For the Beauty of the Church

Casting a Vision for the Arts

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Once upon a time, the church was deeply involved in the arts, leading the way in beauty, technical ability, and even funding. In many churches today the arts are an afterthought at best and forbidden at worst. This insightful book takes you beyond "how we've always done it," beyond fads, beyond mere imitation of the culture, and beyond utilitarianism to develop a robust, dynamic, and substantive vision for the place of the arts--and artists--in our churches.

Contributors include: 

Eugene Peterson

W. David O. Taylor

Lauren Winner

John Witvliet

Jeremy Begbie

Andy Crouch

Barbara Nicolosi

Joshua Banner


"The called out, multi-gifted, and working church ought to be synonymous with all good gifts and stewardship of the earth. And it most certainly ought to be synonymous with the stewardship of the arts. For the Beauty of the Church reminds us of this essential truth and many more."―Charlie Peacock, co-director, Art House America; author of New Way to Be Human

"Pragmatic and theologically astute at the same time, For the Beauty of the Church is a gem-packed collection for those navigating between the realms of the arts and the church. David Taylor is one of the leading pastors in the church's effort to reach out to artists. I am delighted that he has brought together these important and lucid voices for our edification."―Makoto Fujimura, artist; founder and creative director, International Arts Movement

"One reason the church exists is that our hunger for beauty will not go away. These essays remind us why. The splendid chapter by Barbara Nicolosi is worth the price of the book itself."―John Ortberg, author, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

"This book is an urgently needed wake-up call for the church! Why have we failed so badly to honor, support, nurture, respectfully critique, and listen to the artists among us? I pray that this book will encourage more artists and churches to offer each other their respective gifts."―Marva J. Dawn, author of In the Beginning, God and A Royal "Waste" of Time; teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver

"Be enriched and encouraged as you read the words in this book, sharing its vitality with others in your communities of faith."―Luci Shaw, from the foreword

"This book is encouraging, celebrative, and hopeful, but it is also explosive. David Taylor and his friends want very simply to make worship come alive. This conversation is critical not only for its practical suggestions about the arts but also its bracing theological framework that will help make artistic and spiritual worship the transforming experience God intends it to be."―William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. W. David O. Taylor

    W. David O. Taylor

    W. David O. Taylor (ThD, Duke Divinity School) is associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. An Anglican priest, he has lectured widely on the arts, from Thailand to South Africa. Taylor has written for the...

    Continue reading about W. David O. Taylor


"David Taylor deserves kudos for an engaging and mature book on art's place in the church. His contributors show a sane appreciation for creativity in the church. It's hard to read their words without wondering how one's own congregation might benefit from a more robust commitment to beauty."--Christianity Today