Re-reading Schaeffer

It’s been over thirty years since I last read Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who Is There. Given that Schaeffer’s views and the book are part of the founding mythos of Sputnik I thought I should give it another read. I was interested to see whether the book was still relevant fifty years after it was…

Art As An Apologetic

Why should we care about the arts? What is their unique contribution to humanity? And even more importantly, what is their worth for those of us who follow Jesus?  These are questions that are asked by artist and non-artist alike. Artists, often questioning whether it’s worth bothering with the graft, both physical and emotional, that…

Cultural Disengagement & A Thin View Of Sin

Why does the modern evangelical church produce so few artists of excellence? Just to clarify- there are certainly artists who are Christians practising at the highest level in the arts (Scott Derrickson, David Eugene Edwards, Sufjan Stevens, Makoto Fujimura, Lecrae, Milton Jones, Michelle Williams, Frederick Buechner, etc). However, two things are noticeable. Firstly, there aren’t…

A Road Trip to The Holy Biscuit Study Day

I first visited the Holy Biscuit back in July 2015, to set up the Newcastle leg of our WhatIsItToBeHuman? exhibition tour. It was clear from our first email exchanges that these guys knew what they were up to, and the space worked perfectly for the exhibition. Therefore, it was a pleasure to have the opportunity…

Bedford Hub Report: What Is A Professional Artist?

So we kicked off Bedford’s second Sputnik Hub a few weeks ago and had a great time. A passionate group that included actors, visual artists and poets spent a good few hours debating the issue of ‘professional’ work. Now I love a good debate and I’ll talk about what came out of that discussion in…

When Bad Things Happen To Bad People (And We Enjoy Watching)

Earlier this year, Richard Spencer was punched in the head whilst being interviewed at the Trump inauguration in Washington DC. The clip soon went viral, with a number of people praising the attack and circulating musical remixes, among them rapper Killer Mike and comedian Tim Heidecker. For those who were aware of Spencer’s status as the…

Tim Keller and Christian Realism

As Christians are we supposed to be optimists or pessimists? Obviously, we’d all want to be realists, but unless we assume complete omniscience, we’re probably not the best judge of whether that title is suited to us!  My church background (charismatic evangelicalism) is largely quite optimistic in tone, although precise theological stances on what we can expect in…

Introducing The All New Mellor Band Classification System

Last week, I started sharing some thoughts about live music, and the importance of practising. Rocket science it was not. Today, I want to delve a bit deeper, giving both challenges and encouragement. To kick things off, I have crafted a hugely deficient classification of all live bands in the world, placing them neatly into…

Practice Makes Passable

One of the features of the coming year for Sputnik’s Birmingham Hub is going to be our ongoing but closer relationship with Impact. Impact is run by Oasis Church Birmingham and is dedicated to promoting Birmingham’s vibrant music scene. It’s essentially local church-as-live music promoter, and it has functioned so far by organising regular live…

New Art From The Network

Andy Crouch, in his excellent book Culture Making, listed different ways in which Christians respond to culture. Sometimes we condemn, sometimes we copy, sometimes we critique and sometimes we just consume. However, he encouraged us to adopt another ‘c’ as our primary posture towards culture. We should create! Well, today I wanted to focus on some of the…

Brum Sputnik Hub Review: Learning to Collaborate Well

At our Brum Sputnik Hub gathering before Christmas, we set a project for us all to sink our teeth into. Sitting around talking about our work is worthwhile, but it’s also good to actually make some new work together sometimes. Therefore we initiated ‘The Future Project’. This is the brief: create a piece of work…