Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Art and the Bible - Day 1

If you were asked to name one of the great Christian thinkers in the 20th century, one name that should be at the top of the list is Francis Schaeffer. I really can't think of anyone who did more to promote a complete Christian/Biblical worldview for all of life. Actually, Schaeffer considered himself an evangelist, with a heart for reaching the jaded college students of Europe. However, reaching that particular group meant having a complete, comprehensive worldview.

I would recommend any of his works. There is a classic "trilogy" of his works: The God Who Is There, Escape from Reason, and He Is There and He Is Not Silent. These books give a solid basis for understanding his theology and some of the basic principles he draws from. Then you can get the complete works of Francis Schaeffer as well - 5 volumes of deep digging; plenty of jewels here to uncover.

In Volume 2 there is a small little book called Art and the Bible. It is only 38 pages long, but it gives a great defense of art in the Christian life.

I will confess that I am not a great one for what may be called "high art": painting, poetry, sculpture, or classical music. I can appreciate classical music better than an abstract painting, to be sure, and I do enjoy these forms. However, I am more interested in what Schaeffer terms "popular art": the novel, movies, popular music, and theatre. There could definitely be a debate about comic books and video games being included here nowadays!

As this blog focuses on fiction, I want to bring what Schaeffer has to say about art to bear on the craft of writing. I think an initial point to make here is that there is a sense out "there" (that nebulous there) in evangelical circles that time is short, and that we shouldn't be wasting our time with fictitious worlds when there is so much going on in the real world. What would Schaeffer say to this? I'll talk about this more next time.


And as I mentioned last week, to encourage comments I have a little contest planned. I don't know how long this discussion will go, but whoever leaves a comment anytime during this discussion will be eligible to win a copy of Deliver Me from Evelyn, the latest novel from Chris Well. Chris has a quirky, unique style that will draw you in and keep you guessing! So leave those comments people, and you may be the winner!

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