Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Theology of Art 101

I ran across a GREAT blog post at rootsrain: Everything’s Bigger than You Can Imagine (or, Why I Love Astronomy). Take a couple minutes to check it out. It is worth your time.

Many qualities of God are immediately impressed upon me as I watch that video and view those images, but 2 jump out more than others: (1) God is an incredibly powerful God and (2) God is an incredibly artistic God.

Not only is His creation mind-blowingly large, but it is mind-blowingly beautiful. We don’t even have to travel beyond the walls of our own miniscule little planet to find the most incredible examples of God’s artistic eye.

The Earth From Above is a exhibit of photographs taken by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, an environmentalist working to raise awareness about the sustainability of our planet. The images he has collected are some of the most incredible photos I have ever seen. Check out a small sample here, or visit his website and peruse more closely here.

The astronomy video and the Earth from Above exhibit both cause me to read verses like the following with more weight and understanding:

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” –Colossians 1:16-17

“The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” —Psalm 19:1

The point is this: our God is the original artist. He is deeply concerned with beauty and aesthetics and creating things that move the soul. We know this because it is exactly what He did.

The great part is that His artwork is not the end of the story. We are not merely curators in God’s grand museum. We are that, but we are more too. When he told Adam and Eve in the garden to “fill the earth and subdue it,” he was not just commissioning humanity to take care of His planet, but to make it better. He called us to co-create: to use what He had already created to continue to create and build a beautiful thriving world that brings glory to him.

We would all admit we fall short of that commission everyday. But our failing does not negate God’s call. We are called to be artists because He was one first. We are called to identify and appreciate beauty wherever it can be found because our God was a God who cared deeply about beauty first. Art matters to God and that is exactly why it should matter to us.

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