Willow Arts Conference: Day Three...

Such a bittersweet day... On the one hand, it's the day that Donald Miller is doing one of the general sessions. But on the other hand, it's the last day and we're heading home tonight. The Arts Conference has become one of my favorite times during the year and I can't believe it's already come and gone. Here's the highlights of the day...

  • I had a great time having some morning coffee with Scott and Phil. These guys are amazing Jr. High pastors and great dudes. I didn't even know Phil was in Chicago!

  • The morning session started with some great worship and kept going with a great message from Donald Miller, author of some great books that have been very influential in my life in the past year. Here's some of what he talked about:
    *Artists are so important to communicating the Gospel.
    *The enlightenment was what seperated art from the church. It changed how we look at truth. It used to be holistic. Now, it needs to be proven scientifically.
    *After the invention of the printing press, the communication of truth became almost exclusively written. But the problem with that was that most people were still illiterate.
    *One of the reasons why the early church had icons was to sommunicate truth to those who couldn't read.
    *Three main parts to the brain: Left (details, logic, TRUTH), Right (creativity), and the Amygdale (emotions). We've taken the Amygdale out of the brain and put it in the heart.
    *"Study the trinity and then study the human brain and ask yourself how humans are made in God’s image." You come to conclusions holistically whether you realize it or not.
    *Illus. of his friend Tony loving his wife. Why do you love your wife? Brains, Beauty, she has a huge love of God. If you found someone who ranked higher in these categories, would you trade away your wife and love her? Of course not. Part of why we love someone is a mystery.
    *After the enlightenment, we don’t like mystery anymore.
    *Coming to a conclusion and justifying our decision are two seperate things that work differently.
    *Truth and meaning go together especially in a relational context.
    *Jesus never used bullet points. He used stories, kind of "poetic grunts". Not because he was stupid, but because the reality of it (the kingdom of God) is too big!
    *“It’s not the poet that goes mad it’s the mathematician. The mathematician is trying to get heaven into his head. The poet is trying to get his head into heaven.” -G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy. (Three different speakers quoted this book this week. I think it would be wise for me to read it.)
    *Miller then presented how Romeo and Juliet relates the story of the Gospel as he did in Searching For God Knows What.
    *We can’t communicate the Gospel without art.

  • The last session was Erwin McManus and a ministry group from Mosaic called Scribble. It was mostly the group dancing and doing some drama, with an occasional interjection from McManus. One thing that resounded with me was when he said "Asking what kind of church do we want to become is the wrong question. If we ask what kind of future we want to create, we can figure out what kind of church we want to become."

  • I love this conference! I'm sure I'll be posting more on things that I've learned as I have time to process it over the next few weeks...
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