ECHOES OF EDEN: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts

Published on March 20, 2014 by Igor Mateski

unknown, 2013 | 202 pages


About the Author:

Jerram Barrs is the founder and resident scholar of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he teaches apologetics and outreach as professor of Christian studies.


In this book Barrs explores the reasons humans are inescapably attracted to the arts. He argues that artistic expression is an imitative act of creation; when we create we do so because we are the image bearers of the Creator. God’s creation is good, beautiful, and highly imaginative. God has built aesthetic sensibilities into us and placed us in a created order where they can be satisfied.

Yet the world is also filled with ugliness, pain, suffering, angst, and death. The beautiful and the ugly, righteousness and sin, life and death are all juxtaposed in our experience. Barrs argues that art reflects the Christian narrative: some art looks back to a time of paradise, some looks at the present glory and shame of human experience, and some looks to the future when redemption is completed. These three categories are the echoes of Eden. Within this framework Barrs examines principles for evaluating art and then devotes chapters to C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, William Shakespeare, and Jane Austen as practical cases for seeing the relationship between Christianity and the arts.

Artistic expression is an imitative act of creation; when we create we do so because we are the image bearers of the Creator.

Table of Contents

1 God and Humans as Creative Artists
2 Imitation, the Heart of the Christian’s Approach to Creativity
3 Building a Christian Understanding of the Artist’s Calling
4 How Do We Judge the Arts?
5 Echoes of Eden: God’s Testimony to the Truth
6 The Conversion of C. S. Lewis and Echoes of Eden in His Life
7 Echoes of Eden in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings
8 Harry Potter and the Triumph of Self-Sacrificing Love
9 Shakespeare and a Christian Worldview
10 Jane Austen, Novelist of the Human Heart
Appendix: The “Outing” of Dumbledore
General Index
Scripture Index


Chapter 1 God and Humans as Creative Artists

All of creation declares the glory of God, as John Calvin and Gerard Manley Hopkins eloquently expressed. Following Daniel Loizeaux we can identify four aspects of God’s revelation on which to focus:

  1. Perfection. Whether creation is studied on macro or micro levels, it reveals a wisdom and craftsmanship far surpassing…


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Echoes Of Eden: Reflections On Christianity, Literature, And The Arts

unknown, 2013 | 202 pages

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