REVIEW: Nicholas Holtam, The Art of Worship

For the March 2012 issue of Christianity Today, I wrote the following review in the “Quick Takes” section.

THE ART OF WORSHIP: Paintings, Prayers and Readings for Meditation
by Nicholas Holtam (National Gallery Company)

Some Protestants, obtuse to the ramifications of the incarnate God, have inherited a hostility or indifference toward aesthetics under the assumption that God never leaves his heavenly altitude to contact terra firma. But even Calvin, the alleged iconoclast, argued that God manifests himself in “living icons” throughout the history of Israel and the church. Nicholas Holtam, as vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and parish priest of the National Gallery, celebrates this indissoluble marriage of Word and Image in a beautiful volume of commentary on his favorite paintings. Combining the acts of hearing and seeing, the book induces a worshipful stillness.


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