Brett David Potter

Recycled Images, Relational Aesthetics, and the Sound of Music

As Bruce Ellis Benson’s recent book Liturgy as a Way of Life reminds us, “in making art, we always start with something.”[1] To be an artist is not to create ex nihilo but to creatively reinterpret and rework the preexisting forms of art, nature, and culture—including the stories and images that shape and direct our […]

Brett David Potter, Robert Andrew Norman, Zachary Thomas Settle

Looper and NonViolence

“I don’t wanna talk about time travel ‘cause if we start talking about it then we’re gonna be here all day talkin’ about it and makin’ diagrams with straws.” –Old Joe Rian Johnson’s recent science fiction film Looper is not, first and foremost, a movie about time travel, as articulated clearly by older Joe (Bruce […]

Brett David Potter

David Bazan on tour

I’ll keep it short and sweet – going to a David Bazan house show is a sublime experience. My wife and I went to one in Bellingham, WA a few years back (right after “Curse Your Branches” came out) and it was incredible; we had seen him perform before with Pedro the Lion in clubs, […]

Brett David Potter

Book Recommendations for Theology and Pop Culture?

I am in the midst of putting together a proposed syllabus for an introductory Theology and Pop Culture course and would love suggestions/feedback on the best/worst books on the subject. I was thinking of using these 3 as primary texts:   Detweiler, Craig and Barry Taylor. A matrix of meanings : finding God in pop […]

Brett David Potter

Mad Men and the Pursuit of Happiness

One is immediately suspicious of any attempt to distill the glorious complexities of Mad Men down to any single theme. Depending on who you ask, it is a show about the birth of the cool, a nostalgic look at the 1960s (some people talk as if it deserves an official papal pronouncement: “It is how […]

Brett David Potter

Theologians Don’t Know Nothing: A Thought for the Day from Wilco

Now that I have a daughter, I can look forward to some day standing in front of a puzzled class of Grade One students on Career Day explaining that I am not a doctor, lawyer or carpenter but a “theologian.” (Or better yet, a “theologue.”) I’m the first to admit that it’s a strange career […]

Brett David Potter

“Living Into Focus”: Recovering Clarity in the Age of Technology

Technology is an integral part of the human cultural “envelope.” Once we used stone implements to kill mammoths and sabretooth tigers; now we have iPads. Marshall McLuhan famously called the media the “extensions of man”; but in a sense, all technology could be described by this phrase. Our tools, as is manifestly evident in the twenty-first century, have become part of […]

Brett David Potter

Are Artists the High Priests of Culture? Part II

Do artists take themselves too seriously? Do we take artists seriously enough? These are the questions I’ve had coming out of my post last week, where I offered a few preliminary thoughts (in response to a well-intentioned but generally frustrating video from the Gospel Coalition) on the question of whether artists serve some kind of […]

Brett David Potter

Are Artists the High Priests of Culture? Part I

In his seminal Art in Action (1980), Reformed philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff emphasized the way in which the artist, “when he brings forth order for human benefit or divine honor,” participates in “man’s vocation to master and subdue the earth” (77). Such a creationally-grounded ‘job description’ applies equally to artists inside and outside the boundaries of the church. On […]