This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses on arts and our culture interacting with disciple-making. Moses’ staff, David’s sling and the disciples’ fishing nets were all common tools of their particular trades. But when they encountered the true God and His plan for their lives, those tools became the vehicles He used to advance His kingdom and bring Him glory. Today, also, Christ commands His followers to make disciples wherever they go, and He chooses to use the common cultural and artistic tools of the day for this purpose. William “Duce” Branch examines this intersection of God’s call to discipleship with today’s culture and the arts as he asks, “Is your art submitted to His heart?” Branch also explores the idea of advocating artistic fervor that is anchored in gospel fidelity.
Here is an excerpt from this podcast:
Culture is purposeful human achievement; the work of men’s and women’s minds and hands. Here’s the analogy: a river is nature; a canal, culture. A raw piece of quartz: nature. An arrowhead made out of that quartz: culture. A moan is natural; a word, cultural. In other words, nature is what God does, culture is what we do with what God does. Culture is the process of taking what God has done and doing something with it. With that being said, the works, the ideas that come out of us react to what God has done. Francis Schaeffer has a great book called Art and the Bible. In it, he makes this distinguishing statement. “When we talk art, we’re not just talking about painting, sculpture, poetry or classical music, but also the more popular expressions: the novel, the theater, the cinema, popular music and rock.” He said you must understand that all of these things fall under the broad understanding of art. The arts and sciences do have a place in the Christian life. For a Christian, redeemed by the work of Christ and living within the norms of Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts. It’s part of not what’s peripheral to God; it’s part of God’s centerpiece. Whether you do art as a Christian, or Christian art, it really doesn’t matter because if you’re a Christian you have this duty. [As Schaeffer says,] “A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.”
by William Branch / Assistant Professor / Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
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