What is Christian Art?

What passes for Christian art today is narrowly defined in its expression. It is art that is mostly representational, overly sentimental and trite. It states the obvious and leaves nothing to the imagination.

It attempts to define in very concrete terms what can only be spiritually discerned.

My Cup Runneth Over
Polymer Clay
Sara Joseph

My Cup Runneth Over, Polymer Clay Sculpture, Sara Joseph

The Bible has deliberately left out a physical description of Jesus. We do not know if He was tall or short, light or dark skinned, blue, green or brown-eyed. Did He have straight or crooked teeth...?

If it were vitally important to our faith would the Holy Spirit not have included a description in the written record?

Physical descriptions of Jesus occur in Isaiah and Revelation. What is detailed in Isaiah is simply too ghastly to describe literally and fit the sentimental model. As for the description in Revelation, every symbolic detail has been depicted so literally, as to be horrific! You’ve surely seen the images of Jesus with fiery eyes, the sword coming out of his mouth…

The contemporary Christian art market is also saturated with all sorts of depictions of angels, from chubby babies with wings, to saccharine, winged women. How many of us have actually seen angels to be qualified to depict them in our work?

I am not opposed to attempting to depict angels at all. After all, we have been blessed with ample God-given imaginations. I am however, passionately opposed to the trite, uniformity of much that passes for Christian art today.

Why not seek God for a sharp contemporary voice in art? To do that we need to approach the subject with fresh eyes. It is important that we engage in a discussion of why create at all. The author of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. That would imply that the quest for originality and creativity is nothing more than vanity.

So, of what possible use is this wonderful gift of art?

Here are some thought to ponder:

• We create because we must. There is an inner compulsion that urges us on. It is insistent and cannot be ignored.

•We create because we understand ourselves better when we explore the language of art.

• We create out of sheer delight in the world around us.

• We create when no other response is adequate. We engage in the nonverbal language of art when there is no other way to express our emotions - whether joy, confusion, anger or even dismay.

• We create fully aware that we are not creators, merely commentators.

• We create because we have a mandate to be witnesses to the good news entrusted to us.

But most importantly, I believe that as Christian artists, we create because in the artistic process we draw closer to God.

In coming to know Him, we make Him known to others – inadvertently, almost despite ourselves.

Those, my friends, are some of my reasons for pursuing the goal of creating the very best art that I can as a Christian artist. Others may label what I create as Christian art simply because in the making of art I am also equally passionate about living transparently and unashamedly as a Christian, both of which will undoubtedly be lifelong pursuits.

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Susanna Mills: Insightful and unique website. When is the book coming out??? I love interacting with other people, and I like to share my creativity …

Why Do Your Create? 
I create because it is part of my vision, which I believe artists are given by God. The Church has denied the value of visions of its painters and …

Overflowing Joy 
Thank you for your site. I am in a state that i cannot even express in words. I believe God has led me here and i am excited to read your book! I don't …

God gave us all gifts and talents, it's up to us to use them to grace Him who gave them to us. This piece depicts what God has done for us. Through His …

Renee Ortiz 
I am made in His image. He is the Creator. I can't help but have a desire to create; to reflect Him.

Something out of nothing 
I create because I love to see nothing, become something interesting, beautiful, useful and visually exciting.

Ronald Bader 
I have a very simple definition of art. To me art is awareness and the action thereof...awareness of line, shape, color, life... what you are aware of …

"I create, and yearn to create in Jesus name, because I want to show people his mercy, love and grace! Everyone needs Jesus. If my polymer clay work …

Creative Arts Director 
Creating artistically is an extension of my worship and/or my life's message. Using Color, Design, Movement, Music, Imagination coupled with a God-inspired …

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