Monday, September 30, 2013

Psalm 36:7-9

Yesterday I was reading Psalm 36 and verses 7-9 jumped out at me.  I think they are such a beautiful, poetic description of God's love for us:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.

I once painted a couple of versions of verse 7-9 on ceramic panels.  Here is the larger version:

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Travelling the Ancient Land" by Safina Stewart

Check out the latest wonderful painting by Aboriginal Christian Artist Safina Stewart, called "Travelling the Ancient Land"!

Safina writes:

I love the stain glass window effect, patch working and the mix of Aboriginal designs across the landscape. I painted it in honor of the many traditional owners of this diverse Australian continent. My hope is that when people see this painting they'll be prompted to appreciate the land, people, culture and history of the land they dwell on and travel. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Native American Identity, Christianity, and Critical Contextualization by Eric Bates

I was just made aware of this new book (thanks to Paul Neeley at Global Worship): Native American Identity, Christianity, and Critical Contextualization by Eric Bates.  I haven't read it yet so if any of you do, let me know!

From Amazon:

The idea of being both ‘Native’ and ‘Christian’ has been especially challenging among American Indians. Indian people have endured five hundred years of colonial dominance and the results have left divisions between those who are traditionalists, keeping to the old ways, and those who are progressives, embracing the new. Since the mid-1990s there has been a resurgence among Indian evangelicals who wish to break down the ‘identity crisis’ related to being Native and Christian. Native Christians are encouraging other Natives to meet somewhere in the middle of traditionalism and progressivism. 
Eric Bates addresses the question of Native American identity, a question that has been problematic among both Native Americans and non-Indians. Blood quantum as an indicator of Indigenous identity has led to constructions of different levels of Indianness. Pan-Indianism has brought together Native peoples from a variety of tribal backgrounds and has formed a new sense of collective identity as Indians versus tribal affiliations. Using situational analysis, Bates examines contextualized ministry via a Native Christian conference which allows Christian Indians to express their Indianness by wearing Native regalia, using Indigenous instruments, and employing other forms of Native expression.

For more about the author, Eric Bates, check out his NKU faculty profile or page 31 of this alumni magazine.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stained Glass Window at Yuendumu Baptist Church in Northern Territory, Australia

Stained glass window at Yuendumu Baptist Church in Northern Territory, Australia,
showing the Cross of Christ surrounded by the Dreamings of the various Warlpiri clan divisions.
Photo by Louise, 2009.

I'm doing more research on Ivan Jordan's book, Their Way: Towards an Indigenous Warlpiri Christianity, and found this image of a stained glass window at a church in the area where he and his wife Verl were missionaries from 1973 until c. 2000 (his ministry was centered in the church at Lajamanu).  The church was built in 1967 under the direction of Ivan's predecessor, Tom Fleming, who worked at Yuendumu from 1950-1975.  Ivan writes this about Tom and the window above:

The beautiful stained glass window in the Yuendumu church building with the cross in the centre of the various Dreaming designs of the Warlpiris, is further testimony to Tom's attitude.  The window reminds those entering the building that all people come into God's family through the cross of Christ.  It also reminds them that every person who comes into God's family comes as they are; not as a White person or Westerner, but as a truly Aboriginal person, and for the Warlpiris, they come as a member of their kinship group.  This approach of architecturally relating the people to God in a graphic way is similar to what has happened at other places such as Yirrkala and Maningrida, in Arnhem Land (148).

Click on the image above to see more photos by "Louise" from the church (including more artwork, though sometimes blurry).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Jesus Washing His Disciples' Feet by Hindu artist Bhanu Dudhat

Jesus Washing His Disciples' Feet by Bhanu Dudhat, 30" X 24" Acrylic on Canvas
Take a look at this interesting folk-style painting by Hindu artist Bhanu Dudhat of India.  You can see more of his paintings here (26 total).  The paintings are great, though at least one is bit off on the details– the Last Supper has 13 disciples!  Overall, however, they are a pleasure to see.  There is also a long scroll painting showing many scenes from the Old Testament (click here, or here for the entire image at once).

According to Bhanu's biography, he is a Hindu ("He has full devotion to Lord Shiva. He believes Lord Shiva as the source of motivation").  Unfortunately, his biography is also long, rambling and badly written in English.  So I would suggest that you stick to browsing the artwork by Bhanu and his wife, Prabha– whose Hindu paintings are almost identical in style to her husband's biblical paintings (I'm not sure which one developed the folk style first, as Bhanu paints contemporary abstracts as well).  The folk style of the biblical and Hindu paintings may have begun with Bhanu's mother, who (according to Bhanu's biography) also painted.  If you want to slog through the biography to figure it out for yourself, go for it!