Ravi Zacharias talks about three levels of putting together an argument: the theoretical and abstract, the practical via the arts, and what he calls “kitchen table talk.” Yesterday we looked at someone in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce who missed the point of the theoretical approach – to find the truth. Today I want to touch briefly on the arts.
In Lewis’ story, the narrator overhears another conversation, one between an artist ghost and a spirit seeking to help him. The spirit reminds the ghost, “Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means to tell about light.” The point of the arts is to portray reality. One does not paint for the sake of the paint itself, but to show something to the viewer of the painting. That reality being painted comes from God. Therefore at its root the arts should bring glory to God and illuminate his majesty.
Unfortunately the arts have become what the spirit warned the ghost about, the self-interest, personality and fame and prestige of the artist. The arts no longer glorify God, but have become the medium for all sorts of perversity and detestability. This is not how God intended us to use our gifts. Just as in the Garden of Eden when man, made in God’s image, misused his choice to obey God or sin, likewise the world has misused its God-given gifts for the purpose of sin.
The most beautiful art made by human hands is that which paints scenes of glory. The most beautiful poetry are the hymns. The most beautiful literature likewise speaks of the majesty of God.
The greatest work of art of all is that which was made in the image of God himself, that is, the human being.
Praise God for all the works of his mighty hands!
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