The Man Who Was Doodling
Dan DeWitt on G. K. Chesterton & the Art of Casual Sketching
I stopped being embarrassed about my joy of sketching shortly after meeting Gilbert Keith Chesterton. The introduction was made by none other than Clive Staples Lewis, who, I later learned, was an amateur artist himself. Their company was joined shortly thereafter by Lewis's fellow Inkling, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, a gifted illustrator in his own right (to name but one of his monumental gifts), and by Dorothy Sayers, who provided an apologetic for art in her book The Mind of the Maker. Lewis was my literary gatekeeper to another world.
The Inklings opened my eyes to the power (and pleasure) of art appreciation as a Christian, but no one has more normalized artistic expression for me than G. K. Chesterton. This is not to say that he has offered me a theological framework for drawing, though I'm sure reading hundreds of pages of his printed work has contributed something to my appreciation for aesthetics. I simply mean that he gave me license to care about theological and philosophical reflection without giving up what some might consider the whimsical hobby of doodling.
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Dan DeWitt is the dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also teaches courses on worldview, philosophy, and apologetics. He is the author of Jesus or Nothing (Crossway, 2014) and posts regularly on his blog Theolatte.com. Dan and his wife April have four children and reside in Louisville, Kentucky.
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