Thanks to the fine folks I worked with to get my book into the marketplace, Creative Theology is now available in a few places.

Amazon! I lucked out when the printer ran too many copies of my book. Rather than shipping the extras to my house to sit in the basement with the others, the publishing company I worked with agreed to use them to fulfill my Amazon orders. Of course, there is an additional cost to that, so I don’t make as much per book on Amazon orders. But, if you feel better about using your Amazon account, by all means, order it here.


The book is also now available at Barnes and Noble. You can grab it from them here. Those are also being fulfilled out of the extras. Thank God for extras :) As with Amazon, I pay a cut for these orders and make less per book. But if you like to have your book orders tied to a brick and mortar (gasp!) bookstore, go right on ahead!

It’s also, of course, available RIGHT HERE on! If you order here, it’s fulfilled by my own two hands. Also, if you order it here, I keep all of the profits from the book sale (Amazon and B&N each take a cut) and also avoid paying an additional handling fee (I charge for shipping, but not for handling/fulfillment).


If you haven’t already, order a copy (or 10) today!

Creative Theology Sermon

Sam Mahlstadt —  October 8, 2012 — 1 Comment

Here is the audio to a sermon I gave, based on the content from Creative Theology.

I hope you enjoy!

on creative work

Sam Mahlstadt —  September 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

A few thoughts on creative work… 


This painting was a huge influence in my thinking and writing process, which led to Creative Theology. Even when I didn’t realize it.

But a Vapor

When an artists creates out of an awareness that they, and their work, is but a vapor, and that no amount of acclaim will satisfy the deep longings of their soul, the creative process can begin in a healthy way. From this place, an artist can create out of a fullness of the soul that only comes when our value is measured inside of our relationship with the Creator. In these moments, we refuse to pick up the burden of making something of ourselves in our attempt to make something for ourselves. We simply follow the whisper of the Spirit, and respond in whatever way we know how.

 The Artist’s Human’s Struggle

I had a professor in college say all great writers struggle somewhere between extreme egotism and severe self-deprecation. I think he’s right.

I think it’s indicative of the artist’s soul.

I think is indicitive of the human soul.

Bastardized Creativity is Utility

The couple in the garden was instructed to join God in the creation process. To reflect his creative spirit in their tending to his creation. After the fall, however, they transitioned into creating for utility. Rather than dressing the garden, they began to use the garden to dress themselves. They created to fulfill a need; to make themselves feel better. To borrow a definition from the dictionary, utility is something, “designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like.”


Creativity is an instinct to produce.

Bruce Ario

Creativity shouldn’t seem like something otherworldly. It shouldn’t seem like a process reserved for artists or inventors or other “creative types.” The human mind, after all, has the creative impulse built into its operating system, hard-wired into its most essential programming code.

Jonah Lehrer – Imagine: How Creativity Works

The thing is not to get self-conscious. It’s like playing the piano; if you play the piano and suddenly start looking at your fingers, thinking ‘what the hell is all that about?” the music will stop.

- Sir Ken Robinson

The reason I keep making movies is I hate the last thing I did. I’m trying to rectify my wrongs.

Jaoquin Phoenix


tiny house

The untamed Nature is a source of incessant beauty. Why is this? Is it because the beauty of Nature lies in its complexities and its eternal variety? Our mind is simply stimulated by our insufficiency in facing its details. We are intrigued and inspired by that which we cannot understand or even grasp.

I raise similar questions and come to similar conclusions in Creative Theology regarding out interaction with nature. Untamed nature has a way of swallowing us up in its beauty. We are intrigued, inspired, and also beset with a longing. A desire to return. A holy nostalgia. When we see nature around us, it draws us back to the Garden, and to the Creator who spoke our existence into being. Nature is powerfully emotional.

But the quote above is not from a theological conversation, rather a conversation about architecture. From the man who built this tiny, beautiful house.

Ian Cron on Beauty

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 27, 2012 — 3 Comments

Some brilliant quotes from the video:

Quoting Pope John Paul II, Great art makes us nostalgic for God.

That universal desire for redemption, when you touch that place in the human heart, that’s heartbreaking in the best sense of the word.

More and more and more, the gaps of time between when you last saw Jesus and some moment…the gap just gets shorter and shorter until finally all you see is God.

I discuss in Creative Theology the idea that beauty causes us to long for the Creator. Nature and art and stir something in us that longs for the Garden, immersed in beauty and in communion with God. It’s heartbreaking, like Ian says, in the best sense of the word.