What does God need with art? Isn't it an extra . . . a "nice to have" in a life focused on the "need to haves?" We wouldn't necessarily say that to others, but many of us believe it. Even us creatives. We think that somehow the creation process that God has birthed into us is not nearly as important as the pragmatic skills of so many.
Mindy and I are writers and we have been exploring the concept of what it means to be "On Call in Culture" through our work with Acton Institute and Russell Media. They just came out with a translation of Abraham Kuyper's writings on how God blesses the world through art and science. Read an excerpt here.
As we have been exploring this idea, we decided to have what we call a Generous Mind Conversation. It is where we bring together people around a specific topic or idea in order to allow those who participate to learn from each other and allow countless others to benefit from the interaction.
In this instance the conversation was centered around the role of art in engaging culture for God. We had a fine artist, a political cartoonist, a musician and an interior designer/organizer share their input. You can read their thoughts here.
As Mindy and I have processed the interactions the role of art in communicating God's message to the world is so clear. The act of organizing a room by Madison Wasigner to make it a place of peace where those who enter it can focus on the eternal is inspirational. The interaction that Chuck Asay has with fans and especially with those who hate the opinions that he shares through political cartooning is challenging. The power of Chris Woolley's art to move people as they experience it in a gallery is breathtaking. The influence that comes as Bart Williams takes to the stage to perform with his band is undeniable.
Art is showcasing God and all of His creativity. Are we using it to reach the lost as they experience the creations of our hands?