File Size: 2786 KB
Print Length: 87 pages
Publisher: IVP Books (September 20, 2009)
Publication Date: September 20, 2009
I found the publication a pretty easy read and very accessible. I think any aspiring artist (of any art), would be well served reading and thinking through what Schaeffer has laid out. Also i think it would be especially good for pastors to read this book to fit whatever approach to fine art these are working through in their churches., Francis Schaeffer's book Art and the Bible is a traditional when it comes to developing a Biblical theology of the arts or in thinking of theology and the arts Christianly. Nearly every book about home repair or theology in home repair, from a Christian worldview that has come out since this book was first published in 1973, references Schaeffer's Art and the Bible. The publication started as two independent essays, the first article is Art and the Bible and the second is Some Perspectives on Art. These separate works were combined and published as the comprehensive and concise book Art and the Bible.
In this thought provoking and essential work advocating for the arts, Schaeffer outlines a sound Biblical apologetic for the arts. Schaeffer addresses all types of fine art from architecture, to statuary, bas-relief, poetry, painting, music, drama and dance, to the art of Paradise itself. The Biblical support of art of all types is presented plainly by Schaeffer who strolls you carefully and thoroughly through important supportive passages in both the Old and New Testaments.
In the book's foreword, by Eileen Card, added in the revised 2006 edition, Card says, "this book, a primer on Biblical creativeness, [seeks] to drum into us the idea that we create out of our worldview and that it is our responsibility to help align that point of view with scripture before we continue on. " Card rightly shows one of Schaeffer's details that the artist should "take seriously the Lordship of Christ in every element of their creative lives. ", So good We read it three times in about a 30 days.
It's a very short read but full of information I'd never heard before. He answered many questions I'd always wondered about art, the bible and how art and Christianity go together.
Mostly this individual got me to see how God is the original creator and likes beautiful things. He got gorgeous works of fine art made for the brow, and while He could have made them boring and boring, He didn't. He instructed the performers to put so much beauty and details into them.
I loved it as it changed my pondering and mindsets I'd already been locked in to about art and the 'religious' way of thinking about art. That alone was worth it!, My Opinions:
The subject states everything. Schaeffer discussions about different kinds of fine art and what the Holy bible has to say about art in general. He argues essential it is, even simply for enjoyment and backs up his discussion with Scripture. He also goes into how we should view and create art.
This book was amazing! I've learned so much and it has made me think differently about art, I'll have to read it again. We love how Schaeffer truly expresses the freedom we're meant to have as Christians, but also touches on our responsibilities. This book was so enlightening and inspiring!
The High quality:
I loved his easy, understandable way/style of writing. Yes, there might have been a word or two (or three) I had to look up, but it was much, much better to read than I expected.
Suggest it!, Art and the Bible was published in 1973 by Francis Schaeffer and his L'Abri Fellowship as a possible inquiry into the place of home repair in the Bible and the Christian life. It is currently designated as one of the foundational works in the theology of the arts, particularly because of the efforts in developing a specifically biblical theology from an evangelical perspective. The book includes two works: the first focusing on what the scriptures say about art; the second elaborating on an image of the arts for Christianity.
Within the first essay, Schaeffer examines the role of the arts as portrayed in the scriptures, and this mainly in the Old Testament. A common foundation can be seen among those who think and write in neuro-scientific theology and the arts, which is a holistic understanding of creation and humanity in which there stands no true antagonism between spiritual and the physical, and this thought is what starts Schaeffer's first essay. He arrives at this alternative perspective from the Biblical teaching that God is sovereign over all creation, and he take into account four important points he states that the Bible "makes clear", namely:
* God made the whole man
* In Christ the whole man is redeemed
* Christ is the Lord of the whole man now and the Lord of the whole Christian life
* In the future as Christ comes back, the body will be raised from the dead and the entire man will have a whole redemption. (7-8)
The implication drawn from this is that since God is Lord over the entire of man and creation, he is Lord over the creative arts as well.
From this level Schaeffer techniques to a discussion on art having to do with worship, and he starts this with one of the most common objections against Orlando involvement in home repair: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" (Ex 20: 4-5). He explains that if this is properly interpreted, it can be seen as not a restriction against graven images per se, but against the worship of them. This is certainly evinced in the fact that simultaneously Lord gave the ten commandments, he also gave the instructions for building the tabernacle; in these instructions were included "almost every form of representational fine art that men have ever known, " Schaeffer states. (12). Among these kinds of representational art were azure pomegranates. Schaeffer points to this as a possible indication that God enjoys art that is not necessarily "photographic, " but there is freedom for the imagination to expand on the "real. "
From the tabernacle, Schaeffer moves to a discussion on the artistic nature of the temple. The design of the temple that the Spirit of the Master handed David (1 Chron. 28: 11-12) we come across full of non-utilitarian art. In 2 Chron. 3: 6, for example, Solomon "garnished the house with precious stones for beauty. " From this, Schaeffer rightly concludes that "God is enthusiastic about beauty" (15). Also he important notes that we see more than specifically faith based subject material utilized in worship-related art, which means that "specifically religious subjects are not necessary for art" (19).
Next, Schaeffer considers the "secular art" of Solomon's day. This secular fine art of which he speaks is Solomon's throne, explained in (1 Kings 12: 18-20). However, it seems sketchy whether or not Solomon's throne would be considered "secular. " As Israel was a theocracy, it seems as though it would be hard to make such a distinction between "secular" and "religious" fine art. What would seem to be to be more appropriate should be to look at the arts in the other cultures around Israel in those days, which this individual does not do.
Within his discussion poetry, Schaeffer, using an example from the Septuagint of Brian singing, shows that fine art does not have to be put into the brow in order for it to provide praise to Lord. He also points to the Song of Solomon as an example of secular art that has been inspired, in a way, by God.
Coming from poetry, Schaeffer shows that drama and dance too isn't just allowed but are utilized and encouraged in the Bible. Ezekiel plays out a drama as a prophesy, and David danced victoriously in his ephod. Schaeffer does right to point out that due to the fact someone does something in the Bible does not mean that it must be prescriptive. Finally, pointing to the music and song in Thought 15: 2-3, Schaeffer shows that God has a strategy for the arts even in the afterlife. Schaeffer's work in providing these examples of the arts from the Bible is an invaluable tool with which to counter the attitudes that express some contempt for home repair. Nevertheless, because nearly all of the good examples are taken from this Testament, it might reduce weight to a viewer who interprets the New Testament as a general switch from the physical to the spiritual.
In his second article entitled "Some Perspectives in Art", Schaeffer enumerates 11 perspectives that a Orlando can view art. He starts using what he states is the most crucial point for Christians to think about, namely that a work of fine art has intrinsic value. Schaeffer states that it is "not something we merely analyze or value for its intellectual content. It is something to be enjoyed" (34). It has this value because it is a creative work, and creative work has value because it is a product of our being made in the image of God. While Schaeffer is on the right course with these feelings, he seems to be a little myopic in his knowledge of fine art. It is true that art is not simply to be analyzed for its intellectual content, however that is at least part of the things we do with fine art. He seems to acknowledge this later by chiding the "art for art's sake" perspective. He goes on to say that fine art is something to be "enjoyed" in and of itself, yet he seems to forget that some art is not "enjoyed, " especially art that is prophetic in character. In his first article he pointed to Ezekiel performing the prophetic "drama" for Israel, and Schaeffer affirmed this as fine art. Yet was Ezekiel's drama "enjoyed" in and of itself apart from the intellectual content? The point of prophetic art is not to be "enjoyed, " but on the contrary, to be disruptive to a people's standing quo.
Next, Schaeffer touches on the interesting belief that "the effect of any proposition, whether true or false, can be heightened if it is portrayed in poetry or in artistic prose rather than in bald, formulaic statement" (38-39). This can be a point well made, and an important one to consider, though it is unfortunate this individual did not spend more time elaborating on this.
His third point addresses the continuity or discontinuity with normal definitions in a work of fine art. He applies this not only to the use of words (in beautifully constructed wording and prose), but in the visual language of symbols as well. He implies that there must, for greatest effect, be not too great a discontinuity. Innovation is good, but when one diverges too far from the usual (such as in total abstract painting), something is lost in the item of art.
Fourth, this individual states that simply because something is "art" will not mean that it is "sacred. " This specific he ties into his second point, that the propositions contained in some art can be false.
Schaeffer next moves to the four criteria by which he believes fine art should be judged. Very first, art should be evaluated by its technical delivery. If art is done with technical excellence, Schaeffer states that the artist should be praised even if he differs in worldview. This is a particularly challenging and needed statement since many Christians reject art completely if it differs even slightly from their version of Christian truth. Next, fine art should be judged by its validity: whether or not the artist has been honest to himself in the creation of his art. At this stage Schaeffer criticizes any art that is created for financial reason, labeling it "invalid. " This is, however, an invalid criticism because of its myopic idea of what the creative mind is and what its parameters are. For example, if this criteria were applied to the art of filmmaking there would be few--if any at all--that meet it. Film is a business art, an art that requires more than one mind, and so involves individual creative ideals bending to one another in cooperation and, often, compromise. Likewise, the sheer amount of financial resources that are required to produce a motion picture entail a kind sensitivity to those who will watch it. Rather than automatically labeling any art "invalid" that is done for a patron, the fine art should be judged by how "valid" it is within its parameters (e. g., the patron's wishes, the public's interest, and so on. ). The third criteria Schaeffer states art should be judge by is whether or not the worldview it espouses is consistent with the bible verses, and this he states can actually be accomplished by the non-Christian, and can sometimes not be achieved by the Christian. The previous criteria is how well the information of the fine art matches its form. The example he uses for this is T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland: in it the broken character of the message was reflected in the busted form in which it was written.
Regarding style, Schaeffer states that it changes as language changes, but that the Orlando needs to have these three elements in the style: it should be the style of his day, it should be indigenous to where he is geographically, and it also should reflect the Orlando worldview. In his next point, he asserts that while there is not any "godly" or "ungodly" style, some styles become symbolic of a certain message, and so styles must not be used unthinkingly.
Schaeffer then implies that Christian art has a place for both minor and major themes--minor themes that uncover the lostness and brokenness of man, major themes that give you a positive perspective in light of redemption--but the emphasis should be on the major themes. He does make room for individual pieces of art to show only minor themes, but he states that the entire body of the artists work should reflect the major. He does well to this can create a scenario for exceptions in this, as it should also be considered that the numerous artists in the Christian community are members of 1 body; perhaps it is 1 person's job to give attention to minor, and the other person's to give attention to redemption.
What makes this pamphlet particularly unique is its depth of give attention to what the scriptures say about the arts, but his second essay on Christian perspectives is also attractive that it tries to apply specifically what we find about fine art in the Bible. In total, Schaeffer's Art and the Bible can serve as a helpful tool especially for the evangelical who needs an introductory Orlando perspective on home repair.
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