Friday, July 06, 2012

Christians and Art

I am a big fan of Breakpoint Commentaries, now written (mostly) by Eric Metaxes.  Here's today's.

http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/19742

It is a great discussion of Christians and art.  As a novelist who tries to adhere to the qualities of good fiction writing as opposed to acceptable "Christian" standards, I feel the anguish here.  How did Thomas Kinkades' sappy paintings ever get called "Christian art?" (Sadly, he never developed himself fully as an artist with nonChristian themes or should I say, nonstereotypical themes.  Perhaps he was only capable of the treacle, but I think not.)

Someone once said to me, "Christian is a noun, not an adjective."  I pretty much abide by that.  Although I have been accused of writing Christian fiction, I wince when I hear that.  I like to think I write fiction.  Period.  The characters are usually Christians, however, taking their faith seriously (or not), because I take it seriously.

My theology does matter, of course, in my fiction.  If I, as a good Reformation believer, hold to the ultimate sovereignty of God in all things human, then I have to deal with that.  Not in a  deus ex machina, Touched by an Angel, "salvation experience saves the day" type of way.   If I disallow myself from those methods, then I have to ask deeper questions about the agency of God in human life and then the agency of humans in the God-centered world.  And fiction is only great when it deals with the deeper questions; it's good when it tells an engaging story.


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