Why Christians Should Create (Published)

This is my most recent article in RELEVANT, where I propose that art in it’s essence should be embraced by Christians. I give four main reasons humans are meant to create art and how this works into the Christian belief system. The 4th point is more of a challenge towards the aesthetics than a remark on the politics of the 7th ecumenical council (which I happen to agree with). “Iconoclasm” is controversial, but in this article, I am not seeking the destruction of icons, but of our perceived idolization of a specific artform when creating. Enjoy! I was recently having a conversation on Facebook with a friend who was quite frustrated. His frustration stemmed from how Christians seem to stifle certain forms of art or put certain art into categories, calling them either “Christian” or “Secular.” This has been an ongoing conversation among Christians. Prominent Christian artists such as Jon Foreman have spoken into the debate about “Christian songs.” Foreman said, “What is more Christ-like: feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds.” It seems Foreman only touched the tip of the iceberg. There is a deep rift that has been slowly growing for decades, possibly even centuries, in Christian thought, and it’s bled into the modern creative Christian culture. Because of this divide, this “Christian” label we slap on art, we often think art made by Christians has to look or sound a certain way. To those of us trying to live out our beliefs, art can seem dangerous because the art of our culture preaches the beliefs of the culture, and many of these beliefs run counter to the Christian values we hold. But our goal should not be to avoid “secular” art and media, or merely take art as it’s given to us and try to fix it, but to create our own art that is unique, meaningful and paradigm-shifting. Far from sticking to the conventional standards of “Christian” art, Christian artists should be willing to take risks, to express their deep-seated beliefs and convictions in their own ways. For Christians, art is taking part of the material world and making it sacred with our expression of love and devotion to God. The aesthetic isn’t what makes it Christian, the artist’s purpose does. Art can not only express our beliefs in Jesus Christ, but breathe life into the world in the process. There are several ways art is linked to our beliefs, which show us, in part why Christians should create: (Read the rest at RELEVANT.com here.)

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2 thoughts on “Why Christians Should Create (Published)

    • Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff out there that I kind of wanted to distill into a single direction. A big influence for me was Fr. Stephen Freeman and his book “Everywhere Present” because he talks about how we have categorized Christian spirituality into it’s own subculture rather than seeing the spiritual as the greater reality within our own reality and thus transforming the culture. God’s art is not derivative or subpar -it’s the truest art there is.

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