The Artisan Soul

Author and pastor Erwin McManus has been a great influence on my spiritual life for many years. His books (like The Barbarian Way) and podcasts have fed and led my soul. And I love it that one of the core values that guides Mosaic, the faith community he founded in LA, is the belief that "Creativity is the natural result of spirituality."

For those reasons, I anxiously awaited the release of McManus's latest book: The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life Into a Work of Art. It is an impassioned manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. I hope it is a call that will be heard and heeded across the twenty-first century landscape of the church.

McManus insists that we all possess the artisan soul. We all share a God-given desire to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. He makes his case in just seven characteristically artful chapters:
Soul: The Essence of Art
Voice: The Narrative That Guides
Interpretation: Translation of Life
Image: Manifestation of Imagination
Craft: The Elegance of Workmanship
Canvas: The Context of Art
Masterpiece: A New Humanity
Some of my favorite bits:
"Art exists to remind us that we have a soul."  
"We are both works of art and artists at work."  
"Our story begins with a kiss." 
"The artisan soul moves toward purity of ingredients, understands the power of simplicity, makes life a craft and not a product, and treats people as unique individuals rather than commodities." 
"Our demons rarely come at us from the future; most often, they chase after us from our past."  
"Far too often, when we think we are frightened by mystery, the fact is that we are haunted by history."  
"We cannot love deeply or risk greatly and never know failure or disappointment. Not even God was able to pull that one off. Love never comes without wounds; faith never comes without failure."  
"Define or be defined." 
I wouldn't call The Artisan Soul an easy read. It is challenging, deep, and thorough. And worth every word, every minute.

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