Jeffrey Overstreet—CSFF Tour Day 1

jeffrey-overstreet3 Who, you might ask, is Jeffrey Overstreet? A city boy lost in tall grass? 😉 A distracted farmer on his way to church? Or an artist enjoying Art? If you opted for the last statement, I think you’re closer to the truth, though Jeffrey himself will have to say for sure.

If we define a person by what he does, then we could add that Jeffrey is a novelist, having written Cyndere’s Midnight (WaterBrook Press), the CSFF February feature; a film critic for Christianity Today; a columnist for Christianity Today Movies; a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine; a freelance writer for such publications as Image, Books & Culture, and Relevant; and a speaker at “film festivals, universities, churches, teachers’ conferences, and on radio programs around the U.S.”

Even from that list it seems apparent to me that Jeffrey cares a great deal for art and for its affect on culture. Is it any surprise, then, that his fantasy series, Auralia’s Thread, of which Cyndere’s Midnight is the second book, deals with just this subject—art and its influence, its power in the hearts of people to change the actions of people.

But let’s add in another piece of the Who-is-Jeffrey-Overstreet puzzle. Jeffrey is also a Christian, or so I surmise, though he doesn’t come right out and say so. (I don’t think I’ve come right out and declared on this blog that I’m a Christian either, but I think someone who came to that conclusion would have ample evidence for arriving there. So with Jeffrey.)

In fact, one of the publications for which he writes regularly, Image, among other things, describes itself as a community at the intersection of art, faith, and mystery.

I have to wonder if Jeffrey doesn’t see himself in that intersection, at least between art and faith.

The curious thing is that Christianity, especially evangelical Christianity, has been hammered as anti-art. Anti-science on one hand. Anti-art on the other. Makes me wonder if people think Christians are for anything.

Mayhap Jeffrey can play a significant role in helping Christians clarify our beliefs about art, or even make us think more seriously about art. Mayhap he can help us set our sights higher when it comes to creating art.

Along that line, I’ll end with one of the quotes, he’s included on his Web site:

Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself.

-Henry Miller

Please take some time this week to read what other bloggers have to say about Jeffrey’s most recent release, Cyndere’s Midnight.

Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Comments (8)  
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