Christianity and the Arts
Zach's last post got me searching for Schaeffer quotes, and while I didn't find what I was looking for, I found this one, which strikes at another passion of mine:
Christianity is not just "dogmatically" true or "doctrinally" true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.
The ancients were afraid that if they went to the end of the earth, they would fall off and be consumed by dragons. But once we understand that Christianity is true to what is there, including true to the ultimate environment -- the infinite, personal God who is really there -- then our minds are freed. We can pursue any question and can be sure that we will not fall off the end of the earth. Such an attitude will give our Christianity a strength that is often does not seem to have at the present time.
But there is another side to the Lordship of Christ, and this involves the total culture -- including the area of creativity. Again, evangelical or biblical Christianity has been weak at this point. About all that we have produced is a very romantic Sunday school art.
We do not seem to understand that the arts too are supposed to be under the Lordship of Christ.
I have frequently quoted a statement from Francis Bacon, who was one of the first of the modern scientists and who believed in the uniformity of natural causes in an open system. He, along with other men like Copernicus and Galileo, believed that because the world had been created by a reasonable God, they could therefore pursue the truth concerning the universe by reason. There is much, of course, in Francis Bacon with which I would disagree, but one of the statements which I love to quote is this: "Man by the Fall fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over nature. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by the arts and sciences." How I wish that evangelical Christians in the United States and Britain and across the world had had this vision for the last fifty years!
The arts and the sciences do have a place in the Christian life -- they are not peripheral. For a Christian, redeemed by the work of Christ and living within the norms of Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the Lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts. A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God -- not just as tracts, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. And art work can be a doxology in itself.
-Francis Schaeffer
Annette, Friday, 8-17-07 10:20 AM
re: Christianity and the Arts
just as we are made in the image of God, as He is a creator so are we. i believe it is our culture, rather than our religion, that keeps us from embracing our creative side. of course our religion has a culture of its own that is guilty of this as well.

these cultures value purpose, and if there is no perceived purpose then there is no perceived value. beauty has value, but not high value. creativity takes a back seat to something that can DO something.

creativity is a weakness for me. its one of the reasons i enjoyed Imago to a great deal. the arts were emphasized, so i was able to admire people for the things they could do that i couldn't. painting, drawing, macreme with macaroni (ok that's a joke). i enjoy photography because the camera does all of the work for me. i just need to be able to see it to capture it.

creativity and seeing beauty in ordinary things is an important part of being a christian, and a whole healthy person.
ROUS  Christina Reagan, Friday, 8-17-07 6:31 PM
re: Christianity and the Arts
I guess I have always seen the arts as a way to express who we are and what we love. The part of expression that words don't quite cover. So it follows that if we love Jesus and we are transformed into his people to the very core, that the art that must flow from that will, out of nessesity glorify him.

For me artistic expression is like breathing. What goes in to the mind is fully processed and then breathed out as artistic expression. Whithout that out breath of expression I would shurly sufficate.

Blessings All.
ROUS  Debbie Day, Monday, 8-20-07 12:56 PM
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