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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

God in Architecture has an article about how modern architecture can be used to evoke awe and reverence.
If you’re building something for a god, you’d better build it right: big, audacious, slightly intimidating. The Stonehenge arrangers knew it in 3,000 BC; so did the Pantheon planners, the erectors of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, and Antoni Gaudi, whose sinewy Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction, more than 100 years after workers first broke ground. When it comes to impressing a supreme being in a bid to get saved, we clearly like to take things to the extreme.
While I'm not so sure about the theory that sacred architecture exists to try to impress God enough for him to save us, I do think it's important to consider the stunning visual spaces that have been used for worship throughout human history.

That is until more recently in human history . . .
College Street Church of Christ, Waxahachie, TX 1964
For some reason, we decided that the appearance of things ceased to matter. The visual element of our sacred experience was removed from the equation with bland buildings and mediocre architecture. I can see the same design used to build a Church of Christ in Vancouver, Washington and in Livermore, California (and likely all across this country). We stopped caring about any aesthetic value to a place of worship.

How can we re-affirm God's creative impulse in us? How can we learn again to appreciate

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