Link-A-Day: Kate Monk's Onomastikon  

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I've used today's link quite often. The Onomastikon - a listing of names from different cultures - is a reference that I turn to any time I need to name a historical character. Kate Monk's Onomastikon is especially valuable to me because of its listings of medieval names. I've read one or two websites devoted to historical matters which claim that Kate Monk's Onomastikon is less than historically-accurate, but for most purposes to which I put it to use, it's good enough for me.

I finished reading Behind the Screen last night. I spoke highly of it in my last post; now I would go so far as to suggest that every Christian who lives in the First World should read it. Even if you're not a creative-type, but just a Christian who watches television or movies, there's information and advice that pertains to you. One of the main messages of the book is that boycotts, petitions, and e-mails expressing your decision to stop watching a program are useless as a means of changing Hollywood. They accomplish nothing aside from helping to perpetuate a stereotype amongst the entertainment industry of Christians being angry, oversensitive, narrow-minded yokels. Instead, the book suggests numerous avenues of action for those who wish to have an influence on what's shown on television and in movie theaters (the first of which is for Christians to watch more TV, not less - and to write to let the TV execs and writers know what you like in what they show). If you are a creative-type, I recommend it even more, primarily because of how well it answers the dilemna of the Christian artist: how can I use my gift to glorify God and benefit other people, and not compromise the quality of my art in doing so? When I typed that last sentence out, I realized how oxymoronic that question looks; after all, how could God be glorified if I wasn't doing my best? But I've found that once you get down to nuts and bolts, the Protestant model that many of us have grown up with - the idea that the word is only way of conveying information, and all other modes of communication are suspect and unreliable - and the Evangelical mindset many of us have - the responsibility to serve as witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus to others - can distort our artistic senses and convince us to choose the route of propaganda rather than expression and discussion. Propaganda may be good for tracts, but it's intrusive and unwelcome in art. I think that this point was the hardest for me to process, even though I knew it was true from the beginning.

Anyway, it's a great read.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 at Monday, June 26, 2006 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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