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Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

av Andrew Peterson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
483752,078 (4.35)Ingen/inga
Christian Nonfiction. Religion & Spirituality. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson.
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year.

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can't be done alone.

Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a filmall in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the gospel and the coming kingdom using whatever gifts are at our disposal. He's stumbled along the way, made mistake after mistake, and yet has continually encountered the grace of God through an encouraging family, a Christ-centered community of artists in the church, and the power of truth, beauty, and goodness in Scripture and the arts.

While there are many books about writing, none deal first-hand with the intersection of songwriting, storytelling, and vocation, along with nuts-and-bolts exploration of the great mystery of creativity. In Adorning the Dark, Andrew describes six principles for the writing life:
  • serving the work
  • serving the audience
  • selectivity
  • discernment
  • discipline
  • and community

  • Through stories from his own journey, Andrew shows how these principles are not merely helpful for writers and artists, but for anyone interested in imitating the way the Creator interacts with his creation.

    This book is both a memoir of Andrew's journey and a handbook for artists, written in the hope that his story will provide encouragement to others stumbling along in pursuit of a calling to adorn the dark with the light of Christ.
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    Singer, songwriter, and author Andrew Peterson shares his insight on creating in this book. He uses personal experience as well as wisdom from other songwriters and authors to discuss the process of writing songs, the ups and downs of the business, and using one's creative abilities to tell a story.

    I'll start my review by saying that I was not the main target audience for this book. While Peterson does do his best to expand beyond songwriting into fiction-writing and other kinds of art, the heavy focus is on the musical realm (and poetry to a lesser degree). I'm a fiction writer, but have no experience with or even much of an understanding of writing songs. Plus, he referred to songs and books by various songwriters and authors a lot and talked about them as if the reader should know them as well as he did. I'm not nearly as well read as him, and I am definitely not as immersed in music culture, nor do I listed to as wide a range of music as he. As such, I do think that quite a bit of the book was lost on me.

    Another way this book did not resonate with me is that I came to realize by maybe halfway through the book that my personality, and the way I see the world around me, is vastly different from his. He sees beauty in everything, but I've never been all that sentimental. So that was another chunk of the book that fell flat for me.

    However, that does not mean that I did not find plenty of gems in the book, things that work for any kind of creating. For example: "If you wait until the conditions are perfect, you'll never write a thing." Or: "The songs won't write themselves, and neither will the books, the recipes, the blueprints, or the gardens." Even with the difference that Peterson describes between songwriting (which can also apply to poetry to a degree) and writing fiction, the clear point is that you have to get through the bad to find the good.

    He also addresses the different between "Christian art" and art from a Christian perspective, which I really appreciated. As an author, I've struggled in the past with thinking that I should only be using the gift God gave me to write specifically Christian fiction. However, I no longer think that's true. Instead, I can write stories with a Christian worldview, which will most likely be acceptable to most Christians, and will even be acceptable to many non-Christians who just want something good to read. And in approaching the art that way, perhaps it would allow the artist to actually reach more for Christ.

    There were a few things about which I disagreed with the author, but even in those I think it mostly comes down to a difference in mindset or preference. I did agree with the idea that calling some people "creatives" excludes many people who really are more creative than they think. Just because "art" isn't the end result, pretty much everyone creates in their own way--that can come out as critical thinking or problem solving, or so many other things that don't seem as creative. In the end, I'm very glad I read this book, as it gave me some interesting insight into a singer whose music goes back as far as my marriage, and plenty of solid advice on writing, some of which I needed to hear even today. I recommend this book for Christians who are interesting in creating, no matter the form it takes.

    Thank you to Netgalley and B&H Publishing Group for providing me a copy of this book to review. ( )
      Kristi_D | Sep 22, 2023 |
    This book is beautiful! It's like coffee with friends. The writing is comfortable and so so relatable. Peterson shares personal stories to show us how God uses us to reach a dark world through creativity. His main point is that, as Christians, we are creative because we belong to a creative God. This might make my top 5 for 2020. We will see... but it is definitely worth the read. ( )
      Leann | Jun 27, 2023 |
    This book deals with the creative and vocational acts that God calls us to. This is a must read for the writers in the group. But it's a great and inspiring resource for anyone who creates (writes sermons) regularly.
      JourneyPC | Sep 26, 2022 |
    The first time I read this book I knew that it was beautiful, but it was like watching scenery fly by through the window of a moving car. I read it in one sitting, I didn't look into the books or songs or poems mentioned throughout, I simply observed its beauty from the outside.

    This read-through was more like taking a walk through a vibrant garden, taking time to appreciate each flower and wonder at the precise combination of elements that led to its flourishing. I paid attention to each chapter. I listened to the songs. I read the poems. I made note of the books. Because this isn't just a book about Peterson and his art (though it is that, and it's lovely); it's a book about Christ in art. And as such, it gives credit to so many other artists who have also been moved by Christ and who reflect Him in their work. Rich Mullins, Tolkien, Lewis, N.D. Wilson, and so many others that I don't know yet.

    This book is a reminder that God creates beauty, and that He equips us to reflect that beauty through sub-creation. It's a reminder that we who strive for that aren't alone. It's a reminder that God has a purpose for our work, and He has created others who share that purpose so that we might find community and spur one another on. It's a reminder of how God's beauty and love and guidance weaves through every part of our lives.

    There's a sense of wonder and awe in this book, a feeling of reading about a kindred spirit, and a yearning that is sparked for a greater Kingdom, that I just can't fully describe. All I can say is: if you're a Christian artist, you ought to read this book. ( )
      RMArcher | Dec 23, 2021 |
    This book is targeted at musicians, writers, artists, and other creative types. I don't consider myself to be remotely close to any of those things... And yet this is one of the 10 best books I've read in the past few years. ( )
      beyertr | Jul 22, 2021 |
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    Christian Nonfiction. Religion & Spirituality. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson.
    Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year.

    Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can't be done alone.

    Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a filmall in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the gospel and the coming kingdom using whatever gifts are at our disposal. He's stumbled along the way, made mistake after mistake, and yet has continually encountered the grace of God through an encouraging family, a Christ-centered community of artists in the church, and the power of truth, beauty, and goodness in Scripture and the arts.

    While there are many books about writing, none deal first-hand with the intersection of songwriting, storytelling, and vocation, along with nuts-and-bolts exploration of the great mystery of creativity. In Adorning the Dark, Andrew describes six principles for the writing life:
    serving the work serving the audience selectivity discernment discipline and community
    Through stories from his own journey, Andrew shows how these principles are not merely helpful for writers and artists, but for anyone interested in imitating the way the Creator interacts with his creation.

    This book is both a memoir of Andrew's journey and a handbook for artists, written in the hope that his story will provide encouragement to others stumbling along in pursuit of a calling to adorn the dark with the light of Christ.
    .

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