Monday, May 15, 2006

Let’s start a Christian Institute Art Campaign

Linda Elliott mentioned some disgusting blasphemous publicly displayed art (not in detail!) that we have not bothered to campaign against, though we are very hot and bothered about Jerry Springer the Opera.

Maybe evangelicals have given up on and retreated from the visual arts? People in the art world don’t often understand what we are trying to say about the glory of God reflected in human creatures who are in the image of God. Perhaps we need to give the art world a little more attention. It might even enrich our drab little lives. We could even have beautiful churches and nice things in them – rather than ugliness, lest we be distracted from the invisible beauty of God by the beauty of his handiwork.

11 comments:

Ros said...

Maybe this comes under the identifying and equipping cultural leaders role for churches recently suggested by Matthew Mason on his blog (which I believe he cribbed from Tim Keller).

matthew said...

Amen and Amen. Quite right Ros. I'd love to get equipped to equip cultural leaders in the arts

matthew said...

But let's spend less time worrying about the crap produced by unbelievers, and more time developing believers' aesthetic sensibilities, and simply outgunning the pagans.

And, I guess we start with singing the psalms and beautifying our liturgy (and churches...)

Ros said...

Yes, yes, yes! And not only our liturgy and churches but also our homes. At which point I thoroughly recommend Edith Schaeffer's 'The Hidden Art of Homemaking' without endorsing all her suggestions.

Marc Lloyd said...

Any pointers for beautifying the church buildings?

Table cloth? Pulipit hangings? Eagle Lectern? Thrones? Candels? Murals? Paintings?

Fancy dress?

What colours and designs would you prefer?

Incense?

Multi-media video istallations?

And what sort of music?

matthew said...

yes, yes, why not?, why not?, yes, ok, ok.

NO!

As we're pretty infantile, should we perhaps go w trad colours of Xn seasons, until our aesthetic sensibilities develop?

Sure

? Doubt it

good question. let's start with psalm chants, and great, robust, manly hymns, a range, covering different periods in our family history, and go from there. Let's think about when reformed/evangelical believers were aesthetically more mature, and use their hymns and music.

But given that we're aesthetically extremely immature, and working in an anti-aesthetic tradition, part of me wants to say, let's start singing the psalms regularly, adding a bit of (?seasonal) colour to our churches - nice table cloth, candles - and ask the question again in 10 years time, and 20 years time, and two generations time...

matthew said...

of course, i've just realised it depends what you mean by fancy dress! If you mean alb and stole, or cassock, surplice, scarf, then sure.

Ros said...

What did you think he meant? Pirates and princesses?

And on the colour point, it's not so much which colour as which precise shade that can make all the difference aesthetically. I'm happy to act as consultant on this point.

matthew said...

Something like that. Or Reformers and papists, or, given that we're Conservative Evangelicals, probably James Bond...

Ros said...

Ooh - I want to go to a 'Reformers and Papists' fancy dress party. I think I'll be Mary I shouting 'Off with his head.'

Liam Beadle said...

I agree with pretty much all of this: a bit of inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement would do no harm and would insulate us from the (justified) attack that Evangelicals have no taste.

Ros: about whom would you shout 'Off with his head'? I don't know whether I can agree with you until I know the focus of your attentions!