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Alabaster – The Bible Beautiful

Bryan and Brian are friends and colleagues of mine and they have an exciting project they are launching into the world. It is a new Bible format driven by their desire to connect us with beauty in a more meaningful way. I am a financial supporter of this project and think it is an amazing creation. They are 90% funded and need that last little push. Check out this interview with them and if their project inspires you, please support it and share it!

Briefly describe your Kickstarter Project, Alabaster:

Bryan: Alabaster is the bible beautiful. It integrates visual imagery and thoughtful design within the text of the four Gospels for an engaging reading experience. The large majority of the images in the books are original artworks created specifically for this project. With Alabaster we aim to enter the conversation of beauty and faith, and explore how beauty is an integral part to experiencing the entirety of who God is.

What inspired you to make this project?

Bryan: We were initially inspired by James Choung’s book, Real Life. In the book he talks about how each generation asks a spiritual question that creates entry points to God. In the past those questions have been: what is true? what is good? what is just? James predicted that the next spiritual question generations would ask is, what is beautiful?

That got us thinking. Our modern culture is becoming so visual. Images have become our method of communication. We highly value beauty as a society. When we something beautiful it shakes us; it hits us on an emotional level deep in our core. We wanted to translate that visual experience of beauty into the biblical text.

Describe the creative process for your project:

Bryan: We specifically wanted to explore the visual language of photographic images and how it could give a new lens into the biblical text. The work is derived from our in-depth studies of the scriptures, but is also inherently intuitive and creative. The process was eye-opening. We felt as if we were experiencing the scriptures anew, but in a nonverbal, non-word oriented way. Our hope is that the art ultimately creates conversation, that it is wrestled over and contemplated with, and through that process every person would experience God and His beauty is some unique way.

Why the name Alabaster?

Bryan: The name Alabaster comes from the story of the alabaster jar in Mark 14. In an extreme act a woman breaks an alabaster jar of incredibly expensive perfume onto Jesus’ head. Many people in the room scoff at her and say what she has done is a complete waste. But Jesus defends the woman saying, “leave her alone, why do you bother her? What she has done is a beautiful thing.” It is this complete act of sacrificial giving which Jesus calls beautiful. We wanted to make sure everything we created had the same level of intentionality and care that this woman had towards Jesus.

How do you see beauty (like Alabaster) as a method of evangelism?

Bryan: Beauty is absolutely necessary for evangelism! And I think it is especially true in younger generations. Beauty is an important vessel for communication. When we are in the presence of something beautiful it breaks boundaries of what is deemed acceptable or not acceptable to talk about because it hits us on a very human level. When something is truly beautiful we cannot deny its honesty even if we do not necessarily agree with the point it is trying to say.

For example, if we try to tell a truth about God very plainly it might come across as hostile or aggressive. However, tell that truth through beautiful art or music, and suddenly people are more responsive to it. Beauty allows us to evangelize to people who might not otherwise want to hear about the Gospel because it creates a safe place of real conversation.  

Since launching Alabaster I’ve had friends who aren’t even christian share about the project. Friends of mine who are christian and have shared the project have gotten into spiritual conversations with non-christians who saw it. I believe it is because beauty is powerful and it has the potential to bring us together as a humanity – regardless of where we’re at in our walks with God.

support the kickstarter project here.

Watch the promo video

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