Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer

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Introduction

Francis Schaeffer was the first ordained minister in the new Bible Presbyterian church. He extensively studied philosophy, theology and the arts as a quest to understand the cultural and intellectual drift of the Western culture after the war (Duriez 1). He studied the philosophical work of Hegel and concluded that there had been an absolute loss of truth’s concept causing the abandonment of reason in the western culture. There was an increase in fascination as through the adoption of the Eastern religion, philosophy of existence and use of drugs. The Bible basis of law was also eroded through the many forms of atrocities caused by the dictatorial power and majority rule (Duriez 1). He became the founder of a youth-oriented study center and community, L’Abri seeking to tackle the intellectual and theological questions and issues that he felt were arising and would significantly affect the western culture.

Summary

The Art and the Bible is a book that forms the foundation of the interaction between the works of art and the biblical principles and explanations. The book indicates that the Lordship of Christ should include interest in the work of art that should be used not just as tracts of the events but to the glory of God (Schaeffer 17). Also, he shows the fear in many people to make artistic creativity as it has been related to the act of creating graven images against the law.  he, however, indicates that the Bible itself plays a role in affirming the essence of art as a law that God himself engaged in when he made the man. There is the use of classic essays in examining the written record in use of various forms of art (Schaeffer 54). He clearly establishes a Christian perspective of this work and gives reasons as to why their imaginations should go beyond the stars as a description of the glory of God.

Personal Response

The book uses Solomon’s temple and the tabernacle as an evidence of God’s approval for the work of art and a backup of other forms of expression such as drama, dance, and poetry (Schaeffer 42). Moreso, Francis offers ten principles concerning the way through which Christians should be engaged in the use of art and its evaluation as an expression of God’s glory in the Bible. He states the criteria containing four steps to be used in evaluating any art related to God’s word. They included; validity, technical abilities which are the skills, their intellectual content in the world view and relationship between the message used and the vehicle of art used (Schaeffer 94). It, therefore, gives an opportunity and a way of defining each work of art as a way of describing it to be either right or bad.

The act of creativity is shown to reflect God as the creator, and it is not valuable by offering a deductive purpose but by the fact that it is a great representation. It becomes a message to be related to a particular written work after it is art. Moreso, Francis indicates that it is part of the poetry, language and drama as a world’s form in the standards of judgment (Schaeffer 17). Though art may be right or wrong, the biblical Christian art is known to be true as it corresponds to the reality of the word. It does not require Christian words and original Bible statements to enhance understanding since it is self explanatory. It is a kind of work that provokes thought and deeper reasoning on the representation of God’s word without idolizing it. The work as such gives an understanding of the way art based on biblical principles should be presented to individuals. It offers an opportunity for the individuals with skills and abilities in art to glorify God through their work in biblical examples.

On the other hand, the use of skills to draw biblical perspective of various situation may present a confusing situation to many Christians if they fail to understand its beauty. Schaeffer, however, presents his work by providing a case of how Christians should approach and evaluate creativity given the gospel. Also, he offers an outline of its use in the current world as a career of truth for different generations. It gives an opportunity to critically think as people understand that Christianity is true to what is there, the ultimate environments and the infinite character of God as their minds are set free.

Conversely, it is true that evangelicals tend to think that the work of art , makes sense whenever it is reduced to a tract. It is, however, art first before it relays the compelling message. The deductions are that art does not have to emphasize on spiritual themes to glorify God. There is so much more to art that the simple act of explaining events that took place in the biblical times. There is a clear explanation that the work of art does not, therefore, have to take the form of a tract. It is true that a work of art can be beautiful even though it is not designed for the glory of God but work related to the bible has to be true.

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