Mere Christians

Makoto Fujimura (Artist)

Episode Summary

How your work creates for the Kingdom

Episode Notes

Jordan Raynor sits down with Makoto Fujimura, Artist, to talk about what the New Jerusalem’s 5,600 miles of precious stones tell us about our work, how the ancient art of Kintsugi preaches a powerful sermon of the gospel, and what lessons we can all take from “slow art” as we master our varied vocations.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Transcription

[00:00:05] JR: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do their most exceptional work for the glory of God and the good of others. Every single week, I bring you a conversation with a Christian follower who is pursuing world-class mastery of their vocation. We talk about their path to mastery, their daily habits, and how the Gospel of Jesus Christ influences their work.


Guys, today you're in for a treat. We're talking with my new friend Makoto Fujimura. He's a world-class artist whose work has been featured in some of the world's most premier galleries and museums. He was a presidential appointee to the National Council of the Arts from 2003 to 2009. He's a recipient of four Doctor of Arts honorary degrees.


Makoto and I sat down and had a terrific conversation about what the new Jerusalem's 5,600 miles of precious stones, tells us about how God works and how we are called to work in response. We talked about the ancient art form of kintsugi and how this art form can preach a powerful sermon of redemption. We also talked about what lessons we can all take away from Makoto’s quote “slow art” approach to his craft. You guys are going to love this episode with my new friend, Makoto Fujimura.




[00:01:52] JR: Mako, it's a joy for you to be with us. Thanks for being here.


[00:01:55] MF: It's my pleasure to be here, Jordan.


[00:01:57] JR: Yeah. So, you're calling from Princeton today. You've been outside of Manhattan for a couple years. But you're in Manhattan for a while. How long were you in New York City?


[00:02:09] MF: Yeah. We were in Manhattan for 15 years and lived what turned out to be ground zero. So, we all survived 9/11 and we stayed for 10 years after.


[00:02:20] JR: And I was reading in your book, Art and Faith. I mean, you're right there, you're trapped underground, in a subway on 9/11 trying to make it home. I'm curious, as an artist, that experience, that trauma, has to have shaped your work in some pretty profound ways, in what specific ways come to mind right off the bat as we're talking about that?


[00:02:42] MF: Yeah, definitely. I have become an artist who has reflected on many traumas of our time, and I was actually doing a series on Columbine High School when 9/11 happened. And so, it seems like something was telling me to pay attention to these realities, paradigm shifting realities that we were facing, almost every day. There was something happening, but these were accentuated, of course by incidents like 9/11. 3/11 tsunami in Japan was a huge disaster that wiped away fishing villages that existed for thousands of years and I did a series of paintings called Walking Water after that. That turned into a collaboration and remembering what happened in these traumatic events have become part of my work.


So, after 9/11, I remember in particular, being drawn to T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, which was his true masterpiece. And he considers it his best work to the extent that he didn't write another poem after that. That was his epitaph. But even though he did for 20 more years. So, I spent a lot of time with this poem, actually, reading it aloud, in the subways, empty subways of New York City after 9/11, because I heard in his voice, a human voice that tried to understand trauma that turned into kind of a worship of our God. So, it's a very important work for me that, first because, I identified his voice in my own lament, but also that the language of resolution, language of reconciliation, perhaps was embedded in them.


[00:04:50] JR: It's beautiful. It's a beautiful poem. I love Eliot's work. It's kind of this theme of being drawn to brokenness, right? Columbine, responding to the aftermath of 9/11, the tsunami. Is that what drew you to this ancient art form of kintsugi. And for those who don't know, tell us a little bit about this art form called kintsugi that you spend some time working with.


[00:05:13] MF: Yeah, so my wife and I now co-founded with a kintsugi master, Academy Kintsugi. And kintsugi means kind is gold, sugi means to mend. Sugi also means to pass on to the next generation. It's a beautiful term of mending with gold with Japan, lacquer, Roshi, which was a technique that evolved out of tea tradition, high tea edition of 16th century Japan and began in 1500s, or even beyond that in Korea or in China.


But it didn't become this refined form until I would say 17th century and after what happens in Japan because of many earthquakes. And of course, after the tsunami, you discovered these broken ceramics everywhere, they somehow remain. And what team asked to, let's say, if you had a very important vessel that was used in high tea, they would often hold on to the fragments for many generations, and then give it to a Roshi master, Japan lacquer master to at some point when it is ready to be mended. But they don't fix it, so that is back to the previous shape. They mended in a unique way that would accentuate the fractures. And then either pour paint on top with gold, or sprinkle gold on top and polish it so that their fractures become highlighted and become a beautiful pattern.


To me, this is the greatest example of theology and new creation, because of what we know from the accounts of the Gospels of post resurrection appearance of Jesus. Jesus came back not only as a human, but as a wounded human, and his nail marks are still with him. And it is through his wounds that we are healed. So that, to me is one of the most important things to talk about when we talk about [inaudible 00:07:23] you're making, and I have a chapter in my new book Art and Faith because of that.


[00:07:28] JR: It's really, really beautiful. It's a beautiful picture. That piece of art, that will preach a pretty powerful sermon, by looking at these broken pieces, made more beautiful by the gold that has mended them together. So, you mentioned Art and Faith, I thought one of the most thought-provoking themes of the book, is the distinction you make between a theology of fixing what's broken in creation, and this theology of creating into the new. Can you share your perspective on the difference between these two ideas?


[00:08:04] MF: Yes, I am notorious for listening to sermons and then labeling them as either plumbing, theology, theology or fixing, as you know. Or does it have the gospel generativity, gospel of new creation, what I call a new newness in them. And what I mean by that is many of the sermons of course, correctly point to the cross and redemption and invitation that God has given us to find hope and salvation in Christ. And of course, that is at the heart of the gospel.


But as N.T. Wright notes, Bishop N.T. Wright, that's only part of the gospel. We often miss the entirety of the gospel from creation to new creation. And therefore, the sermon sounds like, well, we're going to fix you and we're going to give you tools to do that. If you attend Sunday school, we’ll give you more tools, and you can go back home and fix your pipes. And you do that and it's successful and you come back rejoicing, and you bring your neighbor, and you are given new tools to continue to fix your pipes.


But at no point already, it is spoken about, why fixing the pipes, what is going through the pipes. And I spend considerable amount of time noting that there are many things about what is going through the pipes. The water, the Holy Spirit, the why of new creation, that is fundamental to what we are meant to be doing on this side of eternity. I talked about this in the book and what I call theology or making theology of new creation is very much based on a very orthodox understanding of the gospel, but noting that we have this important opportunity and when we preach plumbing theology, it might be easy to create programs, but it doesn't do much to help us understand our role, particularly in serving people who cannot serve themselves. So, to help the poor, or to create beauty.


[00:10:17] JR: Yeah, it's just so beautiful. I've been thinking a lot about it. And you touched on this briefly in the book. But the largely overlooked detail in John 20, of Mary mistaking Jesus as the gardener. And our mutual friend N.T. Wright's, the one who initially tipped me off to this. And I've been like diving deep on this. I believe, of course, there's not a comprehensive theology baked in this little verse. But it's a symbol, right? Of a comprehensive theology all throughout Scripture, right? Jesus is pointing us back to the first garden of Eden. And just as God inaugurated the new creation, but left it largely unfinished. He called Adam and Eve to help him fill the first creation and same thing at Easter, right? Jesus didn't bring the kingdom in full, he inaugurated it, and appeared as a gardener as a way of winking at us and saying, it's time to garden again.


[00:11:12] MF: Yes, exactly. And that is such a beautiful passage. I love that he didn't come back on this as a king on the horse.


[00:11:25] JR: Yeah, he could have.


[00:11:26] MF: He could have. Oh, yeah, he could done have anything. He could have done anything.


[00:11:29] JR: He could have been a fisherman, he could have been a general, he could have been a king. He was a gardener.


[00:11:33] MF: That's right. For him to, first of all, come back as a human being is remarkable. Because, look what he went through as a human being, he suffered more than anybody could imagine unjustly. And yet he chose that form to be present in our midst, and what he looks like is not this person with necessary power, or status or prestige, but a gardener who stewards, who tends to the soil. And I talk about this as my approach to culture, which is culture care, rather than go to wars, to be able to look at cultural soil as something to tend to, not to fight over. It's not a battleground, but it's an ecosystem to steward a garden, to take care of, and to nurture. That's a fundamentally different way that a Christian can approach time.


[00:12:37] JR: Totally. And let's go a level deeper on the gardening analogy. Everyone knows the Parable of the Sower. Very few people pay attention to the parable that comes right after, the Parable of the Weeds, right? Jesus called us the good seeds of the kingdom. The seeds don't stay in the gardeners and or out there in the soil to create into the new, to create for the eternal kingdom of God. So, let's make this a little bit more pointed and practical, Mako. What does that look like practically in your own work as an artist? What is the difference between an artist who operates at this plumbing theology? I'm here to fix the pipes of the old world, versus an artist who creates into the new heavens, the new earth, the new creation?


[00:13:29] MF: Yeah, that's a great question. And I actually spent time walking around Israel thinking about that passage. And I came to realize, we call it the Parable of the Sower. But it's not about the sower. I mean, the sower is God and, people who do God's work. And so, they're doing the work, and it's not about the seed because he is the kingdom seed, which is perfect. It's all about the soil. So, I spend my time here, literally, cultivating soil. I have three acres of land here, and I couldn't garden in the city. So, I never had this experience. But when I moved, I spoke to a lot of gardeners in my neighborhood to farmers and learned a lot about, what does the good soil mean? And as the parable states, you have to pay attention to first of all remove the rocks, because they’re many. Once you dig into the soil, you find many rocks, and you have to remove them, and that's hard work.


So, before you do the planting, you have to actually spend a lot of time, in my case, like three years preparing the soil so that I can plant my tomatoes. Then after that comes weeds, right? The weeds can choke up what you have planted and you would think that even if you have good soil, the weeds are so abundant. They grow so fast. And so, you have to pay attention, constant care is needed.


And then you have multitude of blessings come from a single plant, single seed. And the generative possibilities are so remarkable because it's not just that you create a good tomato, you cook with it, right? You dry it, and you make so many different things with it. So, to me art is exactly the same. Artists spends a lot of time preparing, removing the rocks, and tending to their creativity and imagination, whether you are visual artist, like me or writer, or a stage director, or movie maker, they have to do the hard work beforehand to prepare the soil, so that when you plant your seed, that it will take root. Once it takes root, you have to tend to it. You have to make sure that it is lovingly stewarded so that the seed has a chance to grow. And then the what you make actually is a generative beginning of a new way of living, right?


So, what you make, hopefully, will be giving birth to 10 other works, or even more, and then you to steward those things. So, it creates abundance in a world that is still struggling with scarcity, and competition and mindset, that limited resource mindset.


[00:16:30] JR: That's good. I think this is a connected idea in Art and Faith about this idea that we've fallen for post industrial revolution, that everything we do has to have some utilitarian purpose. That's not true, for a call to create in the new, not everything has to have some explicit function. I thought you made this argument a pretty compelling way, can you share the essence of that argument with our listeners?


[00:17:00] MF: Thank you. First of all, pragmatism and efficiency are good things.


[00:17:04] JR: Yes, great things.


[00:17:05] MF: We are so appreciative about whatever that industrial revolution has produced. And yet, if that becomes a way to define human beings, then we are nothing but efficient machines, right? And worse, yet, the machines are able to replace us because they're able to drive for us, and they're able to do things that we used to think only humans can do. But now with efficiency and pragmatism, to an extent that it has become so amazingly useful. So, what we have to do is to recover a sense of humanity that has been lost because of our drive to what I call utilitarian pragmatism.


Pragmatism itself, as William James defined it in early 20th century is a good thing. It's very much about purposefulness and utilitarian reality. But when it becomes our definition of how we educate and how we define success, then we begin to lose sight of the potential, generative potential, every human being to rise above utilitarian pragmatism and provide ways of looking at the world and creating a new world that has abundance built into them, which machines really can't do. They can multiply certain information, but they cannot, in a way that human beings can have dreams that makes the future, creating resonance let's say, in between the machines that we are speaking on today, through audio methods. To create resonance, there has to be more than this efficiency, that's utility.


Now, machines may have the potential to have that, but so far, we have not been able to focus on that to create something new.


[00:19:15] JR: Yeah, think about the picture Scripture holds out of how God creates in Genesis, all throughout Scripture, but especially Genesis 1 and 2 and Revelation 21 and 22 that he creates with both function and “needless extravagant beauty”, right? The new Jerusalem's foundation has 5,600 miles of precious stones. My guess is those stones don't serve a functional purpose. But to me, I've been meditating on this lately, it means that sometimes it's okay to redesign a website, even if it doesn't lead to more conversions. Or paint a painting even if it doesn't sell, or decorate your home for Christmas, even if you can't prove the ROI of that investment. Are you tracking with me here?


[00:20:10] MF: Absolutely. I start the work, Jordan, with the concept of aseity of God, which theologians talk about as an important concept, but not talked about that much. Aseity of God, is that God doesn't need us at all. God doesn't need the creation, God is all sufficient, self-sufficient. And so why did God create? God created because God is love. And love generates beyond utility, right? If you're dating or going on a date, you don't do plumbing, you don't do accounting. You go to a museum, you go to a concert, you go see a movie, you have a wonderful meal. Those things that love producers tend not to be very utility driven. They certainly move way past the survival, basic levels. Why is that? Because we are created to be creative. We are creatures of the imagination, creatures that can dream, the future. And love happens to be in that domain that allows us to dream together. And that is, because we are created in the image of God, who created the universe out of sheer love. God doesn’t have any needs, and any reason like I would, perhaps to create out of my own needs.


That is a remarkable thing to start. Every Sunday, there is like, “God doesn't need us.” But God is love and God welcomes you here, broken people God, to join God in this co-creation, co-adventure to explore the gratuity of the universe, the extravagance, right? What makes a star shine? Is it just light or is it more than that? And what is the sound that we hear? And those are things that we can't quantify. We might be able to understand the details of it. But at the end of the day, we are just a Mondamin and we are surprised, as C.S. Lewis said, surprised by joy, because we are filled with a reminder that this God is God of abundance, God of extravagance, God of love.


[00:22:41] JR: Yeah, and a God who certainly doesn't need us, but invites us to co-labor with him, and building that eternal future, which is just mind boggling to me. You said in the book that you heard a pastor say, and I've heard many pastors say this, “There are only two things that lasts eternally, God's word and people. Everything else is going to burn up.” I think a lot of people have heard this, and it's just point blank incorrect, right?  The Scripture makes clear this, the new creation inaugurated by Jesus, the eternal kingdom of God is earthy and filled with culture, as we see in Revelation 21-22, Isaiah 60. I'm curious for you personally, how does that truth that the New Earth is going to include culture, is going to include art? How does that fuel your personal hope?


[00:23:34] MF: Yeah, so reflecting on Isaiah 60, coming into New Jerusalem, the photo of pagan kings bringing their gifts, and Dr. Richard Mao has written a wonderful book, a short book on this thinking about it. But yeah, that is, just as he noted, it's astonishing to think about. I mean, so that means that everything that I see in culture matters to God. Now, some things are twisted, some things are made into idols. We are, as John Calvin said, idol factories. Christians are creating idols all the time, as well as non-Christians and our hearts are rendered to be so against this notion of God's goodness and love. And yeah, because of Christ's intervention in us, that you and I can be having this discussion about this new creation that is bursting forth from a little mustard seed of creation. And God is going to do the rest. We may only be able to do very, very well. J.R.R Tolkien has a wonderful small short story that he wrote when he was having a writer's block and it's called Leaf by Niggle.


[00:24:55] JR: It’s my all-time favorite.


[00:24:58] MF: Yeah. There was a little man named Niggle who had a long journey to make, that the story begins. He's a painter, and he ends up only being able to paint this one leaf on canvas. And you know, what happens is that God takes that leaf and multiplies it, a new creation. That's the best picture I have, the excitement that I have every day, Jordan, in the studio. What I may be able to do today, maybe very limited, compromised by my own limitations and my own sinfulness. But if I can be faithful in small things, God is going to take that and create a whole new forest with it, a whole new world that I can only see if I am faithful to that task.


Even if I am frustrated, even if I feel like I can't do it, I face the cameras every day, knowing that God is going to back me up. This God is God of grace. He doesn't need me to do this. But God wants me to do this. And so yeah, I go.


[00:26:11] JR: It's beautiful. I love it so much. By the way, if you're listening, you're like, what in the world are these guys talking about? How does that work physically and last an eternity? Go read Isaiah 60. Go read Revelation 21. Go read first Corinthians 15, especially verse 58, where Paul says somehow miraculously what you do is not in vain. Go read first Corinthians chapter three, where he talks in more detail about what lasts and what doesn't.


Mako you said in Art and Faith, you pointed out that – I thought this is really smart, that this younger, “None-generation”, means this group of people marking 'none', when asked on forms, whether they belong to a particular religious group. They're not walking into churches anymore. And you say that, “Now they are limited to experiencing God authentically, primarily through culture and nature.” How can Christians experience God through culture?


[00:27:12] MF: Yeah, and connected, nature and culture should be connected, but we have disembodied them and especially in Western culture, if you go to any, you know, nations like Japan, nature and culture, look at films by Miyazaki, and you'll see what I mean that nature and culture are meant to be grown together. They're not to be disconnected. And I think for us, we need to learn from the younger generation, because they're onto something. They've seen the trauma and experienced bullet holes in school, classrooms. And they’ve seen us lose sight of the most precious resource we have, which is nature and the environment. And we are faced with our own propensities to win at all costs. To fight the battle, that we think we must win in order for the next generation to be able to keep what we hold, dear.


But the next generation is telling us no, don't fight that war. We don't want that war. Because we see in front of us, our own effort, the capacity to care for the grounds that we were standing on, is more important, to preserve what we have, but also to expand into the future of what we dream about. A world that is more just, a world that is more fair, a world that is more beautiful. And these are good things.


Now, there are many things about these ideals that we know is limited, by our own fallenness, but we need to learn that their music, their art – we are swimming in them, by the way. We can’t eliminate music and art. We can, that's what dictators do. Because they help us to dream and they help us to understand that even in severe scarcity, right, we can look through the prison cell and write a beautiful letter or call a letter from Birmingham prison. And that's what dreams are made of. It's not this fluffy stuff, it's substance of things hoped for.


So, that is where faith can kick in, and the younger generation, even though they rejected the institution of the church, perhaps they're not ready to throw away Jesus or the Spirit. I see them, I hear their music, I see their movies, and I'm just convinced that there's a spiritual awakening happening outside of the church, happening in the margins where these creative young people are dreaming about something that we have lost touch with.


[00:30:22] JR: Yeah, but it's a call for the church to engage in creating culture, because “win”. I hate that word. But by telling the best stories, by making the best films, not “Christian films”, but films that is, Andy Crouch says, in culture making, his great book Culture Making, move the horizon of possibilities for others. Right? I've been thinking about the TV show, This Is Us, which my wife and I love. We've been watching it for six years. I feel like that show has done more to prick the conscious of American culture about adoption than anything in recent memory, right? I don't know if that's created by a Christian or not, but thank God for common grace, and putting that in the heart of those creators. I think it's stirring people's hearts on that topic. What else can we stir people's hearts too by just making the best movies, and the best art and the best novels that point to truth, not necessarily explicitly mentioning Jesus's name every single time?


[00:31:22] MF: Well, it's not just so that we can convince people to be pro-life, that we make these movies. That’s a utilitarian purpose. And sure, it's more effective, maybe long-term. But what it does is it actually redefines what pro-life means.


[00:31:41] JR: Yeah, talk more about this.


[00:31:43] MF: Yeah, when we create generatively, when we believe in the lives of people, and there are characters in these stories that come alive in us, that will do several things. One, it increases empathy in us that we are more emotionally aware of things in our brokenness that are around us. But also, it raises the horizon, as Andy says, to dream bigger, and to say, if this is true, and if this is possible, and I find this story to be beautiful, then not only that reality has grown in my heart, but that is reality is true, right?


So, we don't have to – let’s say, I fight this ideological battle and use the odds. I've noticed this propensity in the Christian church to say, “Well, it's so great, because you can use it. You can use it for discipleship and you can use it for Christian formation.” Well, that may be true, but you're missing the very fundamental reality, that art itself is God's gift.


[00:32:56] JR: Yes, amen.


[00:32:56] MF: So, it doesn't need a rationalized sense of usefulness. But it's good and true and beautiful in itself, and that's why we can celebrate it. We can be the first support an avant guard theater in a little town that we live in. Because whether the person is anti-God, atheist, angry at the world, if that theater is good, you support it. Because as a Christian, as we talked about, Isaiah 60 tells us to. We are to help refine goodness in the world, and the person may not be aware of God, but maybe that will give us an opportunity backstage to share something about our journeys, our broken journeys, that made us who we are, and the fact that we get excited, waking up every morning to look for abundance, rather than, fighting against scarcity.


I mean, those are things that everybody needs, so we don't have to have all these checklists of things that we have to abide by, while these things are signs of things that God's presence in us. But art fundamentally has a reality of its own.


[00:34:14] JR: Very, very beautifully said. I'm glad you went a level deeper. That was great. Hey, Mako, I'm curious if you see a connection between this idea we've been talking about that your work matters for eternity, and your commitment to getting really great at what you do as an artist. Is there a connection there?


[00:34:31] MF: I think so. I am a very ambitious artist. I want to be the best artist that I can be. But I'm not competing against anybody else.


[00:34:45] JR: Well, I mean, just in the way you said that. It's not “I want to be the best artist in the world.” It's “The best artist I could be.” It's the Parable of the Talents. You're not called to have the most talents. You're called the steward the talents you have really well.


[00:34:57] MF: Exactly. That's right. And I learned this very early because there's so many people more gifted I was. I was placed in graduate school with the best Japanese artists in Japan. This was the school, the top of the top. And I saw my classmates do things that I was astonished. You can do that? I realized that my gift might be very small. I call it my slice of expression, and I was so fortunate because I realized that's what I'm supposed to cultivate. I can't be Takashi Murakami, who was my classmate. I can't be Hiroshi Senju who was my classmate, but I can be Makoto Fujimura. I can be the best Mako that there can be, there ever can be. And that's my goal.


So, I spent the last 30, 40 years doing this. I think if we can find those, let's say limitations, rather than potentials, things that we're not good at, very early on, and our limitations can become our friends. And that allows us to focus on things that we're supposed to do in the world. So, I never really worried about what other people say, what critics say, what art galleries, say, or even what I say to myself, because I know that at the end of the day, if I'm faithful, in that my slice of expression, God is being honored. And to me, that's enough.


[00:36:31] JR: It's like what Paul said, I think it is in First Corinthians. Tim Keller expounded upon it beautifully in his book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. “I don't care how you judge me, I don't care how I judge myself, I care about God judges me, and God judged me based on my stewardship of what he's given me to steward.” I read that David Brooks of The New York Times described your art as, “A small rebellion against the quickening of time.” That's such a David Brooks quote. I love that so much. And you yourself, describe your art as slow art. What do you mean by that?


[00:37:04] MF: Yeah, so I spend most of my time preparing to paint. So, I pulverize pigments, and some of that is mostly actually done by collaboration with pigment shops in Japan. So, they find these minerals, and they pulverize them in the right way. But they know me, so they know how I like it. So, they cater, it's an ecosystem of care, culture care, really, that cares for me for you know, since I was a student. So, they send over these materials and I adjust them, pulverize them myself, and mix them to make paint. It takes time for glutamate to make paint, to let it dry several times before you use it.


So, you're talking about like three days before, one single element and can be put on canvas or paper. And then I'm layering them multiple times, sometimes over 100 times so that it takes months before I can even get to actually paint that flower that I want to paint or imagery that I want to make. This is, I call it my discipline of praise and awareness. Because through that time, it becomes such a wonderful way to pray and to understand God's heart. And so, the studio is the most sacred place that I know. Because when I come in here, I'm able to focus and be fully present in the presence of God. Everything I do is like a bonus to me, because that is fundamentally what God has called me to, is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord in my studio. Meanwhile, the world is falling apart, and I'm here praying for that as well. But my art becomes this slow art of paying attention.


[00:39:01] JR: It's great. I love it. Hey, Mako, three questions we wrap up every conversation with. Number one, I'm curious, just in general, which books do you find yourself recommending or gifting most frequently to others?


[00:39:16] MF: When I mentor younger people, I have the list of books. I would say two, my most given is a book called The Gift by Lewis Hyde. Remarkable, remarkable book that is a paradigm shifting book for anybody interested in creativity and imagination. And the other is T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. I think this is one of the greatest gifts from the 20th century that will certainly be in the [inaudible 00:39:43] by one that is such an illuminating work for us today, especially in times of pandemic, times of trauma, and the language to not only generate hope out of those times and fractures, but give us a language to create with.


[00:40:03] JR: That's a great word. Guys, as always, you can find those books at Alright, Mako, who would you most like to hear on this podcast talking about how the gospel shapes the work they do in the world?


[00:40:15] MF: Oh, have you spoken to Satyan Devadoss?


[00:40:18] JR: No. Tell me more.


[00:40:21] MF: He is a professor of Mathematics at University of San Diego. San Diego University is a Catholic University. He is a remarkable, remarkable thinker. Privileged to call him a friend and someone that's been helping us map out Fujimura Institute work, but he will be one to recommend to you.


[00:40:39] JR: It's a great answer. Great. I love it. All right. So, Mako, one last question. You're talking to an audience of Christians who believe the work they do matters for eternity. And thus, they care about doing it really well. What's one thing from today's conversation you want to reiterate to them before we sign off?


[00:40:55] MF: Yeah, that we are sons and daughters of the great artists. The only true artists of the kingdom that has actually given us to be princesses and princesses. And therefore, the vast reality the possibility that God sees in us is so untapped, that we can only spend the rest of our days to encourage each other, to grow our wings to be able to fly higher and start jumping, try to jump, jump over the hurdles of more realism. But grow your wings of imagination so that we can truly fly together into the new creation.


[00:41:42] JR: It's beautiful. Mako, I just want to commend you for the masterful work you do creating into the new. Thank you for reminding us that we are created in the image of a God who creates not to sit back and wait for the kingdom, but to create into it, to create for it, to create signposts as Bishop Wright says to that eventual reality.


Guys, Mako’s terrific newer book is Art and Faith: A Theology of Making. You can learn more about all of his work at Makoto – how do you say the website?


[00:42:17] MF: It’s


[00:42:18] JR: That's it and we'll put a link right there in the show notes. Mako, thanks for joining me.


[00:42:23] MF: Oh, man, it was fun. Thanks.




[00:42:27] JR: If you want more from Makoto, seriously, go check out that book, Art and Faith. He also got an older book that I haven't read yet called Culture Care that I've heard is terrific. Man, I hope you guys enjoyed that episode.


Hey, if you're enjoying The Call to Mastery, be sure to check out our brand-new podcast called The Word Before Work. Every week, I bring you a very short, five-minute devotional, helping you respond to this radical biblical idea that your work matters for eternity. Just search The Word Before Work, or Jordan Raynor in your favorite podcast app. It would be super easy to find. Guys, thank you so much for tuning in into The Call to Mastery this week. I'll see you next time.