The arts need to be engaged as more than decoration or entertainment; they need to be treated seriously as a “window into reality.”

We need to raise the bar on our aesthetic standards and demand more from ourselves as an artistic community.

Artists need to be appreciated for more than their artistic skills and seen as whole people. Their work is valuable worthy of praise and monetary compensation.

We need to encourage art that “raises questions” as well as art that “provides answers.”

Christian artists need to be given the freedom to create without overly restrictive limitations.

We must learn to validate all forms of Christian art, including art that doesn’t directly present the Gospel.

Christian artists need to be allowed to express all aspects of the Christian experience, including the pain and difficulties of the Christian life.

Ryken does an excellent job of describing the role and challenge of artists in the Church, and Doug Powell has probably experienced much of what Ryken has described. As a community, we readily understand the value of a Case Maker with a background in ancient languages, Biblical texts, rules of evidence or ancient history, but what are we supposed to do with a Case Maker who’s also an artist? What should we expect from him or her? Do our preconceived ideas place too many limits on the role of artists in the Church? Doug Powell can help us step outside our expectations as he continues to use his gifts to surprise, educate and equip his Christian brothers and sisters.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker at Stand to Reason, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity