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Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human Paperback – May 1, 2011

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Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human + God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art (Cultural Exegesis) + Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080102921X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801029219
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


One of Worship Leader Magazine's "Best of the Best" books for 2011. "Beautifully intricate yet completely expansive . . . . [exploring] everything that is inexplicable about the arts, the Holy Spirit, and how we are created in the image of our maker." - Worship Leader Magazine, Oct. 4, 2011.

One of Hearts and Minds Books' "Best Books of 2011."

From the Back Cover

Exploring the Holy Spirit through the Arts

"[Steven Guthrie] invites us to enter the world of human artistry and reenvision the arts in ways that are illuminating, compelling, and always down to earth. . . . You will encounter a first-rate teacher who seems to be able to draw on a vast range of images and metaphors to press each point home. You will encounter a theologian who can bring clarity out of confusion without ever stifling a sense of openness and wonder. And most important, you will, by God's grace, encounter the work of the Spirit, sharpening your thinking and enlarging your vision."--Jeremy S. Begbie, Duke University Divinity School (from the foreword)

"The renaissance in pneumatology and pneumatological theology takes a quantum leap with this book, which propels us into other dimensions of the Spirit that allow us to see, hear, and perceive the signs of the coming kingdom in the arts, music, and even Scripture that have otherwise been beyond our ken. Creator Spirit participates in the re-creative work of the Spirit to make all things new and beautiful."--Amos Yong, Regent University School of Divinity; coeditor, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

"Creator Spirit brings the Holy Spirit and art together into the creative center of human life. Guthrie shows how the Holy Spirit and art illumine each other and, together, create spaces where God is glorified and we are allowed to become what God intended. This is one of the best treatments of the Holy Spirit's activity in culture."―William Dyrness, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Guthrie compellingly engages what may be the most profound, yet often the most trivialized, dimension of theological aesthetics. The result is a rich, reflective, and learned work that artists and theologians alike have been hoping for."--Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University

"In this important new work Guthrie combines his technical expertise and experience as a practicing musician with a sure-footed treatment of core biblical and theological issues. The result is a compelling cross-disciplinary conversation that both advances the concerns of constructive Christian theology and offers insights and resources for those involved in the arts."--Trevor Hart, Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

More About the Author

Steve Guthrie is Associate Professor of Theology at Belmont University in Nashville, where he leads Belmont's major in Religion and the Arts. Before coming to Belmont, Dr. Guthrie was Research Fellow, and then Lecturer in Theology at the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Dr. Guthrie earned an undergraduate degree in Music Theory from the University of Michigan, and worked for several years as a musician before becoming disoriented on the way to a gig and stumbling into the world of academic theology. In his spare time, he enjoys playing his Fender Rhodes, eating pizza, or simply quietly meditating on the goodness of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Above all, he enjoys writing breezy, faintly humorous autobiographical paragraphs for the internet; always written in the third person, so that the casual reader will believe that they have been penned by some devoted chronicler of his life and work.

Dr. Guthrie is married to Julie and has four extraordinarily clever and impossibly good looking children. On weekends you will find him playing around the Nashville area with the band "SixtyFour."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Wright on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dr. Guthrie presents a compelling and insightful discussion about the extraordinary being found in our everyday lives. He describes the various theories of beauty and creative art through the works of everyone from Plato to Coltrane. This is a must read for all creatives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Long on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What does it mean to say something is spiritual or to speak of spirituality? Does it mean rejection of the goodness of creation? Does "spirit" necessarily exclude matter? Does it mean "overcoming" our humanness? Steven Guthrie argues persuasively that one of the principal works of the Holy Spirit is to both make and remake our humanity, to restore our humanity rather than extinguish it.

Guthrie comes to theology by way of music theory and he directs this book to people coming from both camps. The book originated out of a course Guthrie co-taught with Jeremy Begbie at the University of St. Andrews. The idea was to teach a course on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit to theology students in which the arts were the means for addressing important issues. Subsequently Guthrie began teaching at Belmont University where the material was adapted to music students with little theological background. Accordingly, Guthrie takes care to teach the fundamentals of art to those who come primarily from a theological background as well as the fundamentals of theology to those coming primarily from a music background.

Guthrie grounds his theology in Scripture and informs it with great theological minds such as Athanasius and Augustine. He also engages John Coltrane, Annie Dillard, Mozart, and Beethoven, as well as painters, poets and other artists and musicians.

Guthrie wants to explore with you the possibility that, for a Christian, "spiritual" is not simply a way of denoting one's beliefs or practices, but rather refers to that which is of the Holy Spirit. Guthrie posits an incarnational view of the Spirit and this book will give you new insight into the wonderful way that the Spirit works in this world using insights from both art and theology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steven Guthrie opened my heart and eyes to appreciate the extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit to innovate in my life and the lives of my family and friends. Looking back over the years of struggle, success, failure and growth, I can better see and, therefore, trust the Spirit's work in my life and in those I love.

This book provides the foundation for trust and security in our Lord. No longer do I need to feel the need to control every aspect of my day or to try to manipulate circumstances through a lack of truthfulness or shady deception.

Thank you for this book. I celebrate its truths daily.
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