- Those who worship the Creator ought to be the most creative, and avoid copying the broader culture's art. And they DEFINITELY should not produce bad art.
- Christian propaganda art--art that exists to proselytize--should at best be rare. (I really want to say it shouldn't exist at all, but that's probably just an overreaction to the really bad Christian propaganda art out there.) Certainly art should point to God, truth, redemption, etc. But it should do so in a way that speaks softly to the soul, not bludgeons someone over the head. And it DEFINITELY should not be bad art.
- There really isn't such a definitive category as Christian art. What makes a book or a song Christian? How is a painting or a sculpture Christian? Do they have to mention Jesus? Do they have to overtly point to God or some biblical truth? Some people seem to think that a movie is not a Christian movie unless it has some blatant invitation to respond to the gospel, as if the Holy Spirit cannot work in subtle tones (see the second point above). There is really only good art, mediocre art, and bad art. And Christians should DEFINITELY not be making bad art.
- The American church needs to find a way to produce more artists, and provide for those whose art engages our worship and enhances our connection to God. Then we need to kill the whole "safe and fun for the whole family" Christian music subculture and challenge those artists who are truly musically gifted and called to be salt and light in the broader music industry.
Let me close with this extended quote from Thomas Merton in No Man is an Island:
There is only one reason why this [art helps with spiritual formation] is completely true: art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains. Music and art and poetry attune the soul to God because they induce a kind of contact with the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. The genius of the artist finds its way by the affinity of creative sympathy, or conaturality, into the living law that rules the universe. This law is nothing but the secret gravitation that draws all things to God as to their center. Since all true art lays bare the action of this same law in the depths of our own nature, it makes us alive to the tremendous mystery of being, in which we ourselves, together with all other living and existing things, come forth from the depths of God and return again to Him. An art that does not produce something of this is not worthy of its name.