Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash
I love the arts.
I write fiction, and I am a voracious reader. I’ve been dancing since I was six. I sing in choir and play the piano.
And recently, as I’ve started to make plans for my future, I’ve been thinking a lot about my purpose. Since the arts are such a big part of my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about their purpose, too, and about how I might be called to use them.
And I’ve come to the conclusion that the arts are a vital, important part of the Christian life, and of our witness to the world.
Made in God’s image, we create because He is creative. Without Him, art would not exist. Beauty would not exist. From the Fall, He left us remnants of beauty, slivers of what heaven will be like, reminders that He is good, and beautiful, and lovely, even when it feels like the world is a mess. And so for the Christian, everything we create is a little reflection of the beauty of the God we worship.
This is why I believe the arts are so important. I think that in artistic expression, we see God’s glory in a different way. There are parts of God’s nature that can’t be put into words – and the arts help us to portray that feeling of awe and love that can’t be expressed any other way. Well-made art is glorifying to God because it shows His beauty, helping us to connect with Him more deeply and fully.
Thanks to God’s common grace, this even extends to art made by unbelievers. Since there would be no beauty without God, anything that is beautiful points back to Him, intentionally or not. And if even secular art brings this kind of glory to God, what happens when Christians purposefully harness the power of creativity as a witness to the world? What happens when we cultivate our talents and then channel them into making real, high-quality art that honors our God?
Amazing things happen.
So I think it’s a mistake for Christians to be afraid of the arts, to refuse to let their kids read fiction, to think all dancing is sinful…or even to think that artistic pursuits are less important, less valid, not a real career or a meaningful contribution to the world.
We believe in a beautiful God. And our art, whether music or writing or dance or anything else, brings Him glory in a special way, and broadcasts His beauty to the world.
This post probably doesn’t even do justice to the amount of thoughts I’ve been having on this subject lately – expect to see more exploration of it in coming months. So let’s start a conversation in the comments! I could talk about this all day. How do you glorify God through art? What do you think about secular vs. Christian art and media? Where do you see God’s beauty in your daily life?