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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Creativity and Art: Do Evangelicals side step its relevance?

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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860


"When you start to accept that an art object can reflect God, even in a "second order" fashion (to begin with), then you opened the door to image worship, iconography, idolatry and all the associated pride, and eventual spiritual corruption."

So the Psalms are not a reflection of God? or Song of Songs?

Please tell me your kidding? David was by far the most Artistic individual of the Bible and He what he wrote is exactly that a Reflection of God.

Also We find in the Old Testament in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers and then through out all of the Old Testament God is reflected in the Ark of the Covenant, the Temple, the outer court, the inner court, etc

Oh and then we have Christ who used Parables and Stories to reveal the Kingdom of God to us in terms we better understand, I am guessin those weren't a reflection of God?

Artist still to this day can write, sculpt, or whatever they do as long as it Lines Up with the Word of God, then by that is a Reflection of God. We as Christians artist or not are reflections of God as Christ moves and works in us. Deny art and freedom of expression and you deny many their way communicate the Gospel with others.

Do people miss use the arts? Most certainly but you also have people miss use the bible but we don't throw the baby out with the bath water do we? There is definitely a difference between Art Appreciation and Idolatry, know the difference.

Any good Christian Artist knows they weren't genetically blessed but God has graciously given them a tool to use for the King of Glory.

Matthew Guldner

 2011/5/30 2:07Profile

 oh my


I have to say yes indeed it is condemnable humanism (in fact, as Mr Gurnall wrote some 400 years ago,

"The philosophy called humanism has long been a suitor to man’s pride. It boasts in his natural strength and wisdom, and woos him with promises of great accomplishments now, and heaven later".

saints, why argue with Jonathan?

NOTHING you say will change his sense of right.


everything else is of little to no profit.

Jonathan, you're right, so good night.


 2011/5/30 2:14


Deviating from the above discussion somewhat...

Joe, have you read Franky Schaeffer's "Addicted to Mediocrity"? He's quite smug in his pontificating about what art should be (a tone that he maintains to this day on the Huff Post), but cheekily provocative. The book dilutes Rookmaaker's ideas, which clearly influenced the author, but also addresses the practical side of the issues at hand... what is the role/relevance of art in the church, and how is it made?

Anyway, I hope you have more to say in this thread. I'd be quite interested in your opinions and reflections on the subject.


 2011/5/30 2:48


One final thought before I turn in for the night...

Here's a quote from an essay by Flannery O'Connor. She was a short story writer from the American south and a devout Catholic. While she was an absolutely brilliant writer, much of her fiction would not be to the tastes of most people visiting this forum. Anyway, in her non-fiction writing, she theorized often about Christian art. I think the following is relevant:

"People have a habit of saying, 'What is the theme of your story?' and they expect you to give them a statement: 'The theme of my story is the economic pressure of the machine on the middle class' - or some such absurdity. And when they've got a statement like that, they go off happy and feel it is no longer necessary to read the story... Some people have the notion that you read the story and then climb out of it into the meaning, but for the fiction writer himself the whole story is the meaning, because it is an experience, not an abstraction."

As has been mentioned in this thread, Evangelicals often approach art concerned primarily with the message, since traditionally Evangelicalism has given its efforts to the communication, through many media, of a message about Christ and the gospel. This habitual reduction of anything to its essential message is the default method of approaching art objects... as though to ascertain "what is it saying?" is to crack a code or exhaust the object's offering. The importance of form, technique, skill, and content is lost to the reduction. The coherent whole is whittled down to a statement that can be broadcast over radio, spoken on television, tweeted, or updated on facebook.

So how does the Christian artist resist the reductionism? Can it be resisted? Is it a matter of education, or initiation into those "in-the-know" about such things?

Anyway, I'll continue churning this over as I drift to sleep.


 2011/5/30 3:23

Joined: 2011/4/30
Posts: 99


i think the main reason for this division in beliefs is the way people try to conect with the allmighty

the evangelical ,sees faith as the way to conect with god ,not throuh any other means , other wise the means can become an idol,and and one can end up concentraiting on the means ,and compleatly the end ,which is god

one can be come addicted and relianent on images as the catalests to a relationship ,the the invisable god

the worship can become a carnal practic ,useing the lust of the eyes

besides that the old testament talks about not making images ,to try to conect with the devine ,, becasue it can lead to idoarty ,and has done

i would think theses are the main reasons why we have this division

jesus said the father is looking for those who will worship him in the spirit

the even gelacial fundamentle ,point of view is ,this type of worship ,does not require images to broing one into the spirit

the deciple said to jesus ,look at the butafull temple , but jesus was quick to say this wil be torn down ,and never simpathised with the glory of the temple

the bible talks abut people changing the image of the incoraptabe invisable, in to a crouptabel image

i believe humans have the tendance to want to see god in creation and recieve more joy through creation,then through prayer and bible study ,and sermons ,

and are in many case tho not all ,,are missing the personal relatonship with the living god ,which can and is reveled through prayer ,and his writtern word

many anointed men of the past ,who trigger of awakening ,new this truth ,and whole countryes came under conviction of gods presesnce in a miraclulas short amout of time , by beleive that god can be found in prayer with out the need of created images

i firmly believe this

the spirit of god want all of our atention ,he him self by him self can draw men it to deep prayer with out the need of anything that has been created by men

fasting is also the denile of the created things , in favour of the spirit of god

deep union comes from turing to the spirit ,with out created things

many maters new this truth ,wile in jail ,they only had the spirit of god and there gift of faith ,god santifies the use of the spirit of our mind to be the means ,we comunacate with the spirit of god in it fulness

some of the most spirtual stroug matters needed nothing but prayer and hyms and psalms ,, to find the joy and the peace that contuualy passed all understanding ,,,,,,,,and gladly were put to death in this state of peace ,,,,,,not needing any images to help them ,,,,,except maby the images of sufering that they saw in the jails

seek god through his invisable spirit ,,rather then through the created images of his creatours ,and you will find more of god ,and less of his creation,,,for ceation is coruptthe bible is clear ,,,we dont need to seek god throuh coruption of any image of crouption

that is the main reason there is a division

the bible say love not the world or the things that are in the world all that is in the world ,the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father ,but is of the world ,and the world is passing away , the leter of peter reveals this

we can love art to much ,and we are not comanded to do this

the bible says through the foolishing of preaching ,shale the gosple be propagated ,and through psalms and hyms and spiritual songs

so i think for the evenegelical ,he will choose to follow the means set forth in the bible as the way the truth ,and will not as the bible says ,,go passed what is writtern ,or add or take away from what is writtern ,,,and i beleiev they are justafied in doing so due to the truth in scripture and the history of those who were marted

 2011/5/30 20:55Profile


"When you start to accept that an art object can reflect God, even in a "second order" fashion (to begin with), then you opened the door to image worship, iconography, idolatry and all the associated pride, and eventual spiritual corruption. A god that is made in mans image and revered as such."

I am not sure why you are being chastised for this statement, when it is true as written. Your context was for images, but everyone seems to want to make it into something else (IE music or writing which can become objects of idolatry but are not necessarily objects of idolatry by nature).

Everything you mention are physical objects fashioned to appeal to the visual sense rather than to spiritual sense, and as such are objects that are conducive to idolatry. Writing or music can be used to appeal both to the soul and spirit of man, that which appeals to the soul leads to idolatry, but that which appeals to the spirit is to be used to draw one closer to Christ.

The written word as found in the Bible depicts Christ, and preaching (writtten word) on that same subject is intended to enlarge upon that depiction (often times it does not, but its intent is to do so). If someone wants to tell me how exactly a statue of anything depicts Christ or enlarges on the depiction of Christ without presenting a Christ conceived in the mind of one man I am all ears.


 2011/5/30 22:50


......and the vast majority of the folks i know professionally are decidely heterosexual. maybe you been watching too much Bravo channel, which leads me to say, get rid of that cable or dish tv.


Uh, I dont even know what the Bravo channel is, nor do i have cable tv.

Glad to hear you are as straight as a board though, lol.
I have never met a Christian artist, I've met a number of homosexual ones. : )

 2011/5/30 22:53

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