Art that glorifies God
Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:59 AM
Posted 23 March 2007 - 10:28 AM
God created us for play and amusement just as he created us for work, prayer, and community. In particular he created us for art and culture: to create and look at images; to fashion stories and music and dance, and to perform and enjoy them; to explore imaginative scenarios of good and evil, of conflict and resolution.
It is in our nature to engage in and to enjoy these things, as it is the nature of stars to shine and plants to grow. And, just as the sun glorifies God by shining and plants by growing, so we please and glorify him when we participate in wholesome aesthetic activities and amusements. In fact, because man has free will, he pleases God in a special way when he freely participates in the goods proper to his nature. If he does so with a will to glorify God, it can even be meritorious.
Posted 24 March 2007 - 03:00 PM
Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:12 AM
Words are the PRIMARY medium through which God chose to reveal himself to mankind, first via the Ten Comandments, then the Bible itself. He does reveal himself in other ways, such as through nature and relationships, but words are the foremost avenue of his self-revelation.
Sticking with one working definition here of art: "truth expressed through beauty," we need to find examples of words that are both truthful and beautiful.
Words certainly can be truthful and beautiful, and thus would qualify as art. But when words are deceptive and ugly, according to the definition, they cannot then be called art. So what do we then call them? Propoganda? Libel? Pornography?
And let's examine what happens when words become a disturbing hybrid of those two extremes:
"Truthful and ugly." If not art? What? Is not the truth sometimes ugly?
"Deceptive and beautiful." If not art? What? Deviating for just a moment from words and looking at film, shall we deny the film "Birth of a Nation" --a film regarded as one of America's National Treasures--the honor of being called art? It's certainly beautiful and yet (quite tragically) very deceptive, even repugnantly so.
Edited by Plot Device, 25 March 2007 - 07:26 AM.
Posted 25 March 2007 - 11:00 AM
I think I see your meaning when speaking about the written word, however........
God spoke, appeared in visions and dreams , appeared as angels and as as men, clouds and columns of fire. There were rules and laws in use before The Law was codified on tablets.
Gods displeasure was manifest as, silence, exile, flood, fire, confusion. We also see death and the plagues as God manifests his anger. His abundance rained down as bread.
I would consider Jesus a primary revelation of Gods self to humanity.
I don't mean to be argumentative here, nor do I mean to hijack the thread. I expect that Art, in many ways, is a reflection of humanities encounters with God.
If God is truth, I would expect Art which is honest to glorify God.
This allows for some paradox. A profound moment in Art appreciation for me is the song Gloria as rendered by Patti Smith. In the intro she rejects Jesus sacrifice, claiming her sin as her own. It is a conundrum because she confesses her sin and Christs power to forgive but refuses to release her sin to forgiveness. It remains for me one of the most powerful human statements I have ever heard.
I have no idea if God flinched in the face of her defiance or if God felt glorified. I found it remarkably affirming in my faith and I believe that glorifies God.
Edited by mumbleypeg, 25 March 2007 - 11:02 AM.
Posted 27 March 2007 - 04:14 PM
Posted 27 March 2007 - 06:07 PM
The very heavy-handed sermon I heard preached around this passage stated that we have no other excuse to exist except to bring God glory. An if we fail to bring him glory, then we are not only violating the very purpose of our existence, we are also worthy to be destroyed.
Now, this sermon never defined what it actually means to bring God glory. It only leant a full-tilt fire'n'brimstone imperative to the undertaking.
Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:35 AM
1) One can argue, I believe, that intent or motivation is what glorifies God in art.
2) One can also argue, it seems, that in a broad sense all creative acts (though not necessarily the end product) glorify God in that the act harkens back to His image.
Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:15 AM