10 Reasons Why Christian Artists Ought to be the Best in the World
Whether it is painting or other kinds of visual arts, music, dance, drama, or film, let’s face it, these days Christian artists aren’t exactly viewed as the best and brightest. This is not meant to be a slight against, or an insult of, any believing artist out there doing great work, but we have to acknowledge a cultural perception.
However that can change. I believe a full renaissance is very possible, led by believers. I think many believing artists, and those of us who support them, just need some encouragement to take on their craft with new freedom and perspective. What is reflected below is the challenge to see your worldview as a Christian as the building block for your art and not a stumbling block.
Christian artists should be the finest because:
1) Their worldview places art at the center of reality. Keep in mind a “secular” worldview places ACCIDENT at the center of reality. The very essence of art is intention. Christians believe reality was intentional. Humanists do not.
2) By definition they have a true personal relationship with the Creator. When a believer looks at nature, she not only sees the wild and varied creativity, she can always attribute the work to a personal Creator she is in true relationship with. Life itself can be seen as walking around in a piece of art with a friend who happens to be the artist.
3) They have the highest view of human beings. If you trace modern worldviews like humanism down, when they remove God, they remove purpose and, worse, human value. This is simple logic expressed by even atheist philosophers. By the humanist standard, a human being is just an accidental collection of atoms and molecules. The Christian view of human beings is that they are “created in God’s image”. So, when a human being creates, he is doing the very thing that makes him human.
4) The Christian worldview has story and drama at its center. Story and drama are essential to art. In the Christian view of the world, the entire life of the universe is a story. From an atheistic perspective, there is no story.
5) The Christian special revelation, the Bible, is written in widely varied and artistic genres. The Bible says it is “God-breathed”. This is important for what it says, but it is also significant for how it says it. God reveals himself in a book jam-packed with poetry, song lyrics, wild flights of metaphorical imagery, parables, allegory and narrative. Our God talks to us this way. We have the wonderful freedom to embrace it as how we talk to each other.
6) The Christian Savior and Leader was an artful communicator. The stories and parables have been around so long, it’s easy to forget how profound and artful they are. The fact is Jesus, as a communicator, spoke in ways that were well-crafted, emotionally charged and culturally nuanced. He is known to use everything: plays on words, comic images, common sayings of his days twisted to his own use and full drama in his stories and teachings. If we are going to be like him we should be, well. . . like him.
7) Art is a picture of the Christian view of the world. The relationship of the artist to his art. . . is a profound model of how the Bible presents God’s relationship to the creation: He is separate from his work, not dependent on it, can destroy it, but at the same time cares deeply for it and reveals himself in it.
8) They have the Spirit of the Creator living inside of them. That says plenty.
9) One of the great Bible heroes was an artist. King David is second only to Jesus in how much the Bible reports of his life. David is the model of being “after God’s own heart.” A key part of David’s life and personality were his songs. They are highly structured lyrical masterpieces.
10) They are called on to serve with all of their hearts AND as if serving the Lord. The Christian is told, “whatever you do, do it with all of your heart. The Christian artist never has to labor in vain. Even if few-if-any people ever see their work, their work is already seen by God.