Guests: Paul Dybdahl and Zdravko Stefanovic
Leading Question: How do Christians celebrate the beautiful in a world that is so heavily marred by sin?
Devout conservatives Christians often find it difficult to recognize beauty for beauty’s sake. It is much easier to say that beautiful things are beautiful for God’s sake, not for their own sake.
The following areas are aspects of our life in which God can be seen as a master artist:
God as Potter: Genesis 2, Isaiah 64:8. While potters may not have been held in high regard in biblical times; these passages indicate that God has been quite willing to be involved in the hands-on stuff of creation., even if it means being a potter.
God as Architect: Exodus 25:1-9. In Exodus God is described as the architect of the sanctuary where God was worshiped. The building the wilderness sanctuary was at God’s direction and the very ornate temple that Solomon built is also part of the biblical narrative.
God as one who inspired the artisans and craftsmen: Exodus 31:1-6. Those who led out in the building of the wilderness sanctuary, Bezelel and Aholiab, were “inspired” by God so that they could use their talents for God’s glory.
Music: 1 Chronicles 23:5. Among the temple personnel appointed by David were 4000 people who were to play musical instruments in the temple service.
Question: Why is it that devout believers can dedicate long hours to master of musical instruments, but are reluctant to empower those who want to work in the visual arts? In 1920 and 1925, Pacific Press published a book entitled, Applied Art, a-less-than-subtle hint that art for the sake of art was not an obvious truth to the Adventists of that era.
Author. While devout believers often claim that God is the author of Scripture, it would be better to follow the suggestion from Ellen White in that respect:
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers. – MS 24, 1886
Question: Is it safe for humans to imitate God as artist? Or is God the only one who is authorized to be an artist?