Last night I had a new experience. When I got home from the charity basketball game (yes, I'm really sore this morning), I checked email and found a Google alert for my name. It seems yesterday's post was quoted on someone else's blog. I actually got a little nervous, wondering if I'd got myself in trouble somehow.
It turned out to be someone with a great blog on the intersection of religion and art. I enjoyed what he wrote (except for the small-minded part about me, but oh well, if the shoe fits...). His idea was that good religious art (or any art) should flow from the heart and speak the voice of the artist. If the artist is a passionate evangelical Christian and s/he creates art with that voice, we should expect and celebrate that art even if it exists to elicit a response to the gospel invitation. Here's his words:
Artists, Christians and non-Christians alike, should do their best at making work that is in their voice, and that is all that has to be said about that. The work will be Christian, if it wants to be, just as the artist will be Christian if she or he wants to be.
That is very true. Good art flows from the heart and voice. But my contention is that there are too many Christians today not trying to make good art from their hearts. They are not trying to make art at all. They are creating poor pseudo-art just for the sake of evangelism.
Art can and should exist for itself.
You can read the blog and my response here.