An interesting hypothesis from Tony Woodlief that bad religious art – the sort that cannot stand on its own, but has to have an adjective affixed, like “a Christian novel” – is bad because it is serving a bad (i.e. false) theology. I largely agree with this: religious art used to be better because earlier centuries were far more theologically advanced. It would be shocking now to see a Pope doing what they used to do all the time, quote pagans like Cicero as real moral authorities; and it would be shocking now for a Muslim theologian to do what was almost the whole of Muhammed’s practice, to draw on infidel fables and adapt infidel customs. The pioneers had a freedom which they rob their followers of – or which their followers find too frightening.