Gnosticism maybe a nuisance to the early church that the apostle John wrote about it on his first letter. In his letter he attributes this belief to the anti-christ. This belief distorts with it’s own “scripture” on who Jesus Christ and His incarnation. In recent years, Gnosticism got its spotlight again because of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel and movie, The DaVinci Code. Due to its impact to its readers, tons of books, articles and videos from different apologist responded to debunk what Dan Brown wrote to which can be traced to another book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Both books rely on the teachings of gnosticism.
If the original aim of gnosticism is to distort Christ, does this mean it can be wrong also in other areas of the Christian worldview? According to A Poetic of Orthodoxy, these distorted view touches even how we view arts. This heresy is not confined in the four corners of Christology but also in what we held as beautiful (including arts) that is God given.
Seems to be a far-fetched idea? Probably it might not see the connection of arts and gnosticism. However, when we further focus of this heresy we can see that it goes against natural revelation and common grace. Even more revealing is how this heresy dress itself in to fit post modernism to undermine what good poetry is.
There are two aims of the book, to show how poetry true really lives in the Christian worldview and what is a good poem. These two not just intersects beautifully with each other in the book but together they bring forth a lovely song. As the book unfolds, Myers looks at image, diction, beauty and others and point all of these makes sense when viewed and finds it’s roots on Christianity.
In the initial chapters its seems hard for me to get into the book, still its has an impressive content. Myers dissect poetry with precision that you’ll get to appreciate this art. As I have mentioned earlier, this book goes on answering Gnosticism part in distorting God’s given art and creativity to us human. If the approach might sound like an apologetic book and might turn you off, well it is not.
The part that made me enjoy this book is Chapter 5 which is about beauty and Chapter 7 on metaphors. There are parts that are fluctuating from rough to smooth in terms of reading it, nevertheless you’ll be at awe on how Myers pulls it all to present a compelling case for Christianity as indispensable grounds for true poetry.
A Poetic of Orthodoxy is short but offers lot of meaty content for the Christian poet. It’s a primer for those who are venturing to poetry and to see without the it’s Christian foundation, we wont find distinction, our aim to flourish with this art and a drive to excel in this field. It might not be a Christian poem but poetry that screams the beauty God are grounded in a Christian reality. Myers proves that indeed, aesthetics, specially poetry belongs to the Master of all arts.
4.5 out of 5
(Purchase the book by clicking this link)
(Review copy of this book is provided by Wipf and Stock Publishers)
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