In a time when the menace of the years is forcing many into an undue emphasis on the sciences, it is well to remind ourselves of the tremendously important place of the creative arts in our total culture. Of course science is also creative. At its best it is man thinking God’s thoughts after him. Science is a way of discovering and expressing the truth about the physical universe in exact formulas, while the arts are ever seeking to express the beauty of truth in enduring forms.

All significant art is an attempt to give form to the chaotic, disorganized elements of experience, and to give a measure of permanence to the evanescent, the fleeting elements of experience. It is the God-like, creative energy of man, shaping a lump of clay and blowing the breath of life into it; turning water to wine; making of things that are seen a glory that never was on land or sea.

Art, like science, is a many-mansioned realm. Although this discussion is based primarily on the verbal arts, it is relevant to the others also, since all the arts are interrelated. The plastic arts exist in space, the musical arts in time, and the verbal arts unite both spheres. We need to remember what we are often tempted to forget, that the verbal or literary arts, like those more obviously sensuous, must appeal to the senses. The Idea must be expressed in words, in concrete terms. The Word must become flesh. This sounds almost self-evident. But how is this done, and what does this mean for the Christian artist? What is his task?

There are for him basically three areas of responsibility.

Responsibility To The Faith

The Christian artist has first a responsibility to his faith. All great art springs out of an inner vision. It is prompted either by a mighty faith or ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: