Sunday, September 14, 2008

thoughts on art and creativity

Here are someone else's thoughts regarding art and creativity that I can't easily pass over. How much does my thinking need to change and be renewed in this area concerning myself and my abilities, and how I use them? These are some things I'm wrestling with on my journey....

In the book, The Christian Imagination, poet, essayist, and teacher Luci Shaw writes about beauty in her essay "Beauty and the Creative Impulse". Here's a snippet from that essay:

"Art is what we say, what we sing, what we show about the beauty that is bubbling up within us like a pot on the boil. It cries out for recognition and response. Because it is so significant, so full of wonder to us--this upwelling from our creative imaginations--we want to show and share it with kindred spirits. And so we have poetry readings and art galleries and concerts and square dances and films and fashion shows and coffee table books."

From Franky Schaeffer's Addicted to Mediocrity:

"Any group that willingly or unconsciously side-steps creativity and human expression gives up their effective role in the society in which they live. In Christian terms, their ability to be the salt of that society is greatly diminished" (24).

"Christians must free themselves from the misconception of more than a century that everything must be measured in terms of its usefulness to the cause of Christianity" (40).

"Creativity, human worth, the arts, cultural endeavor, the media, communication, enjoyment of beauty, creativity in others, enjoyment of our own creativity, enjoyment of God's creativity--all of these need no justification. They are good and gracious gifts from the Heavenly Father above" (39).

"There is no Christian world, no secular world; these are just words. There is only one world--the world God made" (47)


  1. This is a very interesting post. I'm going to have to look up those books and read them.

    I've been reading My Name is Asher Lev which I get to teach for the next ~2 weeks in my literature class. Part of the theme of the book talks about beauty and art. It's framed from a Jewish rather than Christian viewpoint and there is a lot of tension between Asher's Jewish traditions and his need to create art.

    I like the quotes you've given here and I look forward to checking out those books.


  2. The tension wasn't so much the denial of beauty in Jewish was more that Asher was exploring artistic themes that went contrary to his stringent Jewish upbringing...things such as nudes and art with Christian themes (anything having to do with Christ...the Nativity, Crucifixion, etc.)

  3. Pam -- So enjoying your site. Stopped to read these quotes you share by Luci Slaw and Franky Schaeffer. Both are great. Many years ago,I remember reading Franky's book and those very comments and being drawn to them. It was great to be reminded of them again.

  4. This is why you pursue your passion to create beautiful images and words. He gives you beauty in exchange for ashes and you are compelled to create something that expresses your gratefulness. P.


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