Friday, 22 June 2012

Book Review: Imagine

Thinking about what to read this summer? 

We asked Peter Glasgow (studying painting at Wimbledon) to tell us why 'Imagine' by Steve Turner is on his, and Interface's "must read" book list:

Just the other day I met up with a Christian friend who was talking about a weekend away she had gone on last year.  She summarised what the speaker had to say with the throwaway comment, “he was talking about withdrawing from popular culture.”  Later on as I was traveling home I was still mulling that sentence over in my head.  Now obviously I didn’t hear this speaker and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but taking that sentence at face value it seems to have a very negative view of popular culture.  As a Christian am I meant to be withdrawing from popular culture?  Should I not enjoy watching movies?  Or listening to secular music?  Or walking wide eyed round the latest show at the White Cube?  Are the arts and popular culture to be avoided like the plague?  If that’s the Bible’s perspective then I’ve got some serious re-thinking to do as a second year Fine Art Painting student.  

What stopped that spiral of guilt and confusion was remembering some of the stuff that I’d read in Steve Turner’s book “Imagine”.  If you’re studying anything in the arts this is just a must read.  It’s basic foundational stuff for Christians who love God and also love the arts.  Steve really clearly tackles a lot of the common struggles that Christian students in the arts face, dealing with all the questions I just mentioned and more.  Can I only be a Christian in the arts if my art explicitly mentions Jesus or the gospel?  Will people in church not look down on me for pursuing a career in the arts?  Is God happier with me if I’m listening to “Christian music” on my ipod?  Does God like the arts?  If any of those questions have floated round in your head, which I’m sure they have, then “Imagine” is the perfect way to start thinking it though. 

So why not pick up a copy and get reading - you could decide to read it with a friend over the summer and chat through a couple of chapters together, or just dip in and out when you fancy.  Either way, Imagine is a must read!