Since you asked, I'm going to be releasing some of my favorite books, songs, and movies of the year over the next few days at my Facebook author page. I don't pretend to be an art critic. I don't plan on becoming one either, but I do love art, and artists, and the creative process, and I have spent my life dabbling in some art form or another. The world needs artists. I wish I could do more to encourage them. I wish I were a better one for I have a feeling the world may need prophets and poets more than preachers. The prophet critiques culture. The poet introduces beauty. Many of us modern day preachers seem to do little of either. We have almost become caricatures of ourselves. We are so marked by Babylon that we lack the credibility to do any real critique of Babylon, and as for beauty, well, in many cases it's non-existant on our list of priorities. We have ecclesiological machines to run (i.e., churches). Meetings, attendance, planning sessions, and oh, basically just figuring out ways to grow larger and larger occupies all our attention and all our desires. How could anyone possibly expect beauty from us? (That high pitched breathing sound you hear is me sighing.)
However.. lest you think I've grown too cynical, I happen to know first hand how difficult the job of pastoring, shepherding, and leading can be. And, I also have great hope for the future. I know a few old folks who really care. And I know some young men (and yes, women!) who are going to be outstanding pastors. Can I just say to young people that this is a GREAT time to be thinking about theology and ecclesiology. I think you are growing up on the cusp of something special happening in our culture. I am very excited about the kinds of faith communities that are going to exist in the future. They will look very different from our current communities (because if they don't, there won't be any.)
So, starting tomorrow, it'll be books, movies, and then music. I hope you're reading watching and listening... God is in all of them.