A Christian View of Art

These excerpts from the message by Dr. Hunter present a Christian view of art, providing artists with renewed purpose for their art -- to glorify God and reach the lost.

Reviving His Points of Service: In Art

By Dr. Joel Hunter

“There are a lot of you who are…the logical, analytical, consistent people. You are the thinkers, and for you, when it comes to this faith business, you just say, ‘Give it to me in black and white. I’ll follow it...' You’re structured to think consistently and analytically and break it down in predictable consistent patterns.

“But there is a whole realm of you who are right-brained, who are artistic, who are unpredictable...Life with you is an adventure.

“Not everyone can receive the logical, reasonable approach to the Scriptures. It’s very important that we understand that people are not necessarily changed even when they understand the logic. You can present morality, and morality will make a great deal of sense to people, but it won’t change them.

“We can preach morality all day long, and it is important that we do that...that we never try to relativize what is right and what is wrong. But preaching is not communication unless you employ some means by which to reach people’s hearts. So therefore, it’s very important that the church employ the arts, because God did. He structured us to understand in artful ways, in ways we can’t understand in logic.

"I read an interesting book this week by a lady named Temple Grandin. And she wrote a book called THINKING IN PICTURES. Now what makes this book so interesting is that she is autistic... And she writes in that book, ‘It is almost impossible for autistic people not to think in pictures.” Because if you can’t think in pictures, you simply can’t think.

"And I began to think about the other ways people are cut off from the world except through the venues of art. How many of you have ever been into a nursing home, and you watch these old folks just stare into space and you try to talk, but you just can’t communicate with them. But sing an old song, Heart Of My Heart, and they’ll just perk up, and a smile will come, and they’ll begin to live that all over again. Logic can’t reach -- music connects. How many of you have known a brain-damaged person that connected through art in ways that language never could?

“Look at Matthew 13. This is Jesus painting verbal pictures. That’s what a parable is.

“It says in verse 34...He did not speak to them without a parable. Jesus was an artist...because there’s a whole realm of people we need to reach in that way.

“So here’s what I want you to do -- two things. Consider you art. Now that doesn’t mean you have to paint, doesn’t mean you have to draw, doesn’t mean you have to sing. But...each of us is called to communicate beyond mere words and logic. How can you do that? Every time you do that, you are reaching people that you could never reach by mere words and logic. Consider that. God calls you to be an artist.

“Secondly ...Please understand it’s basic to the way God has made all of us. And it is important that we re-engage the arts for their original purpose, which is to glorify God.”