Chapter 13: Creating: The Truth of Beauty

by PammyMcB

There are two main views of art in the Christian world. People either feel that art is dangerous because it “distracts us from our primary love for God” (157). Or, they feel that art is here for us to enjoy, and it is separate from the church. Others views agree that art and imagination can be “used and abused,” but serve “a distinct spiritual purpose in individuals’ lives and in the church” (158). It is important for us to remember that art and beauty comes from God, and God is the very essence of beauty (Psalms 27:4). Furthermore, according to Ephesians 2:10 we are all “God’s handiwork or compositions” (159). Tippens also reminds us that Jesus was an artist (carpenter) that saw beauty in everything around him. Also Tippens tells us that art can lead others to faith, and most art comes from the artists’ search for something beyond the physical world.

I agree that the ability to create art through film, books, music, singing, acting, drawing, and painting are all gifts from God. Like Tippens, I feel that the temptation to misuse these abilities can be dangerous. In American society, it is common for artists to move away from their original intention, transcendentalism, and toward art for the sake of money. This is why I agree with Tippens that the church should not shun the artists in the congregation. They should welcome the artists with opened arms just as they welcome everyone else. With much of the media in the world it is hard to see the beauty in everything. However, artists have the ability to imagine what the rest of us cannot. This makes them an invaluable asset to their congregation. We must be careful, though, to positively spark the creativity and imagination of our artists of tomorrow. After all, “the Bible itself is a majestic work of art” (165).