Art and the Bible

Art and the Bible

Two Essays

by Francis A. Schaeffer, Michael Card (Foreword)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Trade Paperback, 94 pages
Price: $12.00

This little volume defending the Christian appreciation and creation of art has informed pretty much every book like it since its initial publication in the early 1970s. Schaeffer begins by looking at various art forms as they appear in the Bible, both in their sacred and secular aspects and contexts. With extensive Scriptural support, he demonstrates that art is actually God-sanctioned and that it is a basic element of our human nature—and probably really upsetting the Fundamentalists who made up a good portion of his audience, he even says that to neglect art is to fail to love God fully.

No art form is inherently non-Christian, Schaeffer argues, whether it be sculpture, music, poetry, cinema, etc. While the content certainly evokes a worldview, the form itself is amoral. He is careful to assert, however, that the way a form is used also represents a way of thinking that can be either biblically consistent or not. Thus, any work of art undertaken by a Christian must be consciously oriented to convey a Christian understanding of man and the nature of the world—it can't be simply "self-expression" or "art for art's sake."

That's not to say all art must have a Christian theme, or even be made by a Christian, to be great. Works that are genuinely beautiful and represent a consistent worldview that is consistently portrayed are great works of art and should be enjoyed as such. This, of course, requires analysis and intellectual awareness, which is what many Christians find intimidating about art (which in turn leads them to reject it altogether). Schaeffer addresses these concerns and many others, presenting a defense of and appeal for Christian involvement in the arts (both as creators and appreciators) that is as fresh and timely now as it was 40 years ago.

Foreword by Michael Card

Table of Contents:

1.Art in the Bible

2. Some Perspectives on Art

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating
Summary: A reasoned plea for Christians to enjoy and create art for God's glory.

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