Makoto Fujimura, is a gifted Christian artist and was World Magazine’s Daniel of the Year in 2005. Francis Schaeffer was, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant minds and cultural analysts of the 20th century. Enter Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with its Center for Theology and the arts. What they have in common is all are featured in an article on artistic evangelical engagement in none other than Forbes Magazine. Here’s a couple of teasers:
“For too long, Christian art has implied pale imitation,” Detweiler said. “We’re trying to get back to the days of the Renaissance, where the church was the patron of the finest art.”
“The very parched nature of evangelical visual culture is making people who have grown up in this culture thirsty for beauty,” he said.
I like that. “Thirsty for beauty.” Little wonder that stained glass is now en vogue again. Of course, the stained glass windows are actually PowerPoint backgrounds for worship slides, but you get the idea.
We are starved for beauty. Ironically, in the place where the most beautiful thing in all existence (I’m referring to God, in case you haven’t noticed) is worshiped, people find themselves thirsty for beauty. There’s always the danger of “creating an image” to worship, as Exodus 20 and Romans 1 warn us against, but that shouldn’t exclude the use of visual cues to aid in worship.