Then the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge…– Exodus 31:1-3a
There is currently a Men's Book Study taking place at Burning Hearts wherein the men in that group are studying (reading/discussing) the book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark Noll. Professor Noll and his book had a marked influence on our own Tim Martin and because Tim spoke so highly of the book it seemed like it would be worth our time to read it. And so the study group.
Noll's main point is that, for whatever reason, Christians, by and large, long ago abandoned the worlds of academia and the arts. Noll's principle focus is academia but this article is about the arts.
Today, a large percent of America's citizenry believe in God (still in the 90+%), and roughly two-thirds call themselves "Christians." A far lesser percent are regular church attenders (this is closer to 20%). Yet, any watching of prime-time television would leave the viewer under the impression that no one goes to church, no one calls oneself a Christian and any belief in God is quite irrelevant to daily life. Conversely, the viewer would be led to believe that a large portion of Americans are homosexuals or even transgenders (both of which are not true). How has this come to be? The answer is as simple as looking at the script writers. If there are no Christian writers (for these shows) then one can hardly expect that the shows would reflect a Christian world-view. I am not here arguing for a particular view on anything. I'm simply saying (for example) that if all the script writers are cat owners, one might expect that the shows being watched would be of people who own cats.
So, where are the Christian script writers? Or where are the Christian actors? There seem to be (for whatever reason) plenty of Christian athletes; there even seem to be plenty of Christian politicians. But why are Christians so seemingly vacant in the arts? Or in journalism? God gifted Bezalel over 3,000 years ago in the arts, in being creative and skilled. That certainly was not the end to such gifting.
Praise God for Sight and Sound and their vision to elevate the arts (everything from acting and singing to set design, writing, lighting, etc). Lancaster Bible College has, within the past 10 years, taken a huge step forward in promoting "worship arts" – even as a major. Some other Christian schools are following suit. And here and there we hear of a Christian comedian – which based upon what one often hears from the mouths of comedians would almost seem to be an oxymoron. But these gifted Christians have the mindset of trying to REDEEM THE ARTS and for that we should thank God and thank them!
All is not lost. It may seem so at times, but all is not lost. So to you who are in the arts (or academia) STAY AT IT! Keep at it! Improve your skills, expand your influence, and in the name of our God and Savior, redeem the arts! We bless you with all that we have!