Restoring the arts in the evangelical tradition

The arts are given to us by God, not just for our pleasure and entertainment, but to help us understand reality better, including our humanity, God’s word and salvation.

However, the Protestant (especially evangelical) Church has been ambivalent about art since the Reformation. To avoid risk it has ended up diminishing the visual arts in favour of music. Everyone is poorer as a result – both spiritually and culturally.

So church leaders should affirm the artists in their congregations, asking them how they could support core ministries of the church, and commissioning new works of public art.


Thesis Background
I believe we have underestimated the power of arts in several areas in the life of the church. They can add depth and insight to our understanding of the Bible. They also speak primarily to the heart and emotions, and can bypass people's intellectual defences to the gospel. Before the Reformation, the greatest works of art were often commissioned by Churches. Why can't we recover that vital part of 'discipling the nation'?

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  • I agree that Evangelical Christians really need to get back to the arts in a big way. We have a Creator Father and we dishonour Him when we neglect the arts and shrink our mental and emotional worlds. We need to consciously work towards glorifying God through creative works.