Saturday, May 15, 2010

Art That Pleases God

Question: Is it possible to do art that "pleases" God and not be a Christian?


  1. I saw no one had commented, so I thought I'd give it a shot :)

    I say Yes. Though the image of God in man has been distorted by sin, vestiges of that image still remain, and are in some sense reflected in all forms of art... even that of unbelievers. I think that this can be reflected from a standpoint of the creative gifts that God has created man to have, and even to some extent in the message of the work itself.

    Just my simple thought...what say you?

  2. I've purposely posed a difficult question. I like Bavinck's differentiation between "action" and "motivation." If we isolate the action to one of creativity in light of the imago Dei, then yes, there is a strong sense in which a non-Christian can produce art that is pleasing to God. But Bavinck (perhaps with greater stress than his predecessor at the Free University, Kuyper), wants to consider the role of motivation e.g. if a person cannot do art from the born again spirit to God's glory, then that work falls short of glorying God in the fullest sense. Klass Schilder leaned even harder in this direction. I have a little booklet on the topic, Art to the Glory of God (Wipf and Stock). You can tell I've been around the Dutch lately. Thanks for replying!