Christians give credit to God as the Creator of all things, and remark on the wonder and beauty of His majestic feats. Pagans too acknowledge the beauty of the universe in everything from its rich simplicity to its mind-boggling complexity. The world around us, and every characteristic of it, is remarkable—that it only took one individual to make it all, and make it functional for all time. God get’s credit for a lot of roles (the First and the Last, the Chief Physician, The Creator, The Savior, etc.), but rarely do we look to God as the Master Artist.
Because unbelievers have tried so hard to disconnect issues of life from religion through the media and education, and succeeded, it is easy to view matters such as science and the arts as secular. Obviously, thinking that any aspect of life is not under God’s control and principles is faulty. God made everything and how everything works. He set all the rules. He set all the objective standards of “quality.” He decided what was authentically beautiful and good to enjoy at the beginning, and nothing has changed in His rule book. All of the physical realm is under Him, and nothing is truly secular domain.
Art, as most people know it, is limited to paintings, music, interior design, architecture, and other man contrived creations with appeal. We rarely consider that these and all the other art forms (everything from culinary to penmanship) are man-centered creations that mimic the attributes of beauty in God’s creation. We like something about a color that God created, and we use it to artistically achieve something. We like a sound that God engineered, and we take it and add it to a musical score.
When man makes art, he borrows artistic qualities God has already produced in the physical realm. Man uses the senses and what the senses perceive about the physical world around us to demonstrate beauty. All of mans artistic handiwork is taken by God’s own illustrated universe and abiding physical properties.
Now, this may sound redundant, but it’s not, so think about it a moment: all art is demonstrating/reflecting the beauty of what?
The answer: reality.
Something that art does effectively is illustrate what’s familiar to us. This isn’t always the case, but when the art is demonstrating something unfamiliar, it is usually for the purpose of making the unfamiliar familiar. The most familiar element of life is the whole of the universe around us. It’s only human to illustrate reality through art. Surprisingly, man usually doesn’t realise that he is inadvertently copying, reflecting, and mimicking God’s handiwork. Artists are given praise for creativity, when usually all they are doing effectively is illustrating what they see in the world around them. They’re borrowing beauty from the Master Artist.
So, if the creation as a whole, and everything God made in it is beautiful, and is the greatest work of art itself, what is the reality painting for us? What is the physical—what we taste, touch, see, smell, hear—illustrate for us? I will delve into this more in tomorrow’s post.
Read Part 2 here.