The Aim of Christian Art?

This is the first of many “worship Wednesdays” posts addressing various elements of Christian worship and art.

I am by no means an artist nor an art expert in any sense of the word. But I know that there is something profoundly powerful in the creative capacities God has given His image bearers.

Art can often reach our hearts in ways that words alone cannot. Whether this is a beautiful painting, a mournful dirge or an emotional dance routine; art affects us.

From a Christian perspective good art invites and moves us to worship our great God.

Worship music is one expression of art but I believe that in our modern times other aspects of Christian Art have been disregarded. The hope is that this blog post will help encourage Christian artists and change believer’s perspectives toward those artists and the work they produce.

Writing about this issue N.D. Wilson believes the reason why many Christians have “love hate relationship” with Christian Art is because we view it with the wrong lenses by comparing it to our current “pop-frothy moment”:

“As Christian artists and Christian consumers, it is all too easy for our eyes—particularly (but not only) the eyes of the young—to look ever sideways. Is this cool? Is it cool enough? We get embarrassed by a movie celebrating life and grieving over abortion carnage and bemoan the state of Christian film. Why? Because of the camera work? Because of the acting? Maybe. But more likely because we believe a worldly lie about our own branding.”

He goes on to explain that some of the greatest artistic pieces in the history of Western Civilization have been produced by Christians. Thus it is not so much our beliefs as Christians that make our creations cheesy or corny but the perspective and the influence of the society we find ourselves in (and of which we have been influenced by).

He concludes by giving this exhortation to artists and those who enjoy art:

glory of god picture“Pursue excellence in your moment even when only he [God] sees, because he always does. Strive to do better, to improve, to create glory, not because you fear catcalls from the bleachers of unbelief, but because the bar has been set so high by saints who have gone before, because you would love to be an accurate image of God, as true a reflection of his creativity as you can be. Take joy in your craft, lofty or lowly, because you would be like him…In all that you create, aim to please him. In all that you consume, attempt to mirror his tastes.”

For you Christian artists and those who appreciate art with God’s perspective in mind, what has your experience been? Is Wilson correct about the stereotypes of Christian art and his diagnosis about why or do you feel like he is missing something?


~ by simplesage on December 3, 2013.

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