Archive for March, 2009

Airport security


Seen at East Timor airport. Message (I think): If you’re going to bring your AK47 onboard, just make sure it’s disassembled first ok. You gotta love this place.




In Singapore, we have committees for everything.

Poster boy


So far, I’ve turned down numerous offers to appear in the ‘Before’ picture of weight loss advertisements. Starting today however, my boy will appear on ads in newspapers, bus shelters, nursery rooms and more. Come April, he will also be in Mother & Child Magazine, which I understand is the parenting equivalent of GQ.

Meanwhile, his proud mother is on a mission to photograph every OCBC bus shelter in town.  Me, I’ve been chasing the suits in the office for the media schedule and by the time they actually get down to it, Lukas would have long graduated from university and thinking of buying his first car.

Look out for the campaign. There will be 4 different ads running from now till end June. Oh, and it’s only in Singapore. Can’t do anything about that!

A new worldview

Imagine Christians who are called to be artists rather than preachers. Believers who draw attention to a worldview that is different from that of their contemporaries. Can we actually change the nature of the big debate?

According to Steve Turner, Yes. Not only is it possible, but it is being done. Steve is the author of Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts. The following is an excerpt from an interview by Matt Conner. Full text here.

Matt: What is a worldview? 

Steve: Worldview literally means having a view of the world, and everyone has a worldview. Christians tend to have a Biblically informed view of, for example, prayer but not of economics, leisure, fashion, health, etc. Therefore, their views on everyday matters – that area of life they probably view as “secular” – are just borrowed from the surrounding culture.

If you take an artist like Beyonce, she appears to have a Christian view of Bible reading, church and prayer and yet her performance, rather than challenging the predominant culture, is a reflection of its current demands.

Matt: You write about Christian art. Would you say that it reflects a Biblical view of very few aspects of life?

Steve: Things are a lot better now than they were 30 or 60 years ago. Today, there are so many books that examine different areas of life from a Christian perspective. In my book Imagine I trace this split back to Plato who thought that our aim was to connect to the spiritual world through our spirits and saw our bodies as an impediment to this.

We often reflect this split by thinking that we’re most pleasing to God when we’re praying, witnessing or praising and least close to him when we’re doing something purely physical like running, eating, dancing or love making.

Matt: Can you elaborate on the idea of God being just as interested in those last things you mentioned.

Steve: We have to remember that God made us as humans, not Christians. He created the human race and the environment of the world and was pleased with what he had created. He imagined us enjoying our lives in this space He had created.

The actor playing the athlete Eric Lidell in the film Chariots of Fire is made to say, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” That is a good doctrine of creation. When we do human things in the world God made for us, God gets pleasure. The need to be Christian entered with the fall. We needed to be redeemed. But, far from wiping out God’s orininal intentions, it confirms them. To be Christian is to be on our way to being fully human.

Hank Rookmaaker the Dutch art historian used to say, “Christ didn’t die in order that we could go to more prayer meetings.” People would gasp at this. Then he would add, “Christ died to make us fully human.” That’s right. He didn’t die to make us religious, but to make us human.

In our fallen state, we lack the completeness of our humanity. The monastic tradition makes the mistake of thinking that God is best pleased with us when we cut ourselves off from the world, deny ourselves pleasure, refrain from marriage and devote ourselves totally to religious activities. This almost assumes that God made a mistake in putting us in a world of pleasure, culture, art, nature, work, companionship, etc.

Matt: So what is the responsibility of the Christian artist in light of this?

Steve: Christians have so often ‘used’ an art form simply to put over a ‘message,’ but have had no love for the art form. They haven’t wanted to leave film or the novel in a better state because they were there. But because these things are good and are pleasing to God, we should make sure that we tend and look after them.

The arts help to preserve and invigorate language. They sharpen our vision. They make us notice things. They bring greater understanding between people. We have to respect that.

High calling


At least the colours match.



Just in. The official logo for Sunday Morning. Illustrated by the superbly talented Shieko. There’ll be many variations of this logo, thanks to an idea suggested by Jeff. But for now, this is the face of the new company. Thank you. I really don’t deserve the applause and you may all sit down now.

Quiet Time

Photo taken in East Timor. Language: Tetun.

Photo taken in East Timor. Language: Tetun.

Jesus, when did this world

decide You were

a religion

instead of a person?

Susan Lenzkes © 2008