And David recently posted another excerpt this time from Jeremy Begbie. Begbie also addresses the issue of sentimentality in Christian art in another anthology: The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts edited by Daniel J. Treier, Mark Husbands and Roger Lundin. The excellent essay is titled, “Beauty, Sentimentality and the Arts.” The gist of the essay is that sentimentality is un-earned emotion or emotionalism when emotion is an end in itself. Begbie identifies three problems with it:
- misrepresents reality by evading or trivializing evil.
- is emotionally self-indulgent.
- it fails to take appropriate action.
“Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: 'how nice to see children running on the grass!' The second tear says: 'How nice to be moved, together with all mankind by children running on the grass!' It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch.”These thoughts can go a long way in serving the discussion on Christian music that I'm developing here on this blog.