Testing Christian taste: Twelve guidelines

1. There are many kinds of good taste, and many kinds of good religious art and music. In view of cultural diversity, it would be extremely odd if that were not true.

2. Not all kinds of good art and music are equally good for worship, let alone for every tradition or faith community. In terms of worship, therefore, it is not enough that a work or style of art be likable; it must also be appropriate.

3. There are various appropriately Christian modes of mediating religious experience artistically—from radically transcendent to radically immanent in a sense of the holy; from exuberantly abundant to starkly minimal in means; from prophetic to pastoral in tone; from instructive to meditative in aim.

4. Every era and cultural context tends to develop new forms of good sacred music and art, which to begin with often seem secular.


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