“Despite our constant talk about the lordship of Christ, we have narrowed its scope to a very small area of reality. We have misunderstood the concept of the lordship of Christ over the whole of man and the whole of the universe and have not taken to us the riches that the Bible gives us for ourselves, for our lives and for our culture.” – Francis Schaeffer Art and the Bible
As a classical Christian school, it is our lofty aim to see our students become disciples of Christ who delight in taking all things captive unto obedience in Christ. Jesus is truly Lord of all as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, and helping our students see that every single aspect of life is His is our chief directive. Indeed, this is our delight.
One aspect of creation that we ought to be engaging for God’s glory is the arts: including but not limited to sculpture, painting, poetry, music, drama, and film. And when I say engaging, I do not mean only creating these works ourselves, but also approaching and enjoying these things as made in our culture. To quote Francis Schaeffer, “A Christian should use [the] arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.”
It is also important for Christians to note that the excellence of a piece of art can be interpreted to the praise of our God even if that art was not made specifically for that purpose. Take the movie Finding Nemo as a case in point: even though the love that Marlin has for Nemo causes him to prevent Nemo from living his life to the fullest, it is that same love that causes Marlin to travel an incredible distance to come to the rescue of his son – and the parallel (even though the writers of the story may not have intended it) can certainly be drawn here to our Father’s love and actions towards His wayward children. And while the analogy between Marlin and our Father is not exact, – as God’s love does not cause him to act in a manner that is not ultimately beneficial for us – we are not amiss to draw it to one aspect of His love. “[This] is not [to say] that every use of any of these art forms is automatically right, but that they are not wrong per se.” Overall, we must aim to be thoroughly Gospel-centric in our thinking about the world that we observe and the art that we create.
So, let us aim to go ever higher in our regard for the Author of all beauty as we acknowledge Him in all of our ways – whether enjoying, creating, or talking about art – in order that He would make our paths straight.
Soli Deo Gloria!