This is an excerpt from my latest blog post on The Huffington Post religion channel:
Churches have long been preaching that Hollywood is undermining their values. Conservative religious parents take on an often onerous, quick-stepping job of keeping up on the latest releases of movies to determine if the messages in the films are supportive of their messages at home, and at a minimum, determining whether they pose a threat to the brands of faith to which they subscribe.
For as long as people have been able to jot their ideas down with writing tools, they have expressed their range of perceptions of and responses to God, gods, goddesses and the great force or forces long believed to govern events on our planet. A whole series of blogs couldn’t begin to cover the range of God represented in written form. With hundreds of thousands of titles in print, God themes are often pretty decent reading.
God in art has been a constant contemplation since antiquity as well. From ancient sculptures of icons and figurines used in ancient worship practices, objects thought sacred date back to humanity’s earliest days. It is now thought that a snake depiction found inside a cave in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana is possibly 70,000 years old and may be the oldest known religious object. Bostwani legend maintains that man descended from the python and scientists have pieced together what they think is a religious tradition there.
Over time, sophisticated paintings by some of the world’s masters have captured beliefs in many forms of mythology, often featuring God, Jesus, angels, scenes described in the Bible and even featuring verses themselves in mass market art sold in shopping malls such as the inspirational works of the late Thomas Kinkade. All kinds of things are created to help us keep God in focus and hold God a little closer. …
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