Friday, March 15, 2013

Art is Christian

Since we are made in the image of God, there is a place for us to appreciate things for their aesthetic qualities even when there is no immediate utility value involved in doing so. For example, when we set the table nicely with flowers and candles, this has no functional value in terms of eating, but it has aesthetic value that adds richness to our lives.

Similarly, the value that literary works have for us as believers does not depend on our ability to wrest from them specific lessons we can apply in our lives. Indeed, to engage with books on a purely aesthetic level is already to be operating under the canopy of the Biblical worldview. We do not have to discover a Christian message in a work of literature before it becomes Christian, any more than we need to do story problems about the dimensions of Noah’s ark before math becomes Christian. Beautiful literature, like math, is already implicitly Christian because of what it is in itself.

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