He talks about the view of high art, really since the Renaissance, vs. But, say some, art should not be didactic; it is meant to enrich life. It is a closed system, to which God or any other non-human or non-natural force has no access — a world where the principle of uniformity reigns and where no other forces than those we know in the world today, those we can see, measure, control, understand, have worked or will ever work. Not only is evangelism Christian, but all of life is Christian, unless we would make Christ very small. As art does not need justification, nobody has to be excused for making art. The essential feature of this philosophy is the treatment of all of life as God's. Today, as I look around in the field of the arts, high, low and in whatever medium, I think you are right.
We talked about the place of aesthetics in culture, perceptions of the arts in the church, iconography and more. I can cite the names of Ruskin, Morris and his Arts and Crafts movement, and many more. Indeed, the making of idols is forbidden; but just as we take good care in preparing a gift for somebody we love or think highly of the love we have is shown, expressed, in the choice as well as in the packaging , we do our best to make our songs as good as we can, make our buildings as beautiful as we can. Counterefforts are made everywhere to change things or to try to overcome the evils of the system. It is in the very strokes we put on paper, the beat of the drum, the way we attack a note on the trumpet, the kind of paint we use.
Stephen travels internationally and speaks on creativity and the pursuit of God. Work out of the fullness of your being and give the best you have. I was privileged to see Francis Schaeffer at a screening of his How Should We Then Live? What do you search for? It was one of the first attempts to organize a body of art works in this way. Rookmaaker explains how art involves both form and communication. Two Consequences of Retreat If we say that to work as an artist is not spiritual enough and that art has no place in the Christian life, we are open to deep conflicts and contradictions.
None of this existed in the mid-1960s. He also was an art critic for the Dutch Christian newspaper. On the other hand we very much need art which is healthy and good, and which people can understand. It may be clear that I speak in the first place to the painter and sculptor, the creators of the visual arts. But as there is little help coming from the leaders of the church, the Christian intellectuals, every artist as it were has to work it out alone. But I knew that she was very good at designing clothes, at making fabrics.
Rookmaaker's Modern Art and the Death of a Culture came out in 1970. Jazz had become a great influence on popular American music. Paul Clowney, who studied with Rookmaaker from 1972 to 1976, recalls that the most important session was a weekly trip to the RijksMuseum in the morning before it opened to the public. It often determines their greatness and importance. This text, although written for the layperson and the working artist, is a wonderful template for understanding Christian vocation calling for all areas. They asked God for a little inspiration and stepped out to make an unusual improv performance art piece, hoping that it might have some impact on someone. But our vision of reality is not just knowledge, in the sense of knowing what is there, but creation, in the sense that we want to realize our vision in the same reality.
The tree has meaning simply because God made it; that meaning surpasses all its functions. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. His statue is famous, but who knows him? É um livro importante a ser lido por aqueles artistas cristãos, que querem servir o artista criador através de seus talentos. He deliberately made his songs plain, abstaining from the intricate and flowery language often used by poets who were usually writing for a restricted and learned audience with all kinds of references to myth, stories and literary figures the less educated could hardly understand. It has its share in the ugliness of our world today.
Today they are often the only witness of a Christian mentality in our public life. It deals with art's role and meaning in this world—both in secular world and within God's design. If the work is done well, it survives the occasion, like the Mozart music we still listen to. Its justification is its being a God-given possibility. To live is to go on a way with him — a way of life in a deep sense, a way of truth as he is the Truth. Early in his career, he was an art critic for the Christian newspaper Trouw.
We should never compromise our principles or deep aims. Another fellow church member gave me a copy of an obscure slim book by Calvin Seerveld, A Christian Critique of Art and Literature which sadly was way over my head! Artists were members of guilds just like other skilled workers. Otherwise we make Christianity narrow and leave a great part of our life that ought to show the fruit of the Spirit outside the commitment to God, our Lord and Savior. God gave humanity the skill to make things beautiful, to make music, to write poems, to make sculpture, to decorate things. In 1965, Rookmaaker was invited to join the faculty at the Free University of Amsterdam as its inaugural professor of art history.
And figurativeness does not always mean great depth and loaded meaning. Only in such a community can we move on. But what if there is nothing inside? We are meaningful for who we are, not for what we have. Reading this book, a reaction against the majority Christian's push that art most be evangelistic in nature to be 'justified' with a purpose, Hans spoke to me as one looking desperately for an answer to the subtle guilt I had bottled up inside myself for the notion that God's desire for my life is more than the one-dimensional attempt to make disciples in the narrow conception given by modern American Evangelicalism. But even if artists did not have the high honor we tend to grant them today there were exceptions in the case of artists who were honored by their patrons , they did make beautiful things so beautiful, in fact, that we so many centuries later still go to look at their works and often pay much to have their works restored in order to hand them down to the next generation.