Someone asked me to do book reviews on my blog, so I finally have one. "Art and the Bible" by Francis A. Schaeffer. My copy is published by Intervarsity Press in their IVP Classics line. The original book was written in 1973, but this paperback copy was copyrighted in 2006. It is only 94 pages, but he packs a lot in a small book. There is a forward by Michael Card and, if you don't usually read forwards, read this one. I was profoundly touched by the entire book and it is difficult to pick out particular quotes, so I will type out what is on the back of the book:
"The Lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts," writes Francis Schaeffer. "A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God." Many Christians, wary of creating graven images, have steered clear of artistic creativity. But the Bible offers a robust affirmation of the arts. The human impulse to create reflects our being created in the image of a creator God. Art and the Bible has been a foundational work for generations of Christians in the arts. In this book's classic essays, Francis Schaeffer first examines the scriptural record of the use of various art forms, and then establishes a Christian perspective on art. With clarity and vigor, Schaeffer explains why "the Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars."
The scriptural record of the use of various art forms is, in large part, in the design and building of the tabernacle and the temple. I can only imagine how glorious those beautiful structures were! And they were only a shadow of the real thing, which, also, is nothing compared to the glory and beauty of the Creator! The arts in this book, include visual arts, poetry, music, drama, and dance. The scriptures, themselves, are filled with poetry, drama, and references to music and singing.
Francis Schaeffer is a great help to me to allow me to relax into my art and enjoy it while attempting to glorify God in it. As far as a Christian perspective on art, I leave you with the following:
All of us are engaged daily with works of art, even if we are neither professional or amateur artists. We read books, we listen to music, we look at posters, we admire flower arrangements. Art, as I am using the word, does not include just "high art", that is painting, sculpture, poetry, classical music, but also the more popular expressions -- the novel, the theater, the cinema, popular music, and rock. In fact, there is a very real sense in which the Christian life itself should be our greatest work of art. Even for the great artist, the most crucial work of art is his life.
Even if I never paint a chapel ceiling that is famous all over the world for centuries, I need to remember that everything I do is a reflection on the Supreme Artist, whom I love and want to glorify in all that I do. This book is a great reminder of that and great help in how to do it.
My new project is a Highland Cow. I love Highland Cows! I love how they look and I love that they are from The Highlands. Now, I know there are highlands all over the world, but The Highlands is, as everyone knows, in Scotland. Scotland is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh and I love that place, although I have never stepped foot there and probably never will, in this life. But, I have started a pastel drawing of one:
Trust me, he gets better. LOL!
I hope he will get even better! I will have him finished by my next post.
So, are you interested in the above book? Do you like to read books by Francis or Edith Schaeffer? Do you like Highland cows? Do you like Scotland? Please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks!