Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010: Theology in Art

Today we jump started our creative juices by working together in groups. I was in a group with Caleb, Whitney, Robin and Kristine and work together with the limited art supplies we have- yellow rope, play toy baby shoes, tickets, wax paper and a reflective half sphere. Together in 45 minutes we created something none of us could've come up by ourselves, even using our bodies as part of this installation exercise. Through this exercise we were able to see how we work together, what frustration we have working together, positives and negatives, etc. Before we got started we had a devotional by Tanya Walker through a DVD series And God Said...Voice of Creation which walks us through God's creation of beauty in Nature and memorized scripture.
Afterwards Tanya walked us through teaching for the project called Theology and Art which Tanya had presented new this project.

What Does God Create?
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, create in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Does God enjoy Creating? How do you know?
2 Reasons
1. For His pleasure
2. Display His glory

Hall of Christian Author's (H.C.A)
C.S. Lewis's Weight of Glory Essay
"When humans should have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that great glory of which Nature is only the first sketch."

Basically Lewis is saying is our human souls out lives Nature so we should be able to see eternity within others in the city more so than in the rural areas where most people see God.

Professor Trevor Hart at Institute for Theology
"One of the key functions of imagination is the presentation of the otherwise absent. In other words, we have the capacity through imagination to call to mind objects, persons or states of affairs which are other than those which appear to confront us in what, for want of a better designation, we might call our "present actuality". I do not say "reality" precisely because the real itself may well prove to be other than what appears to be actual".

"Another key role of imagination in human life is as the source of the capacity to interpret, to locate things within wider patterns or networks of relationship which are not given, but which we appeal to tacitly in making sense of things. We see things as particular sorts of things, and this is, in substantial part, an imaginative activity. And, since more than one way of seeing or taking things is often possible, what appears to be the case may actually change with an imaginative shift of perspective, rendering a quite distinct picture of the real"

G.K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy
"A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grow-p person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough...It is possible that God says eery morning, "Do it again," to the sun; and every evening, "do it again," to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."

We are becoming less and less like a child who is curious about the world. As adult some of us lose sight of the wonders of God's glory through creation. I pray that if we are like this we may be re-captivated by his majesty.

J.R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion
A christian author who wrote fictional book bases for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings that paints Good and Evil for his own purposes. The parallel of The Silmarillion is like the early Old Testament. The Ainulindale reference creation of the Ainur or Holy Ones which are creatives and enjoy music making. The other civilization are the Valar and the less powerful siblings the Maiar. The parable is about the gods who are Elf Feanor shepherds, teacers, and protectors facing the treachery of the evil Morgoth. Tolkien display the essence of the Fall from Grace through this parable through Feanor's exile from Valinor in The Silmarillion.

Calvin Seerveld a Neo-Calvinist known as a Christian aesthetician.
"Christ's body does not need to finish its cultural task in a given generation: it only needs to be faithful with what it is entrusted." Calvin Seerveld Rainbow for a Fallen World

Give back to the Lord and to your neighbor the gifts the Lord has given you, in a minsitry of reconciliation joyously redeeming the times despite the tears.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19

Calvin Seerveld Rainbow for a Fallen World cultivate some guidelines for artists which I researched to include:
1) Become filled with the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit
  • Do not become an ideological lobby group. Do not settle for the vanity of kitsch. Do not be confused about what you are doing. You may be doing handicraft, or art, commercial design, song or hymn writing, you may be making monuments or painting murals you may be in propaganda, posters, PR or the media. Unless one's vision is full-orbed and one's discernment of what God wants tone is sure, one will be weak in artistic leadership and uncertain in testing the spirit of the art facing you and your neighbor.

2) Conceive art as work & undergo its training like a trade.
Not one thing has ruined art so much as Western civilization as the cumulative nonsense about the artist as supra-rational genius, the pious talk about "creativity," and the Romanticist creed that an undisciplined bohemian life affords the milieu most conducive for having artistic "inspiration" strike.

3) Disstill a fruitful christian art historical tradition in your own blood and pioneer its contribution in our day.
Christian have no right to be ignorant of history just because they stand in the truth.

4) Integrate yourself as a band of christian artists with christian taskforces in other cultural areas in order to reach out as a peoplehood of God to the public large.
Culture always has a global spread; so a minority culture cannot long, purposefully exist as a mini culture, a few loose strands. Christian school limps without supportive christian family life; the christian forming of certain abilities can go down the drain if they are ensnared in an utterly unredeemed; christian artistry remains badgered if there be no gallery outlet or publishing firm or media center that has ended initiation fees, "best seller" strictures and demands of crowd guarantee.

5) Persevere in unfolding art historically, with a generations-long patience and hope.
Culture honoring the LOrd has been born long ago it and in our seeing to it responsibly that christian culture gets born anew in our increasingly secularized day, we must plan long-range and take comfort in the promise of God that he believing generations still in our cultural loins will be give the time and grace to develop our communal offering. Culture by nature is an ongoing affair that last longer than anyone's lifetime. Christ's body does not need to finish its cultural task in a given generation: it only needs to be faithful with what it is entrusted.

'Art is not a means to an end, it is not a function of something else. Art stands or falls on its own artistic contribution in God's world, To think of art, or practice it, as a tool for some other purpose is to sell it out to a technocratic bent of mind, damning it to a permanent identity crisis and reducing it to a kind of colonial status at the beck and call of touring VIPs for approved cultural missions'. Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves: Alternative Steps in Understanding Art

Questions of the Day
Does the church embrace contemporary modern art?
Does the church view the arts as simply utility or gratuitousness?
Is the arts worth more than other means of my time and talents?
Is there such a thing as Christian aesthetics?
Have you ever thought yourself as a work of art in process?
Does art have a purpose? Does art need a reason?
What compels you to create?
What does it feel like when you are creating?
Why create?
Rocky mountains? Time Square? Where do you find God?

Word of the Day
Hebrew Words "bara" meaning produce or make/ biblical description of human action

Later that day we visited the MoMa and what it has to offer of contemporary modern art. Tomorrow is our mentor dinner as we prepare a festive night.
Favorite Quotes of the Day on Project
Daniel "I will trade in these two sheeps... wait I need a sheep. Is anyone willing to trade a sheep?"
Joseph "Create is like an inside joke want to share something."
Adam "Sense of being a part of a solutions, I don't work alone."

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