Friday, October 1, 2010

Art for God's Sake-Part 1

Whew! This has been a crazy week. I'm still working on getting the photo exhibition together. It's due Monday. I have one more photo to handtint and several more to finish framing. I have two and a half days left to work. I think I can do it.

Garrett, my soldier in Iraq, is coming back Monday night. We're meeting him at his base and spending the night and next day with him. He can't leave until he takes some classes on how to re-enter the real world and what signs to look for in case he develops post-something-syndrome that soldiers get. I can't remember the name of it right now.

I've just re-read Art for God's Sake by Philip Graham Ryken. It's a great book and a short read. I'm trying to learn to articulate why art matters from a Christian perspective and what art should be and look like. Not all art is good art, but why? I want to be able to answer that question. I come in contact with artists all the time and would like to be able to speak about art from God's perspective.

Here are some passages from the book: "At its best, art is able to satisfy our deep longing for beauty and communicate profound spiritual, intellectual, and emotional truth about the world that God has made for his glory."

This refers to man being made in the image of God. "The characteristic common to God and man is the desire and the ability to make things."

"God wants all of the arts to flourish in all the fullness of their artistic potential, so that we may discover the inherent possibilities of creation and thereby come to a deeper knowledge of our Creator."

John Calvin said, "All the arts come from God and are to be respected as divine inventions."

This quote is talking about the many different art forms available and how we are free to choose, according to our ability, which one(s) we will pursue and how we go about it. "The latitude God gives to the arts, however, does not mean that anything goes. God has high standards for art, as he does for everything else. God's aesthetic standards include goodness, truth, and beauty. And these standards are not relative; they are absolute."

"What constitutes excellence in art is inherent in the art forms themselves, and thus it comes from God as part of his general revelation. The difference between good art and bad art is not something we learn from the Bible, primarily, but from the world that God has made. But what the Bible does tell us is that God knows the difference, and that he has a taste for excellence. To be pleasing to God, art must be true as well as good. Truth has always been one important criterion for art. Art is an incarnation of the truth."

"Art is always an interpretation of reality. The kind of art that glorifies God is good, true, and, finally, beautiful. In a world that has been uglified by sin, the Christian artist shows the plausibility of redemption by producing good work that is true in its beauty."

I don't want this post to be too long so will continue it another day. Point: God does care about art. Many biblical references were given in this book including the case text of Exodus 31, the building of the tabernacle. God handpicked the artists who worked on his tabernacle and gave them the ability to do skillful, excellent work on this very important structure.


wayside wanderer said...

Great quotes! I look forward to hearing more about this.

Pom Pom said...

I SO agree. He does care about art. Your photos are incredible.