Gospel Shaped Art

Gospel Shaped Art

What does it mean to make art for the glory of God? Charlie explores the subject in relation to his music and performing…

Genesis 2:8-9

Jesus is Lord over all creation. Colossians 1 says that all things were created through Jesus, and all things were created for Jesus. That includes the arts! This is great news, because it means that making art is not somehow removed from a life lived for Jesus. It is part of it.

Jesus created the arts, not for us to make a name for ourselves, but for his glory. Here are three ways that the gospel makes a difference to my art – that I might make music for the glory of Jesus.

Art that is excellent

We were made in the image of God, to exercise rule over the earth. Part of this is a responsibility to create culture. As we reflect our creator, we should strive to make work that is good – like God’s own creation. As we have been studying Genesis, I loved seeing in Genesis 2 that God makes trees that are not just good for food (which would be a utilitarian view of the world), but that are pleasing to the eye as well. God cares about aesthetics!

Art that is transcendent

So many people believe that life can be explained away through the material and the rational, and that there is no need for a transcendent reality. But art has an amazing ability to point beyond itself. As it moves us, it points towards a reality greater than the world being the product of random chance. We often try and explain away the complexity of creation, but the power of art is that it points to something bigger. God makes sense of the awe and wonder we feel with great art.

Art that is gospel-shaped

Art always communicates something. It has a valuable place in showing us how our culture thinks and feels – as well as what it longs for. There is such an opportunity here for the Christian voice to be heard – as we proclaim something very different from that of the world around us. This doesn’t mean simply painting pictures of Jesus on the cross, or writing songs about the resurrection. Rather, as our hearts are transformed and our minds renewed, the gospel will shape how Christians make art. Art that is honest about the brokenness of the world. Art that joyously proclaims the goodness of creation. Art that gives a glimpse of the greatness of God.

There is such need for Christian artists – whether in the visual arts, music, or other areas. I think there is amazing potential for art to enable us to taste something of a God who is so much greater than we know. We should embrace the questions it raises, and use the opportunities it presents to show how it points us to a God who is good.