This blog exists to explore the theological implications of creativity. I believe that creatives (that is not an exclusive term – more on that later) tend to disconnect their creative aspirations from the source from which their creativity flows. Whether intentional or not, this is a dangerous path to journey. So my desire is to help make sense of the mysterious, powerful, dynamic force of creativity. And while I am at it, I would like to submit an idea that the mysterious, powerful, dynamic force of the Spirit that hovered over the deep, who turned chaos into beauty, just might have something to do with it.

While the blog may be brand new, I can assure you it has been long in the making. So I invite you to join me as I continue to wrestle with the concept of a creative theology. Please join in the conversation, provide push-back and personal insight as we go. Hopefully we can learn together, and put words to the creative obstacles and victories we experience.

Welcome to the party, and tell your friends!

Making the Ask

Sam Mahlstadt —  June 21, 2010 — Leave a comment

This past weekend, I found myself making a few phone calls and writing emails that were a bit uncomfortable. I hate asking people for things as much as the next guy, but sometimes you have to suck it up and ask for help.*

I asked for help on the book I’m writing, from two designers. I have asked, and been turned down by, several people already. But I couldn’t be more thrilled with the possibilities that lie ahead. When one door closes, go kick in another one.

I also asked for an interview with a very well-known graphic/web/branding designer in the church world for a magazine article I am working on. He agreed! Originally, my focus was to land an app-developer. I got one prominent figure in app development for the church world to agree to an interview, only to not hear from him once I submitted questions. Frustrating. Then, after a very cordial denial from another prominent figure in church/tech, I switched gears and the project will be better for it. More details on the article coming soon…

A message to the creative: you can’t do everything by yourself. Persevere, face rejection and keep moving. You will get turned down regularly, but only YOU have the power to hault your work.

*See “Don’t Go It Alone” in the Going Pro resource

Understanding Faith

Sam Mahlstadt —  June 20, 2010 — 15 Comments

What would you say is the single greatest contributor to your understanding of your faith?

Whether that be gaining faith, losing faith, or changing your your beliefs…what most contributed to how you understand faith?

I have done a lot of thinking lately about the future of publishing. This may seem a bit odd, but as I am working on a book, I have thoughts about how best to get in in the hands of those who are interested in experiencing a creative theology.

It boils down to this: traditional vs. ebook.

I certainly enjoy the benefits of publishing online, and presenting material in a downloadable, read-on-a-screen format. I have done exponentially more reading online this past year as I follow blogs and have had some access to epublications, and I really do enjoy it. I love reading on the go, even on the small screen of my iPhone. It is flat out convenient.

But then there is this feeling of having a book in your hands, letting the pages flick under your fingers. Sitting it on a bookshelf, scribbling in the margins on a second read through. There isn’t a feeling that can match cracking open the cover of a book you’ve been waiting to read.

It’s kind of like giving up CDs and buying albums on itunes. Sure it’s conveneint, but there is just something about holding the CD in your hands, having the jewel case that you I will lose and the insert that adds no value to the music.

Of course, there is always room for both; it doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario. I just wonder, could I be happy with a book published exclusively online? I am completely happy producing material like the Going Pro resource online, as I feel it is the best way to distribute free material. But a book…I am just not sure.

Do you have any thoughts on the issue?Do you read ebooks, or stick to traditionally printed books?

Church People

Sam Mahlstadt —  June 17, 2010 — 1 Comment

I was having a casual conversation with a guy yesterday about raising money. He was inquiring about a project I am working on, and was curious as to how I would seek out funding.

In a rather funny turn of events (as he didn’t know my background) he said that I should start a church. I informed him that I had been part of a church plant last year, and that they weren’t exactly always a cash cow. I asked him why he thought starting a church would lead to significant financial contribution. His insight struck me initially as funny, but all too often true.

From his perspective, outside of faith and organized religion, I think he is calling it as he sees it:

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