- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (September 12, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830837094
- ISBN-13: 978-0830837090
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Word Pictures: Knowing God Through Story & Imagination
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"At first blush, Word Pictures sounds like just another postmodern effort to destroy our confidence in propositional truth. It isn't. Instead of pitting orthodoxy and orthopraxy against one another, Godawa talks about the relationship of reason and imagination. We have overemphasized reason, he argues, when imagination is also a biblical means of communicating truth. The book brings balance to a difficult conversation." (Leadership Journal, (www.leadershipjournal.net), Spring 2010)
"Godawa shows how the Bible uses both propositions and rich imagery, metaphor, narrative, and poetry--in other words, the language of the imagination--to convey truth." (Susan Olasky, WORLD Magazine, November 7, 2009)
"Godawa is one of the best thinkers on Christianity, art and culture writing today. His latest work, Word Pictures, encourages a much more holistic viewing of movies and TV, which in turn leads to a more complete understanding of the Word of God. His work will make you want to first reach for your Bible and then view (or, even better, make) art that engages the culture and advances the kingdom of God. He has also convinced me that I am a 'literarialist.' Read this book and you'll probably become one too." (Dean Batali, TV writer, That '70s Show and Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
"Brian Godawa is that rare combination of industry professional and serious intellectual who is respected by the academic community and the media industry as well. When Brian speaks, I make notes, because what he thinks matters. Word Pictures is exactly what the culture needs to hear right now. We've moved from a text-based culture to a visually based culture, and Brian's book is the key to making that transition. It's changed my thinking about understanding the Bible in a postmodern era." (Phil Cooke, president and creative director, Cooke Pictures, Santa Monica, California)
"Brian Godawa's incisive delineation of word pictures in the aftermath of a collapsed modernity heralds a new, thoughtful, biblically postmodern perspective of movies and the arts. This is a biblically holistic perspective. As a Hollywood insider, Godawa is uniquely situated to assess both the assets and liabilities of today's major movie industry and to offer valuable suggestions to Christians for how they should interact with it. We all would do well to listen carefully to Godawa's well-honed argument and heed his advice." (P. Andrew Sandlin, president, Center for Cultural Leadership)
"Accessible and engaging, Word Pictures introduces readers to the popular discourse among religious conservatives about visual culture in a mass-mediated society. The strength of Word Pictures lies in the author's fresh explication of biblical passages, 'literarily' situating them in both generic and cultural contexts and then drawing interesting parallels for thinking about contemporary popular art." (William Romanowski, professor of communication arts and sciences, Calvin College, and author of Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture)
"Brian Godawa's book is an exploration of the literary nature of the Bible. It is a spirited and balanced defense of the imagination as a potential conveyer of truth. There is a lot of good literary theory in the book, as well as an autobiographical story line. Pervading all this wealth is a sense of the author's energetic mind. The thoroughness of research makes the book a triumph of scholarship as well." (Leland Ryken, Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English, Wheaton College, and editor of The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing)
"A timely corrective to those of us who would reduce faith to words and arguments, given by an author who uses words and arguments so well. In Word Pictures Brian Godawa manages to be contemporary without being trendy, faithful to tradition without being hidebound. It should be read by anyone concerned for the well-being of biblical truth in twenty-first-century popular culture." (Steve Turner, author of Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts)
"This book deserves, and will delight, a wide readership. Part autobiography, part biblical studies, part apologetics, part aesthetics, part historical theology, only a 'Renaissance man' like artist-intellectual-communicator Brian Godawa could have brought together 'word' and 'image' with such serene, soaring mastery. I'll be requiring it in my preaching courses." (Leonard Sweet, author of Out of the Question . . . Into the Mystery)
"This is must reading for anyone interested in the huge question of the use of words and the legitimacy of images for theological and apologetic discourse. Brian Godawa has left no stone unturned. Moving insightfully through the Bible, Luther, Calvin, Tolkien, Lewis and, of course, films, Godawa lays to rest the many fears about images and imagination. More than that, he encourages Christians to get involved in the media, with a view to transforming them rather than hiding behind the safe wall of 'Christian art.'" (William Edgar, professor of apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia)
"At a contentious intersection of faith and contemporary culture, Brian Godawa offers what many of us have been calling for: balance. In a world (and often a church) torn by imbalanced devotion to either word or image, Godawa joins the two with a needed 'and.' He shows a well-developed literacy for both forms of communication, shows how the Bible incorporates both and challenges us to engage our culture creatively and redemptively on both fronts." (Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy)
"Brian Godawa is that rare breed--a philosopher-artist--who opens our eyes to the aesthetic dimension of spirituality. Cogently argued and fun to read, this book analyzes the rich variety of literary genres found in Scripture itself. Godawa shows convincingly that God interacts with us as whole persons, not only through didactic teaching but also through metaphor, symbol and sacrament." (Nancy R. Pearcey, Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar, World Journalism Institute, and author of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity)
"At a contentious intersection of faith and contemporary culture, Brian Godawa offers what many of us have been calling for: balance. In a world (and often a church) torn by imbalanced devotion to either word or image, Godawa joins the two with a needed 'and.' He shows a well-developed literacy for both forms of communication, shows how the Bible incorporates both and challenges us to engage our culture creatively and redemptively on both fronts."
Top customer reviews
Godawa is not himself a scholar - but he has a sharp mind; and is an excellent researcher into various scholarly works. Just a very valuable read. One of my top 20 favorite books in the past 10 years (and I've read many great tomes from the pens of N.T. Wright, Richard Hays, Joel Green, Richard Bauckham, Tim Keller, etc.).
Word Pictures opened my eyes to how Western Christianity has over emphasized reason and logic at the expense of life. We are to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Brian challenges us to shed our skepticism of the subjective and embrace life in its fullness.
What we live and experience often influences us more than logical argument. Brian doesn't dismiss the importance of truth; rather he shows that truth is often communicated more impactfully through the medium of art than it is by mere statement.
It is time for Christians to embrace the arts for our own good, and to engage the culture around us. If you have ever felt like something was missing from your Christianity, this book will inspire you to see the multiple mediums that God uses to communicate His truth to people. No more cookie cutter Christianity!!! God's drama in the 21sta century will use the arts: movies, stories, pictures, symbols, sculpture, paintings, drama, videos, YouTube, blogs, facebook, and more. Are you ready for a challenge? Read this book!
Having been raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, some of my early memories are of being inside churches adorned with beautiful paintings and sculpture. As an adult, I've traveled to places as diverse as Italy and Thailand, and I've marveled at the magnificent works--paintings, sculptures, architecture, tapestries, etc.--created by deeply religious artists throughout the ages. The question then that troubles me is why are places of worship in modern America often so plain, so painfully devoid of any visual art? Art used to be found primarily in churches and temples, not in museums; now the opposite is true.
This book not only explains the reasons for this development; it also presents a detailed, logically consistent, biblically based argument for how we must change our thinking in order to re-integrate the arts into a Christian worldview.
The book is incredibly well researched. Godawa always goes back to the bible and supports his arguments with scripture. It's not just a well-constructed logical argument (although it is that also). We read about artists in the bible, including some whose work would definitely NOT be on the list of nice art for Sunday school classroom walls. We learn that the bible is filled with stories about God communicating to people through visual media, music, dance, drama, architecture, costume design, and even avant garde performance art. Godawa says that his research shows that only 20% of the bible is expository writing. And the very first person in the bible who is ever described as being "filled with the Holy Spirit" is in fact an artist, Bezalel. (If you haven't heard of him, look him up in an online Bible concordance; it's a great story.)
This book is a huge encouragement to artists, such as myself, working in non-representational forms. I'm a composer, and much of what I create is instrumental music. I sometimes feel that the church has little use for my music, and yet I am certain that this is my primary gift from God. This book tells artists like me that our gifts have purpose and value.
Thank you, Brian, for reminding us that our God loves both truth AND beauty.