Monday, March 06, 2006

Art & Honesty

Perusing some of my classmates' blogs I am noticing a theme about art & Christianity (no doubt in relation to reading Asher Lev). Particularly the question seems to be in connection to artform and expression regarding worship. How do we judge the value of art (or, indeed, can we) in this context? This would be a simple issue if art was limited to honest self-expression that edifies the body of Christ. However, is art really art if it is limited?
So what are we stuck with? Artforms that fit the template of church worship but not necessarily the soul of the artist? Artistic expression that is deep and honest but inappropriate or even vulgar to the worship community? Obviously this is not always the case, but it is a real conflict. Guaranteed there are many whose opinions fall blatantly and firmly on either side of this fence. But what about those of us in the middle? Is there a balance to be found? Or should we stop straddling the fence because of the barbed-wire?
Click here for a somewhat similar question

Now, speaking of honesty, I recently watched The Big Kahuna with Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. One of the main themes in the film is honesty (ie: in character). Well worth watching if you don't mind expletives and the stageplay style (the style worked for me). It is about 3 salesman at various stages in life. The youngest, "Bob," is a nervous and conservative Christian who cannot resist proselytizing. The oldest, "Phil" (DeVito), is like "Willy Loman" with hope. The catalyst in the middle, "Larry" (Spacey), is so many people I know. Basically, put these 3 in a room for 24 hours, shake and serve. Regarding honesty, Phil says:

It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or 'How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down.' That doesn't make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are - just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore; it's a pitch.
Well, what do you think?

One more thought and thing to ponder (and comment on): the words of Oscar Wilde -
Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.

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