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Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple Church Minute 17--Gothic cathedrals

17—Gothic cathedrals
NOTE:  I originally wrote a segment for each of the 61 points Frank Viola and George Barna make in their book, Pagan Christianity, about traditions in the institutional church not based on scripture.  After writing it, I chose to not include this segment merely as I felt that in wouldn’t be an interesting radio commentary.

My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute
            If I say the word “Gothic”, what comes to mind?  I don’t want to go there—it’s a distortion of an era in European history called Gothic, the 12th century.  In theology, it was the time of the scholastic movement.  According to Alister McGrath, the question, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” was never actually debated on paper, but many other things equally esoteric and unsolvable were.  In architecture, it was the time the Gothic cathedral was developed.  The word “cathedral” comes from cathedra, which meant, the building that houses the bishop’s chair.  The idea was to create the effect of the New Jerusalem on earth.  Rich, dark colors, extremely high ceilings, and stained0glass windows were used, the combination of which was to create a feeling of awe and majesty, and which would draw the person inside to look up.  The Architects drew inspiration from Platonic philosophy and the towers of ancient Egypt.  Plato’s idea was that sound, light, and color had mystical meanings that could induce moods to bring one to the eternal good.
            Now, beauty can be good, and being or feeling inspired can and should be good, but it depends what one is getting inspired toward.  This is a huge difference from people encouraging each other and growing in true maturity of faith.  The church had lost contact with what Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verses 9 to 16.
The reference to Alister McGrath is from his book, Christian Theology

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