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Jan 30 2015

Art and some incomplete thoughts

Morning sky over Richmond, Virginia.

Morning sky over Richmond, Virginia.

“Christian art is the expression of the whole life of the whole person as a Christian. What a Christian portrays in his art is the totality of life. Art is not to be solely a vehicle for some sort of self-conscious evangelism.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible  

American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher and pastor Francis Schaeffer was born on this day in 1912 (died May 1984).

I’ll confess.  I need to read more of Schaeffer’s work.  But I like this quote.

I describe myself as a writer, an actor, and an artist.  Acting and theater seems to be consuming most of my free time these days.  But I’m also doing a good bit of writing.  And the canvases and paints are sitting over my shoulder.  I’m trying.

I think what I like about what Schaeffer is saying is that my work doesn’t necessarily have to carry the “Christian” label.

I’m a follower of Jesus. My life should reflect that. Admittedly, sometimes it does more than others.

While I do work in the Christian arts with our Music and Fine Arts Ministry at my church, I don’t work there exclusively. I’m becoming more and more active in the Richmond Theater community.  And I love it.

Since I’ve given up on the notion of politics fixing anything, I’m concentrating on the concept of making the world a better place, and doing that through the arts.

The way I see it, all truth and all things that are good come from God.  So anything that displays the truth must, in a sense, be divinely inspired.  Even if it shows the dirt and the grime of life.

Through the arts we confront who we are as humans.

Some art, be it painting, or sculpture, or music, or theater, is beautiful.  Some art is not. Some art is completely confusing. But in a way, it all makes us think.

Honest questions lead to honest answers.

I’m posting this before I’ve really had a chance to complete the thought. But maybe that’s as it should be.

Maybe, like art, this post will make us think.

 

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1 comment

  1. Francesco Moriconi

    Good post, Michael. Your observations reach into the greater question of “What is spirituality?” A lot of times folks tend to limit spirituality to prayer, Bible reading, witnessing, etc. Though worthwhile activities, if that’s all spirituality involves, then it is severely truncated. All of creation should be seen and accepted as good, except for a small area of what is referred to as sin. Unfortunately, many folks have the notion that the entire universe is evil except for a small area which is good (church attendance, prayer, Scripture memorization, etc.) It is this type of thinking that leads to the cartoon at the end of Franky Schaeffer’s (Francis Schaeffer’s son) book, ADDICTED TO MEDIOCRITY. The cartoon is of a gallery in a museum with a car bumper placed on a pedestal. On the bumper is a sticker of a smiley face with “Jesus Loves You” on it. On the name plate on the pedestal are the words: “Christian art – Circa 1980”.

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