Guidelines International Ministries

May 3, 2022

God, Art and You

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In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Theologian Francis Schaeffer once posed the question, “What is the place of art in the Christian life?” How would you answer that question?

Would you be surprised to know that in God’s earliest dealings with man, He gave us the world’s first design for a work of art?  God gave detailed instructions for crafting a place where His presence would be with man, here on earth. This project was a tent-like structure called the Tabernacle (Exodus 26).

For His place, God specified finely woven linen, colors of blue, purple and scarlet, special wood, gold, silver and bronze.  His décor theme included heavenly creatures called cherubim, pomegranates, and flower blossoms.  The Bible tells how God’s own Spirit filled men named Bezalel and Oholiab with great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts to execute His design (Exodus 35:34-35).

This beauty-valuing, creative God of the Bible calls those would follow Him, to an artfully lived life. “No work of art is more important than the Christian’s own life and every Christian is called to be an artist in this sense,” Schaeffer contends. “Each man has the gift of creativity in terms of the way he lives his life…The Christian’s life is to be a thing of truth and also a thing of beauty in the midst of a lost and despairing world.”[1]

To live beautifully, we can begin here: “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do” (Philippians 4:5); walking “in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

 

Resource reading: Exodus 35:1-35

[1] Schaeffer, F. A. (2009). The Christian Life as a Work of Art. In Art and the Bible (pp. 94–94). essay, InterVarsity Press.