Elbium Publications is a Calvinistic publishing imprint, based in the UK. Our titles strive to apply the Christian faith in all aspects of life and culture.
This book is about conformity. When Christianity was set aside by the once-Christian West, people were granted apparent freedom to do whatever they want. But what do they do? They conform to the status quo. People aspire to look like their idols and be as rich as their heroes, as though there is nothing more to life. The fashion changes and people change with it. They learn political correctness, moral relativism and all the other new "rules" of life from books, film, music, art, magazines and tv.
The Christian response has been to try to harness the "power" of such media for good. This has resulted in a warped idea of Christian art, that insists on demonstrating its religiosity and turns film into a tool for conversion. It is merely a Christian version of the status quo. Consequently, some Christians have rejected the arts and retreated from culture, as though art is too corrupting, too infectious and only for the wicked. And they return, with a sigh, to J. S. Bach.
This book is also about non-conformity. It is about how the Christian can obey the words of the Apostle Paul and not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. It is not about changing culture. It is about living to the glory of God in a personal and public sphere: how to love your neighbour and how to love your enemy. When Christians turn to God and seek his approval, no matter what people think (Christian or non-Christian) they can be exposed to all kinds of cultural expressions without harm. The Christian can read without infection, listen without corruption and even watch a film that is rated above Disney-level. Meanwhile, the Christian artist is freed from the incredible guilt of modern culture. The Christian musician is not responsible to provide a sanctuary from sin. The Christian film-maker is not obliged to present a Pollyanna view of the world. The Christian author can write on a myriad of subjects. They can all glorify God.
Henry R. Van Til was right - we are influenced by what we oppose. It is necessary in all generations for Christians to guard the distinctions of their beliefs. In so doing, we often discover the unique beauty of the Gospel and hold it as more precious. In practice this often emerges as disagreement - sometimes with one another in the Church, often with non-Christians. But not all argument are equal. Not all viewpoints are respected within the Church today - or 250 years ago:
Many gracious persons (for many such I am persuaded there are) who differ from me, more or less, in those points which are called Calvinistic, appear desirous that the Calvinists should, for their sakes, studiously avoid every expression which they cannot approve. Yet few of them, I believe, impose a like restraint upon themselves, but think the importance of what they deem to be truth, justifies them in speaking their sentiments plainly, and strongly. May I not plead for an equal liberty?
John Newton in "Preface to Olney Hymns"
Elbium Publications began with one small distinction: the belief that the Psalms are to be sung in the public worship of God - that they cannot be improved upon and should never be supplanted. This small seed changed the life of Abigail Fox.
There comes a time when the argument ends, when the person who knows the truth and loves it more than life, wants to use talents according to that knowledge. That is where Elbium wants to be. We will continue to reach out with culturally-relevant material. We also produce music and films in a heartfelt desire to practise what we preach.