• Art,  Christianity,  Culture,  Paul Backholer

    Was Vincent van Gogh a Christian? Christianity and Art Explored

    Did Van Gogh experience a spiritual awakening? Vincent’s early years certainly developed in an atmosphere of faith in Christ. Born in 1853, in the Netherlands, his father and grandfather were Dutch Reformed ministers. They committed themselves to help the poor and to become Christ’s hands and feet to provide aid to those in need. Inspired by the hope of Christianity, Vincent committed himself to train as a preacher. After failing his…

  • Art,  Christianity,  Culture,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Post-Impressionism: Christian Belief and Art Explored

    “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31) We live in an unrelenting world of pressure; our calendars are full, schedules are overloaded and stress levels reach new highs. In our busy lives, we can forget to chart something important to God – come aside and rest. Be at peace, be still! We must not allow ourselves to become indefinitely busy, that we cannot hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

  • Adventure,  Bible,  Biblical Archaeology,  Christianity,  Easter,  Paul Backholer

    Biblical Archaeology – Has Jesus’ Tomb Been Identified?

    Twenty years have passed since I entered the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. It’s a remarkable place and I recommend all to visit it, if in Jerusalem. Only the Garden Tomb provides believers with the experience and vistas, familiar to the disciples. But is it the actual place of Christ’s resurrection? Extensive research found the tomb dates to several centuries before Jesus’ life, along with other Iron Age tombs in the area. Sadly, this excludes the Garden Tomb as Jesus’ tomb, because the Bible says they placed Jesus’ body inside a newly cut tomb (Matthew 27:60). Also, the cistern in the garden bears the marks of crusader technology, nullifying hope of…

  • Architecture,  Art,  Christianity,  Culture,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity & Architecture: Big Ben, the Bible & the Elizabeth Tower

    Big Ben is the most recognised timepiece in the world. The Clock Tower known throughout the nations by its crowd-pleasing name Big Ben derides from the Great Bell. It resides at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and at its heart are some intriguing Christian themes. My journey to Big Ben begins at Portcullis House. Once through the security checks, I walk into the majestic light-filled atrium of Portcullis House, looking for a glimpse of the prime minister. I head down to the tunnel which connects the new building with the Victorian Houses of Parliament. Walking underneath Bridge Street, I turn left and enter a small doorway to…

  • Art,  Christianity,  Culture,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity and Art: The Royal Collection & the Faith of Queen Elizabeth II

    Before the printing press and education made the Bible available to all, believers used their eyes and imagination to attempt to understand God. There was a danger of idolatry, which the Reformation sought to address, yet some paintings read like the pages of a book. On the 13 September 1940, a German bombing raid hit the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace, London. From the charred remains, the Duke of Edinburgh decided to convert the Chapel into an art gallery and display elements of the Royal Collection. I have been privileged to view the Queen’s masterpieces in several exhibitions in the Queen’s Gallery, and at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and at…

  • Art,  Christianity,  Culture,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity and Art: The Pre-Raphaelites

    ‘He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work…in blue, purple, and scarlet… and those who design artistic works’ (Exodus 35:35). You’ve been told The Mona Lisa is the greatest artwork in the world. That’s clever marketing after its theft and return. For most of its life, those with access to The Mona Lisa walked past, ‘just another portrait.’ If you visit The Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris, expect a two-hour queue, followed by a brief glimpse of a painting at a distance, shrouded behind thick bullet-proof glass. No time to linger, examine and ponder. If you want art to take your breath away, discover the…