My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

01 February 2006

More on Christ & The Arts

I'm enjoying all your thoughts and comments on the arts.

Here is the final installment of my workshop from a few weeks ago. It's not meant to be complete, but to be a work in progress, some thoughts for how we can advance in this arena. What would you add? Take away?

For Christians in Art:

  • Be a Christian, then be an artist. Being a “Christian artist” will take care of itself
  • Commit not just to the message, but to the medium, to the quality of your art
  • Art is a valid calling in the kingdom
  • Art is not a higher calling (we have Romanticism to thank for transforming art into Art and the artist into the Artist)
  • Both Bezalels (God-ordained artists) and Gideons (God-ordained idol smashers) are needed. Be both.

For Christians Consuming Art:

  • Be a Christian, then be a consumer. Being a “Christian consumer” will take care of itself
  • Consciously reject silly assumptions the church makes about art
  • Pursue both good art & good books about art
  • There’s far too much good art for us all to pursue everything. Pick one or two or three “arts” and study, read, learn. Therein find joy and true entertainment.
  • Work to understand artists better. How can the church better minister to and with artists?


Jeff Kessler said...

For all artists:

Don't think what you produce (art) is too important to also be considered a product. If you can't make a living producing it, then get another job and produce art as a hobby or try to get private donations. Don't force me to pay for it through my taxes.

Jeff Kessler

Jared said...

Jeff, another of the ideas I floated during my workshop was for the church (either individually or corporately) to fund artists. If we really believe in the importance of art, I think the rich in the church ought to put their money where our mouth is :) the right cities (probably not Lafayette, IN, but maybe New York or L.A., etc.), I would even support churches include funding for the arts in their yearly budgets. What do you think?

Jeff Kessler said...


This is my second try, I don't know what happened to my first try to respond.

I have no problem w/ an individual believer funding art. I think the owner of Hobby Lobby funded "End of the Spear".

However, you will have to work hard to convince me that the church corporately (in the church budget) should fund art. The church should fund ministries tied to the gospel-pastors, missionaries, and mercy ministries. Art is a product. Yes, it is a product that can have considerable influence over hearts and minds, but still a product. I don't see the church funding products whether it be a soft drink, diapers, or art.

Jeff Kessler

noneuclidean said...

I'm not sure where I stand. I guess what I would suggest is that Churches should call attention to,and emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually support good Christian Art, and that should cause individuals in the Church to support the arts financially. But that would be in a perfect world.

I am really excited by the idea of being both a Bezalel and a Gideon. That is an interesting observation that I had never even thought about before.

I would like to hear your ideas on how we can practically encourage the body to consume art like you outlined. If you get a chance, come check out my blog on Christianity and the arts.