First, before reading this, go here: http://juliahembreephotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/i-am-the-culture/
photo credit: soulshepherding.org
My sister, Julie is an amazingly talented artist. This is her blog where she recently posted some thoughts on knowledge and art and life. I commented on it and as I was writing my comment I thought this discussion, of sorts, would make a good spinoff blog post here at weeping cherries. So, here are my thoughts. I would love to hear yours!
“Some of my thoughts in no apparent order. Pertaining to knowledge and is it important to fill ourselves with it just for the sake of knowledge?: this brings to mind Romans 16:19 for me, “Be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil”.
I believe that when it come to knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge we will eventually come to the same conclusion Solomon did in that it is meaningless as it has no purpose beyond our own vanity. Knowledge, however, for the sake of God’s glory- a beautiful thing. So, what makes knowledge for the sake of God’s glory different? I believe knowledge for God’s glory is understanding of “what is good”. A deep wisdom in things pertaining to God’s righteousness and what He calls holy. This is vastly different than soaking up the culture and all it has to offer in the ways of “knowledge”. God’s Word tells us to be innocent of that which God calls evil. At times I think Christians, myself included, fool ourselves into thinking it is necessary to ponder into all different avenues of thought in the name of being “relevant”. In truth, we would be much better off being naive in such things.
When I think about art, I think about a natural overflow of the heart conveyed by different mediums. This brings to mind the verse, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”. Granted, it is referring to communicating through speech here but I believe the principle can apply to what we are speaking of with art. I do not believe that a great artist is one who possesses vast knowledge, or great skill- though he may. I believe the best artists for God’s glory possess a pure heart. The closest example that I can think of in scripture that we have of an artist, I believe to be David. A man after God’s own heart. David’s heart was like God’s. In some ways all of our hearts are like God’s as He created us in His image and His likeness. Therefore, I believe we are all capable of creating art and beauty. Some, however; have a natural gifting in this area like I believe David did. Any art worth making glorifies the ultimate creator. It would stand to reason then that when an artist’s heart is filled with the things of God and is like God’s own heart, the overflow of it would speak deeply to our hearts longing for Him. This is why I believe an artists first and only muse should be our Lord and Savior. Their first priority, pleading with the Spirit to mold their heart into one that would spill over with God’s likeness.
This is the only knowledge worth possessing.
This is the art that will really move the human soul.
This is to be our greatest love.”