Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Did This Happen?

I'm a huge supporter of the arts. Just thought I'd get that out there. As Christians, I think we have an even higher responsibility and greater difficulty. Sorry if I'm being vague, but I, believe it or not, am actually having difficulty articulating my thoughts (I know, hard to believe, huh? :) ) I think Madeleine L'Engle said it best when she wrote that,

"All art, good, bad, indifferent, reflects its culture. Great art transcends its culture and touches on that which is eternal. Two writers may write the same story about the same man and woman and their relationship with each other. One writer will come up with art and the other with p*or*nog*raph*y. There is no subject that is not appropriate for the artist, but the way in which it is handled can sometimes be totally inappropriate. True art has mythic quality in that it speaks of that which was true, is true, and will be true.

Too much concern about
Christian art can be destructive both to art and to Christianity. I can not consciously try to write a Christian story. My own life and my own faith will determine whether or not my stories are Christian. Too much Christian art relies so heavily on being Christian that the artist forgets that it also must be good art......If we are truly Christian, that will be evident, no matter what the topic. If we are not truly Christian, that will also be evident, no matter how pious the tale."

Excellent quote, is it not? This art, I think, does not work through propositions but rather through indirect means used by the imagination. However, I think that Christians have belittled or ignored the imagination. When did we become so politicized and ideological? When did we pass the divide where politics began to be more highly valued than culture? These are culture wars, which I find to be oxymorons as culture is about nourishment and cultivation, whereas war inevitably involves destruction. The two sides could, I suppose, be seen as progressive vs. conservative, but I truly think that we can't simplify the issue to such a degree.

Am I being clear? Maybe if I think of a better way to explain my ponderings I'll write them here for you all to stew over! Such are the rambling, probing thoughts of an ever- thinking and curious mind! :)

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