Saturday, February 27, 2016

Create vs Copy by Ken Wytsma Book Review

Initially I declined to sign up for the (free, advanced copy) book review of Create vs Copy, despite having done reviews for Ken's other two books (The Grand Paradox and Pursuing Justice both of which I recommend.) While I write fairly often, at least as of late, I don't think I have ever assigned the tag of "creative" to myself. However, after seeing him continue to mention it on Twitter, I acquiesced. I am thankful I did.

First off, aesthetically, this is a well done book. Small but not overly so, with excellent attention to detail from the typography to the illustrations. (Though, a coworker joked that I was reading a picture book. However I got to explain it and he seemed intrigued.)

Second, the content is solid. With finishing this book, I must say I am continuously enriched by what Ken has to say. Through the whole first half he expounds on the theology of creativity. From the beginning, or as we call it, creation, to the present act of creating us, and to the end, with the creation of the new heavens and earth, an in depth biblical study is evident. However, as I mentioned, I have never pegged myself as a creative. With this book, I believe I may change my thought on that with the quote that "Artistic ability is a talent some possess. Creativity is a human trait." While some may see it as semantics, the truth is we are always creating. As he lists, we create everything from ideas to products to memories to jokes to online posts and more. Sure, what we create may not always be of substance. However, we are always creating, and that is his goal. To encourage us to create and to innovate things of substance.

As this is his goal, the second half of the book is on the practical side of creation. This is where he talks about dreamers and thinkers such as Copernicus, Lewis, Tolkien, Michelangelo, and more. They took what was in existence and dared to think what could be. The status quo was not enough, there was always something more. Through this we received our heliocentric model of our system, some of our greatest works of fiction, and awe-inspiring works of art. He also talks about non-profits and how they are changing. He talks about challenging our current views of aide, such as the way we support our brothers and sisters in Africa through organizations such as Thrive Global not by giving but by doing business in Africa.

In the end, the goal is to do things for the betterment of humanity. Why? Because, "What is more powerful thank looking at the world through eyes of possibility? When we sing a new song-imagine new realities-we become participants in God's creative work, taking our place as co-creators with Him in this ever-changing, ever-messy but beautiful narrative." So, let us not sit idly by as the critics, but engage at the very least as copiers and at best as creative innovators.


Christie said...

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Karl said...

That's a nice quote, thanks! Is he in the LDS church or something?

Christie said...

He is a counselor to the president of the Church. He's German obviously. :)