Evangelical Tracts and Real Art
- Thursday, July 26, 2012
Now: evangelicals have one other terrible tendency. We criticize far more than we do the hard work of solving problems. The solution to this problem is simple and hard: go make some good art. The kind that is nuanced, interesting, saturated with biblical truth and with its eyes wide open to all the beauty and all the horror of the world as it is; that doesn't feel the need to teach a lesson or explicate a message; that simply revels in and shakes at the world God has made for us.
Oh, and when you find someone getting this right, make sure he can keep doing it by supporting him.
Here's a great place to begin: Ghosts Upon The Earth.
Chris Krycho is a programmer by day, a web designer and developer by night, a husband and father always. He's also a theologian, a writer, a runner, and (sometimes) a composer. Chris serves at Wildwood Community Church (wildwoodchurch.org), where he leads a small group and occasionally teaches adult classes. Chris blogs at Mere Orthodoxy and on his various blogs catalogued at ChrisKrycho.com. You can follow him on Twitter @chriskrycho.
1. The degree of merit an artistic piece has is of course up for discussion. Art is not neutral, and it is not wholly subjective. Art has value to the extent that a piece of art rightly reflects the world as it is - including the one behind it all - and challenges us to engage the world more truly. So evangelistic tracts and jingoism are of much lower value than secular works that provoke us to delight in what God has made, even unintentionally. But this also allows us to reject the purely deconstructive as ultimately destructive and therefore un-artistic. Much more could be said about this.
2. Some might quibble with me that evangelicals are often very distracted from mission. This is true in the narrow sense; but we are usually distracted from the mission by some other mission. The gospel is not usually replaced, among evangelicals, with anything but some other gospel: a social gospel, a social justice gospel, even an art gospel. We are people who consciously aim everything at mission, even if sometimes the wrong mission.
Recently on The Arts
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content