Art and the Bible

Reviewed by:

Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.

Title:

Art and the Bible

Author:

Francis A. Schaeffer (foreword by Michael Card)

Publisher:

InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

2006

Format:

Paperback

Length:

94 pages

OVERVIEW

What exactly should the Church do with art? What does one tell writers or other artists who are seeking spiritual guidelines for what kind of art they should make? Francis Schaeffer addresses that question in Art and the Bible. He points readers to passages in the Old Testament that feature or talk about art, including the Jews building the tabernacle and David composing the Psalms. As he goes, Schaeffer infers lessons from these passages about how God values the arts, including:

  • Representational art
  • Poetry
  • Music
  • Dance and drama

For many artists (particularly evangelical ones), this book was the first one that showed them God valued their gifts. Many writers have since built on the foundation Schaeffer created, particularly Steve Turner who studied at Schaeffer’s L’Abri center in 1970 and went to write multiple books on the Christian’s role in the arts and pop culture. Even though later writers have expanded Schaeffer’s thesis to new areas, Art and the Bible hasn’t aged a bit. Over forty years later, its arguments still feel revelatory and its vision for the Church feels just as powerful as ever. Quite simply the best introductory text on Christianity and the arts.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5 stars):

5 stars

Recommended Audience:

Christian artists and scholars interested in Biblical foundations for a theology of art.

Christian Impact:

Schaeffer builds a compelling case that art is not only something Christians can enjoy, but also something to participate in and do so with gusto.

Note to Readers:

Readers who enjoyed this book may also enjoy Colin Duriez’ Francis Schaeffer biography, which provides more details about his theological views. To read ECLA’s review of that book, go to:

https://eclalibraries.org/2021/04/09/francis-schaeffer-an-authentic-life/

Art and the Bible: Two Essays


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