Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Burch Brown, Frank: Inclusive Yet Discerning

Book Info

Frank Burch Brown: Inclusive Yet Discerning: Navigating Worship Artfully,The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies/Eerdmans – Grand Rapids, 2009.
Worshiping communities today have access to more arts and styles from more times and places than ever before. In this volume Frank Burch Brown explores how Christians can navigate this increasingly diverse world of worship. Brown combines an abiding admiration of classical idioms with an appreciation of new possibilities for the arts in worship. Interacting with a wide range of religious thinkers and leaders -- from Augustine and John Calvin to Rick Warren, Marcus Borg, and the Pope -- he addresses questions concerning "good" art and "good" music for worship. A lively and thought-provoking book, Inclusive yet Discerning is permeated by Brown's wide-ranging knowledge and deep love of the arts and his desire to articulate a theological aesthetic that, as he says, "will have teeth but not fangs."
Byron Borger: 'Anyone following the important conversations about worship renewal in the past decade has surely heard of the prestigious and helpful Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, MI. John Witvliet has done heroes work, here, and in this "Liturgical Studies" series of books, he's brought out important and thoughtful resource for the renewal of contemporary worship practice. This volume is about the relationship of theology, worship, and the arts---"a complex interweaving" as Jeremy Begbie puts it in his rave review. Frank Burch Brown is known for his work in Indianapolis (Christian Theological Seminary) and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Those interested in thoughtful Christian art criticism know well his book Good Taste, Bad Taste, Christian Taste: Aesthetics in Religious Life (Oxford University Press) which was one of the most talked about books in Christian arts circles a few years back. This new book is exciting as he offers insight based on his own obvious care for the subject and his interest in a practical theological aesthetic that will serve the churches well in their efforts for more lively and mature worship. Still, it isn't a guidebook as he is in conversation with scholars such as David Bentley Hart, Pope Benedict, David Tracey, Carl Daw, Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Barth, and sociologists like Robert Wuthnow.'