Monday, January 30, 2012

art and the bible

A friend came from Bucuresti a few days ago bearing great joy which in this case looked like books. A few were new ones--one I've been wanting to read since this spring, Snow by Orhan Pamuk. A couple were mine she was returning. One of those was probably the best non-fiction book I've ever read, one of my very favorite, a wonderful and little book called Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer.

I've been doing much more listening and reading these days, much less making art. I miss it. But it's been good to step back, too. I reread this book today (you can get through it in an hour and something) and thought I'd share some of the many many good quotes from it. You should read it though.

"They felt because I was interested in intellectual answers I must not be biblical. But this attitude represents a real poverty. It fails to understand that if Christianity is really true, it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just 'dogmatically' true or 'doctrinally' true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area to the whole man in all of life."

"So therefore the major theme is an optimism in the area of being; everything is not absurd, there is meaning. But most important, this optimism has a sufficient base. It isn't suspended two feet off the ground, but rests on the existence of the infinite-personal God who exists and who has a character and who has created all things, especially man in his own image...Man's dilemma is not just that he is finite and God is infinite, but that he is a sinner guilty before a holy God. But then he recognizes that God has given him a solution to this in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Man is fallen and flawed, but he is redeemable on the basis of Christ's work. This is beautiful. This is optimism. And this optimism has a sufficient base. Notice that the Christian and his art have a place for the minor theme because man is lost and abnormal and the Christian has his own defeatedness. There is not only victory and song in my life. But the Christian and his art don't end there. He goes on to the major theme because there is an optimistic answer."

"But God's creation--the mountains, the trees, the birds and the birds' song--are also non-religious art. Think about that. If God made the flowers, they also worth writing and painting about. If God made the birds, they are worth painting. If God made the sky, the sky is worth painting. If God made the ocean, indeed it's worth writing poetry about...The whole notion is rooted in the realization that Christianity is not just involved with 'salvation' but with the total man in the total world. The Christian message begins with the existence of God forever and then with creation. It does not begin with salvation. We must be thankful for salvation, but the Christian message is more than that."

(There are so many more but I figure this is enough for now.)


  1. Yes yes yes! I must read this book.

  2. I know the book I am reading is good based on two categories: 1, if a reference book is easy to read and very informational and 2, when I want to quote everything from a fictional book. You know what I mean.:)