The idea that there is intelligent design in nature is viewed with much scorn and contempt in scientific circles.
Wikipedia claims, “It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, modified to avoid specifying the nature or identity of the designer.” In other words, Wikipedia dismissively implies that it is an old argument rehashed in a somewhat weaker, and more evasive, form!
If you are a Christian artist however, I’ll assume that you have a different viewpoint. There is something about engaging in the process of art, which gives us a different perspective.
The making of art goes through a predictable cycle. First there is the thrill of coming up with an intriguing idea, followed by the technical challenge of finding the means to realize it. What medium will best describe it - paper, paint, canvas or clay? Then the struggle begins. We creatively tackle our project, working to the best of our ability to express that which we clearly see only in our mind's eye. Invariably, there follows a sense of frustration at our shortcomings before painstakingly arriving at a solution. Our final creation, if we are honest, always falls far short of what we had originally envisioned.
Just like a
couch potato can never fully comprehend the runner’s high, those who do
not engage in the artistic process, can never fully appreciate the
challenges of a work of art, or comprehend some of its frustration.
Therefore, when we, as artists, look around at our world, it is impossible to be neutral about what is so clearly the evidence of exquisite design. We do not need to be told that what we see in nature is absolutely astounding and the result of intelligent design. Having struggled with applying the principles of design in our own inept work, our response to nature's precision and beauty is one of awe.
How can we be in any doubt that all that our eyes behold, and our hearts long to interpret, is anything but overwhelming evidence of intelligent design? How can we deny that such perfection can only be possible because of the creative activity of an Intelligent Designer? What joy then to have the blessed privilege of calling Him "Father"!
Artists are consumed with being unique. They search and study extensively to develop a distinctive style. Galleries encourage this malady by requesting a body of work "with a consistent style", which artists analyze endlessly to arrive at varying conclusions. Some stay married to their choice of subjects, their color choices...never experimenting or growing, since changes will affect their "style".
suggest a different perspective. The intelligent design evidenced by
all God’s creation, demonstrates uniqueness at every level. It is built
into each of us as human beings. Besides the stellar quality of excellence, there is little that is boringly consistent in the creativity expressed by God! Instead it is so lavishly and flamboyantly varied, that it certainly will keep me fascinated for my lifetime.
The Bible teaches us that we have been "fearfully and wonderfully made" Ps 139:14. If even our fingerprints are unique, why do we strive for individuality in our creative endeavors? Should it not be self evident that all that we create will bear His distinctive stamp and ours, because we are unique?
we chase after a style because we are more prone to imitate rather than
create? Perhaps a lack of appreciation of our uniqueness is the culprit.
It causes us to consider another’s expression as more valid. It may
even be our innate covetous nature that desires another's creative fingerprint rather than our own.
Friend, as you consider how totally unique God made you, may you remember this one lesson.
The best thing that you can do as a Christian artist is to be yourself.
yourself makes you vulnerable. In a world that seems to encourage
conformity from the cradle to the grave, being unashamedly you will
feel strange. Yet you cannot begin to plumb the depths of God's plan for your life until you become comfortable with who He made you to be.
Being yourself, best honors and fulfills the purpose that the Intelligent Designer intended for you. It is, like all aspects of life as a Christian, a walk of faith.