When Art Came Down

“What did painting the medieval period take for its subjects? Well, pretty much anybody with a halo. The holy family, Madonna and child, the twelves apostles, and so on. Now do not take me wrong. I have no problem with art treating biblical themes. That did not go away with the Reformation. But what came in as a result of the Reformation? The Dutch realist painters introduced us to the glory of the mundane. A girl reading a letter, a woman making lace, another woman pouring something from a jug, a girl with an earring, another girl smirking, still life table settings, an anatomy lecture with a cadaver. In short, art came down and dwelt among the people . . . just as the Lord had done.”

Chestertonian Calvinism, pp. 27-28

The Devil’s Swing Sets

“We are all aware of the hazards posed by fastidious sabbatarians—our Lord collided with them more than once, and once modern sabbath-keeping because the norm, it was not long before peck sniffs started to roam the city, putting padlocks on swing sets, lest any antinomian eight-year-olds swing themselves to perdition.”

Chestertonian Calvinism, p. 25

All the Blankets

“Over time, due to the effects of slander and the inexorable effects of wineskins getting old, the Puritans gained a reputation for being, well, puritanical. But by this I mean what that word has come to mean, which would make them the guardians of all forms of pious buzzkill. The problem is that this sad reality did not really start to unfold until a century or more into the project—it took quite some time before all the blankets got wet.”

Chestertonian Calvinism, p. 13