Gerald Augustus has a post about a new window at Cologne Cathedral and Carpe Diem about a new Church in Basingstoke.
No, it is not out of focus, this is it.
Now what concerns me is abstract art in keeping with Christianity?
I mean under the Old Covenant, God was always Abstraction, even the name God gives himself in the burning bush, when he speaks to Moses is essentially empty of definition, "I am who I am", is no name at all. The first commandment, the prohibition on graven images, the emptiness of the Holy of Holies all serve to underline the fact that God is other, entirely unknown, beyond our understanding, except if He Himself chooses to reveal Himself. He is Eternal Abstraction!
But with the Incarnation, the Eternal Abstract becomes "flesh and dwells amongst us". The Unknown become knowable, the Unnamed become nameable, his name is Jesus, the Christ.
I have a dreadful feeling that Churches that use the abstract are uncomfortable with the idea of God who becomes Flesh, a God who enters the Virgins womb, God who promises to be with His Church until the end of time, a God who is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. The God of the New Testament, the New Covenant is a concrete reality, for the last two thousand years the Church has being continually battling those who deny God has a face, or that God has become incarnate, we see that in the heresies of the early centuries, later in Arianism, in Iconoclasm, in the second Millennium in Protestantism and now in Modernism. All these heresies deny the reality of the absolute proximity of God, which is the essence of the New Testament. More or less all dogmatic staements of the past eighteen hundred years have been staetements about the reality of the Incarnation.
People find it easy to believe in a God who remains outside of humanity, a God who is "Spirit" or "Godhead" but this is not the God of Christians, He is not unknowable and He is not faceless. The Word may be illustrated by light, clouds, geometry, patterns, colour, the "Word that became flesh" is man like us in all things but sin, he shares our image and likeness.
Pope Benedict has been speaking a lot about "seeking the face of God", because it seekable and seeable.
I contend that the lack of iconography is illustrative of a profound difficulty we have today in the central doctrine of Christianity, the Incarnation.