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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Can the truth of God's Word be comnunicated through visual medium?

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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1777

 Re: Can the truth of God's Word be comnunicated through visual medium?

There is nothing wrong in visuals. Visualizing things has a very powerful influence in human mind. That is why Jesus himself compared Kingdom of God to familiar things like vineyard and farmland. He also told stories and parables to bring a picture of God's kingdom into our mind. I personally admire all the illustrations used by Jesus and use illustrations whenever I get a chance to share God's word. Even in reading Bible, I try to visualize what the scripture actually says.

Regarding movies we have to be very careful when bringing a picture about a biblical incident into the minds of people. There is a high probability of portraying a wrong picture. Even in our teachings when we use illustrations we can easily mislead people. God can still use these movies to reach people. I believe movies like Fireproof has a very good message in US where Divorce is very common even among Christians. God can use even imperfect things for his purpose. The Church in which I accepted Christ is a mega Church with some wrong teachings and beliefs. But God still used it for my conversion.

Hence I would caution those interested in using Visual media to serve God to be extra cautious as the pictures that you portray has a powerful impact. Also I would advice born again believers to avoid them if possible. Because a born again believer no longer requires an emotional stirrup but a spiritual one. I thoroughly believe that the entire entertainment industry is ruled by Satan.


 2013/3/6 15:16Profile

Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1364
Lakeland FL


Although it isn't in your face Gospel the movie 'Les Miserables' provides a bit of Gospel edge. Very good storyline when it is broken down.




 2013/3/6 16:10Profile

 Re: My Experience

I have seen the Jesus video put out by Campus Crusade. This video is based on the Gospel of Luke. As far as I am aware it has probably done more to bring people into a saving knowledge of Christ outside the medium of Scripture itself.

I have watched the Book of Acts video series set to the NIV. The script is straight from the NIV83 translation. The scenes are well done and filmed on location. Characters are dressed in the attire of that time period. Very swell done. The Gospel of Mathew is done the same way. I have yet to see it. (I realize many in the forum object to the NIV. But the video series in Acts is excellent)

Though taking some dramatic liberties my favorite Biblical movie of all times is The Ten Commandments with Charton Heston. Great movie to watch for redemptive entertainment.

Interestingly enough some of the best Old Testament movies I have seen have come off of Ted Turner's net work. For someone opposed to biblical truth the movies conveyed the biblical stories pretty accurately.

Simply my thoughts on some movies and videos I have seen.


 2013/3/6 17:27

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri


I was blessed by the Visual Bible, Matthew. Thought it was very well done and word for word NIV version. I thought it was a great way to couple visual art with scripture. I often recall passages because the visual representation caused me to more easily memorize them.


 2013/3/6 20:30Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Visual Artists in the Church

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.



Mike Compton

 2013/3/7 0:05Profile

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