Item description for Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth by Douglas Wilson & Douglas Jones...
Overview Christianity presents a glorious vision of culture, a vision overflowing with truth, beauty, and goodness. It's a vision that stands in stark conflict with the anemic modern (and postmodern) perspectives that dominate contemporary life. Medieval Christianity began telling a beautiful story about the good life, but it was silenced in mid-sentence. The Reformation rescued truth, but its modern grandchildren have often ignored the importance of a medieval grasp of the good life. This book sketches a vision of "medieval Protestantism," a personal and cultural vision that embraces the fullness of Christian truth, beauty, and goodness. This volume is a breath of fresh air in our polluted religious environment. Hopefully many readers will breathe deeply of its contents and be energized.
Publishers Description Christianity presents a glorious vision of culture, a vision overflowing with truth, beauty, and goodness. It's a vision that stands in stark conflict with the anemic modern (and postmodern) perspectives that dominate contemporary life. Medieval Christianity began telling a beautiful story about the good life, but it was silenced in mid-sentence. The Reformation rescued truth, but its modern grandchildren have often ignored the importance of a medieval grasp of the good life. This book sketches a vision of "medieval Protestantism," a personal and cultural vision that embraces the fullness of Christian truth, beauty, and goodness. "This volume is a breath of fresh air in our polluted religious environment. Hopefully many readers will breathe deeply of its contents and be energized." -The Presbyterian Witness " A] delightful apologetic for a Protestant cultural vision. . . . before you write off these two as mere obscurantist Reformed types, take care. I found that some of my objections were, on the surface, more modern than biblical." -Gregory Alan Thornbury, Carl F. Henry Center for Christian Leadership " T]his book cries out against the bland, purely spiritualized Christianity to which so many of us have become accustomed. . . . I highly recommend it." -David Kind, Pilgrimage, Concordia Theological Seminary
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Studio: Canon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2008
Publisher Canon Press
ISBN 1885767404 ISBN13 9781885767400
Availability 0 units.
More About Douglas Wilson & Douglas Jones
Douglas Wilson (MA, University of Idaho) is a pastor, a popular speaker, and the author of numerous books. He helped to found Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and is currently a senior fellow of theology at New St. Andrews College. He blogs regularly at DougWils.com.
Marvin Olasky (PhD, University of Michigan) is the editor in chief of World magazine, holder of the distinguished chair in journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry College, and senior fellow of the Acton Institute. He was previously a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a Boston Globe reporter, and a Du Pont Company speechwriter. He is the author of twenty books and more than 3,500 articles. He and his wife, Susan, have four sons.
Reviews - What do customers think about Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth?
Beauty as a test-case argument for the Christian Worldview Jan 31, 2007
Angels in the Architecture (AA) is a bold, magnificent book. And when it is wrong in factual assertions, it is magnificently wrong. Ok, seriously. The authors propose against the stale, bloody worldview of modernity a rich, robust *paleo* medieval worldview rooted in Protestant Theology. My review will come from a number of angles.
*What if Tolkien were a Calvinist?* The subtitle suggests Tolkienesque themes. But isn't the subtitle contradictory? Tolkien was a *Catholic!* Well, stay with me for a second. The themes found in Lord of the Rings are not inconsistent with the protestant worldview. This book (AA) should not be read as a historical survey of the middle ages that ends with the convenient conclusion, "Oh, the middle ages happened to be thoroughly protestant after all." No, this book reads as a reconstruction of the Christian worldview-praxis drawing from the finest elements of Medievalism. This is where it is more Tolkienesque than Tolkien himself. Roman Catholicism, in its worst forms, had a nature-grace dualism, robbing it of the goodness of an earthy, creational life. This book ditches the nature-grace scheme and embraces the earthy aspect of the Christian faith (e.g., sex for marital love's sake, beauty that isn't platonised, etc.).
Pros of the Book: 1. Its hauntingly beautiful style. Chapters 2 and 3 are worth memorizing. They will teach you how to write well. The sections on Beowulf and "pure northerness" are worth the price of the book. 2. Its boldness. Modern-day Calvinism needs to make Calvinism beautiful. There is nothing wrong with that. Be winsome and witty in presenting the faith. More people might actually become Calvinists, who knows? 3. Its ability to say a lot with a little. At times the authors do engage in sweeping generalizations. Nevertheless, they also express some knotty problems with amazing ease.
Cons of the Book: ~1. Accuracy? Did the Middle Ages really teach this? Probably not. That's not the point, as I suggested earlier. This should be read as a future reconstruction of society along medieval lines, lines which have been purged (no pun intended) of its compromises. ~2. I am not convinced of Wilson's argument for the Authorized Text. He makes a good case, but I am not buying. ~3. The chapter on agrarianism has taken a lot of hits. I actually like it. But I was told that I shouldn't like it, so I acquiesed. Seriously, the authors could have better nuanced it to say "garden-city" as man's telos.
I don't want to be preached to! Jun 30, 2003
While reading this book, I felt that I was being preached to.. that I wasn't a good Christian if I didn't have children or find a church to belong to, or if I allowed the State to rule me. I had to read the book for a Medieval Chritianity class, and really, there wasn't much medival information, other than to quote medival figures. I was hoping for a book that would show how the Medival people did things in order to show their love for God..not just the occasional aside about them.
A grass-roots cultural vision Jun 21, 2003
Anyone who has read or heard material produced by the Dougs (Wilson and Jones) of Canon Press can appreciate their contributions and insight to the discussions within the evangelical church. However, it is their thoughts and scholarly work on the pursuit of the full, Christian life where they are at their best. What Angels in the Architecture suggests is nothing short of revolutionary. Not an Oliver-Cromwell-meets-Paul-Revere type of revolution, but a much more insidious revolution that spans the distance of even centuries. It is the kind of revolution whose battlefields are the family gathered for dinner, the place where the rod meets the rump, an author's godly and submissive inspirations, the church gathered for the Lord's supper. Christian medievalism must be a grass-roots revolution, calling for faithfulness and generational patience in Christ's body. The Dougs teach us that we must stand on the broad shoulders of our godly church traditions and begin to think and feel the rhythmns of truth, beauty, and goodness before the face of God. Our culture must be transformed, so we must see the urgency and the opportunites that surround us. The Protestant Reformation may have preserved God's truth, but we must synthesize reformational truth with the glorious cultural visions of our medieval fathers. In Angels in the Architecture, Jones and Wilson have broken the ice. Now we must see how deep the water goes.
The good life. But prove it! Jul 20, 2002
This book is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. My soul simply aches after reading anything in it. I especially enjoyed the chapter Wine Dark Sea, and its analysis of ancient pagan art. Wilson claims that Jesus Christ has overthrown that regime, and the only beauty available to us now is through Him. Even non-Christians, in producing works of great art, must do so in reference to Christianity.
However, there is one major flaw in this book, though perhaps the authors never intended to address this issue. That flaw is this: the authors make the claim that the Medieval times were times when truth, beauty, and goodness were defining charateristics. It's fine to make that claim, but there is no proof of it in the book that I can see. I _want_ to believe it simply because I see no beauty whatsoever in modernity or post-modernity. I want to believe them, yet I know next to nothing about the Medieval times. It seems to me that the authors might very profitably spend some time supporting their claim that the Medieval period was everything they claim it was. Or perhaps they have already done that, and haven't produced the evidence of their work. In either case, I want to see the proof!
You've whetted my appetite, now satisfy it!
A Critique of Modernism Dec 27, 2000
Modernism has failed. While most of the intelligentsia still view the world through the strict, formal constructs of the modernist lens, the actual system is a dying religion. The "enlightenment" has kept many blindfolded through the centuries of its existence. The so-called "reason" of enlightenment thought has imprisoned and murdered. It has created the cold, ugly world in which we now live.
But what is to be done? It seems as though these Dark Ages will never end. Even most Christians, who should know better, have bowed before the god of modernity. Should we despair? It certainly seems justified. However, amidst the darkness which enshrouds the mass of pop-Christian fluff books and secular nonsense stands a wonderful new book called Angels in the Architecture, written by Douglas Jones and Douglas Wilson. In this book, Jones and Wilson remind us that things have not always been like they are now. There was an age when truth, beauty, and goodness were the defining virtues: what has been called the Medieval period. This was an age in which God was both glorified and enjoyed. Modernist Christians believe that we are more holy if we eternally wear a long sour face and suck on lemons. Medieval Christians believed that God had called them to enjoy life - to laugh, to play, and to feast.
But Jones and Wilson do not merely look back at the medieval period with nostalgia. They apply what used to be to what could be. Rather than falling into the trap of pessimism and despairing lamenting about our culture, Angels in the Architecture presents a multi-faced display of what life, culture, and a worldview should be. Douglas Jones gives a good overview of the book by describing what virtues a Christian culture should manifest:
"[A] love of beauty permeating every part of life; a deep respect for the majesty and liberty of God; a holy recognition of the deep biblical antithesis; humility in covenantal redemption - imputed righteousness; laughter as a habit of life; a devotion to celebration - feasting and lovemaking; the centrality of the Church; a humble submission to godly tradition; the peace of federal headship in marriage; a soulful nurturing of children for millennia; a community shaped by rural rhythms; self-responsibility and a fading state; an acknowledgement of creational hierarchies; a harmony of gratitude and discipline in developing technologies; the predominance of poetic over rationalistic knowledge; a confidence in the triumph of the cross."
This book is probably the best book a Christian could read in order to get a vision of what Wilson terms "a second Christendom" would be like. We should be striving to conform ourselves not to a rigid, formal, modernistic Christianity, but a Christianity full of life, zest, and power. Until we break free from the cage called modernity, we shall never truly experience and enjoy the life that God has given to us.