversation I’m passionate about. Art is fundamentally a creation in community and ultimately a reflection of our theology. More on this in near future posts.

December 4, 2012

Advent Sunday

Filed under: Art, Drawing on Life, In Other's Words — Tags: , , — Eric G. Ivers @ 2:35 am

Hans Memling - Advent and the Triumph of ChristIt is common for the Church to enunciate the eschatological connection between the first and second coming of Christ during the first Sunday of Advent. The Flemish painter Memling captures this really well in “Advent and the triumph of Christ, 1480.

September 18, 2012

THE POETICS OF CHRISTENDOM: The Trinity, the Incarnation and the Origin of Architectural Creation

INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My many heartfelt thanks to Thomas Gordon Smith who taught me that an architect’s vocation is fundamentally one of servant-hood – who taught me that the origin of the work of great architecture exists in that space between a patron and his servant. It is here that the virtuous architect mediates the Christ-like role as both teacher and servant. Wisdom determines when the architect is which, but architecture is still always a communal event. This, in the end, is the Christian’s lifelong walk along the road that has just begun. Soli Deo Gloria.

February 24, 2012

Process Drawings of a Kentucky Monestary

January 9, 2012

Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza

Filed under: Architecture, Art, Education of an architect, Praise — Tags: , — Eric G. Ivers @ 3:20 pm

Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, a beautiful Baroque masterpiece by Francesco Borromini.

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