Word and Image: Experiencing the Glory of God in Story

June 23-26 (Thursday-Sunday)

In the arena of popular culture, some Christians cry “Caution! Danger! Beware! Withdraw!” Others disagree, shouting, “Be free! It’s all good! You can find something worthwhile in anything!”

But while these cultural gladiators clash, there are others charting a better path—a path aligned with Scripture’s own vision for engaging culture. They’re finding a healthy balance of courage and discernment, curiosity and caution.

Theologian Rodney Reeves and author Jeffrey Overstreet come to Laity Lodge ready to share lessons they’ve learned about exploring the murky waters of art, entertainment, and modern media.

Drawing from Scripture and the wisdom of revered Christian writers, they will offer perspectives that help us discern what is meaningful and what is dangerous.

We’ll sharpen our cultural discernment by considering

  • prevalent themes in contemporary television and cinema
  • the difference between art and entertainment
  • the power of images to convey more than mere narrative
  • the ways in which commercial entertainment has distorted the way the Church engages culture
  • the importance of excellence in media made for children

We’ll also discuss

  • the scarcity of silence in contemporary art and the benefit of reviving it
  • the importance of recapturing “childlike faith” in the presence of the arts
  • the vision for storytelling offered by Scripture
  • the vision for storytelling offered in Christ’s parables

These conversations can help us bring into focus a vision of fruitful, rewarding engagement with the arts and modern media.  They can also help us become wiser artists, bringing beauty and vision to the world in a way that seeks not to persuade, but to inspire.


Rodney Reeves
Dean of the Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry, Professor of Biblical Studies; Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Missouri.
Dr. Reeves has two publications currently in the bookstores. One is A Genuine Faith: How to Follow Jesus Today (Baker Books, 2005). The other is the collaboratively written Rediscovering Paul: An Introduction to his World, Letters and Theology(InterVarsity Press, 2007). In addition, he has articles coming out in the Baker Bible Dictionary as well as Baker’s Handbook to the Bible. He is currently working on a book for InterVarsity Press entitled Spirituality According to Paul: Imitating the Apostle of Christ. In addition, readers might enjoy visiting the author’s Blog titled
A Genuine Faith.

When asked why he enjoys teaching at SBU, Dr. Reeves responded that “College is where I learned to think about the big questions: Who is God? What do I believe? What do I have to give? Therefore, I enjoy trying to give what I have received from my teachers (past and present): to inspire students to think through what they believe and learn what they should do. College students have a passion for life, a sincere desire to learn, and an insatiable appetite for God. Men and women called to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ want to serve the Church and work for His Kingdom. I’m grateful that I belong to a community of learners who want to try to help each other fulfill this noble purpose: to follow Jesus with all that we are.” Click here for more information.

Jeffrey Overstreet
Author, blogger, speaker; Communication Specialist, Seattle Pacific University; Seattle, Washington. In 1996, Jeffrey Overstreet started blogging about movies, music, literature, faith, and culture. That blog would eventually become
lookingcloser.org. That same year, he began writing what became the first volume of his four-book fantasy series The Auralia Thread, which earned the rare honor of two Christy Award nominations, and was recommended by independent booksellers as a BookSense Notable selection upon its release. Jeffrey’s blog quickly became a hub for discussion about the relationship between faith and art, leading to the publication of his “memoir of dangerous moviegoing”—Through a Screen Darkly in 2007, the same year that Auralia’s Colors was published.


Nathan Tasker
Recording artist and songwriter from Australia. Recently named 2006 Artist of the Year and awarded Song of The Year by the Australian Christian Music Charts. Currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Sample his tunes on his


Anne Overstreet
Poetry; Seattle, WA
Read poems by Anne M. Doe Overstreet
here and here. Anne’s forthcoming poetry book, Delicate Machinery Suspended, will be published later this year.

John Sager
Collage; Austin, TX

Registration Fees

Lodge: $405
Black Bluff: $480

To register, locate your specific retreat on our Schedule, click on “Sign Up Now” and follow the instructions for that process. Please note that all rates listed are per person.