Theologians Question Religious Value of Kinkade's Art
By Terry Mattingly
Painting by Thomas Kinkade
When describing his painting "Candlelight Cottage," the late Thomas Kinkade said its "candlelight has a cozy, intimate quality — especially when it's suffused in the soft mist of this fine English evening." Secular critics have long detested Kinkade's art, in part because of his great popularity among heartland evangelicals who were eager to claim the University of California, Berkeley-trained painter as one of their own. Now, three months after his death at age 54 — while struggling with alcoholism, bankruptcy and a shattered marriage — some religious writers are focusing on what they see as another troubling question. The bottom line: Was Kinkade selling bad theology as well as bad art? [link] Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.tmatt.net.