home | search | email list | feedback | submit a quote

Art and The Bible


There is a false dichotomy between the physical and the spiritual that has crept into Christianity through the writings of Plato and others. Presently it is seen as a division where going to church, reading the Bible and praying are "spiritual," but science, the job field and especially the arts are "worldly." This has lead to a felt need to "Christianize" everything to make it ok. The word "Jesus" has to be in the lyrics of a song. A painting can only be of "Christian" things. Art becomes shallow.

Schaeffer rightly rejects this thinking and teaches that all of life is given to us by God and is under Christ's Lordship. Man is made in God's image as a creative being. To admire and develop this creativity in every area of life is to give glory to our Creator. Rather than dividing our lives into superficial categories, God gives us the fullness of life to be lived artistically to His glory.

Commercial Availability of Work
Art and The Bible (paper)
The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer (paper)

Quotes From The Book
As evangelical Christians, we have tended to relegate art to the very fringe of life. The rest of human life we feel is more important. Despite our constant talk about the Lordship of Christ, we have narrowed its scope to a very small area of reality. We have misunderstood the concept of the Lordship of Christ over the whole of man and the whole of the universe and have not taken to us the riches that the Bible gives us for ourselves, for our lives, and for our culture.
(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

The Lordship of Christ over the whole of life means that there are no Platonic areas in Christianity, no dichotomy or hierarchy between the body and the soul. God made the body as well as the soul, and redemption is for the whole man.
(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just "dogmatically" true or "doctrinally" true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.
(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

The ancients were afraid that if they went to the end of the earth, they would fall off and be consumed by dragons. But once we understand that Christianity is true to what is there, including true to the ultimate environment -- the infinite, personal God who is really there -- then our minds are freed. We can pursue any question and can be sure that we will not fall off the end of the earth. Such an attitude will give our Christianity a strength that it often does not seem to have at the present time.
(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

How often do Christians think of sexual matters as something second-rate. Never, never, never should we do so, according to the Word of God. The whole man is made to love God; each aspect of man's nature is to be given its proper place. That includes the sexual relationship, that tremendous relationship of one man to one woman. At the very beginning God brought Eve to man. A love poem can thus be beautiful.
(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

© 1999 Rational Pi, all rights reserved