It would be quite difficult to exclude the visual from our understanding of scripture. As Sree pointed out, the bible is rich in imagry, if only mental imagry.
We acknowledge that our heart desires an intimate inward connection to God wherein 'deep calls unto deep." Perhaps it is this longing that causes to feel that our senses, such as eyesight, must be bypassed if we are to truly understand spiritual realities. At least, this is my own reflections on this topic over the years; to find evidence of an inward life in Christ that bypasses the visual, audible and tactile.
My conclusion to this issue is that there is indeed evidence of such a life, but even such first hand evidence cannot in turn be expressed or shared with the world without still resorting to sensory communication, or more specifically, pictures and film and print.
This is why for many of us as infants and toddlers, some of our first understanding of the scriptures was given to us in the form of children's picture books. It is also why art for centuries has been used to not only teach the illiterate, but also the literate who might not grasp the meaning of a written text otherwise. This observation of the role of the visual is not meant as a defense of "bad art" , or to defend the current History Channel program per se, but only to point out that visual expressions of scripture in general can be important tools for Christian edification and education.
On a related topic, I think part of our difficulty with the arts is due to the 20th century's modernist separation from meaning and morality. After World War 2, art was taken over by modernist movements whose aim was to overturn every convention of western society, including capitalism and Christianity. Of course by the late 1970's this overturning of conventions itself became a convention, (and it's own capitalist market), at which time modern art became mostly pretentious and ridiculous.
I believe that the current psuedo-intellectualism of modern fine "art", combined with it's banal anti-christian imperitive, is the main reason why so many Christians, including myself, see absolutely no redeeming value in it. Indeed, "art" itself sounds suspiciously close to "artifice, " which implies yet another clever fleshly imitation of genuine spiritual reality in the Church.
However, it is all too tempting to overgeneralize with contempt, rather then study a matter more closely in order to parse with understanding. In particular, I feel that the allergic reaction to fine art among us conservative evangelicals, is not only due to our cultural ties to the church, but also to our cultural ties to middle class consumerism, wherein things are measured by their commercial profitability.
As for spiritual profitability, we need only look to the past centuries to see examples when art was used with powerful effect to help in the formation of Christian conscience and world view. And there are many, many contemporary Christian artists whose work is first rate and edifying, although they will never be a part of the fashionable and lucrative high-brow gallery world that is still playing at "modern art." In fact, the modern art world itself has become a kind of filter to catch vanity and pretense, so that sincere artists with integrity can work in relative obscurity and privacy. This is especially true for artists who are Christians.
I mention this, because in all honesty, I don't think many of us realize how alienating conservative evangelical culture can be towards brothers and sisters who are fine artists. It is one thing to denounce pagan fine art, but quite unnessecary to dispose of fine art altogether, or devalue Christian artists as impractical or not useful to the kingdom of God.
These are just some of my thoughts in response to Bearmester's original question. I realize I've expanded the scope of this thread considerably.