Celebrations…!

Just a quick post to wish a very happy birthday to James who turns 21 today. James is the man with the vision for the Artists for Christ blog, and the wider Artists for Christ community. Keep him in your prayers as he continues to receive direction from God about where to take AfC next, and that he will grow in faith, wisdom and love over the coming year.

Happy birthday brother!

-Stephen

21 today...

21 today...

Creation, God’s invisible qualities and the arts: Part 1

I’d like to start a series of articles based on God revealing His character through creation, and what this means for us and anything we create ourselves. When I talk about creation, this is including what is thought of as “nature” – flowers, animals, mountains, cells and so on, but also more abstract parts of creation: friendship, romance, beauty and the like. We begin with this verse:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. ” – Romans 1:20

Now, to make sure we get what this verse is really saying, it is in the wider context of Paul’s argument that mankind is without excuse for glorifying God and that  “what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them” (verse 19). This lack of honouring God, and the outworking of it is how Paul explains sin.

But does this line of argument still hold ground today? With evolutionary biology seeking to explain physical creation, and psychology and sociology seeking to explain metaphysical creation (such as love, belief and friendship), is it still reasonable to say that God’s character is plain to the modern man or woman simply through His creation? Or has creation become simply something we steer clear of because we as Christians don’t really know what we think and feel unqualified to comment?

There are two things in the last 2000 years (since Paul wrote this) that have not changed:

– God’s character (or as Paul says, His “eternal power and divine nature”)
– Creation (not to any significant degree, anyway)

And so the only thing that has changed is people’s perceptions of where the two meet. This is where we as Christian artists, musicians, writers and other creative people come in. We have a massive opportunity to ask God “Teach me truths about Your character through creation”. As we begin to see these truths in creation around us (and remember, this can be either things within nature or things like friendship), we can then express these links in our art, our music, our writing, our own creativity. In this way we begin to connect what people see, feel and live in their day-to-day lives with the truths of God’s character that underlie what they experience. It is as if God has left little witnesses about Himself, imprinted in all that He has created, and He now invites us to point out the meaning of these images through the things that we create.

This is an exciting opportunity that deserves thought and consideration. In my next article we will consider how this could be put into practice in what we can learn about God through creation in nature. Let me leave you for now in amazement of the complexity of life with the photo below. It is a microscopic photo of an immune cell destroying a bacterium – it boggles the mind to think that thousands upon thousands of these events happen in your body every day to keep you alive, while most of us never even know this is occurring. Let us open our eyes to the the complexity and beauty of nature around us, ask what it teaches about God, and express these links in our own works of creativity.

– Stephen

An immune cell "eats" an invading bacteria

An immune cell

Byzantium!

 

Bear with me for being excited about something a tad nerdy.

The Royal Academy of Arts is doing an exhibition of art and relics from the Byzantium Empire. I wouldn’t have cared much at all about this this time last year, but this is what my church history module does to you. The Byzantium period was pretty awesome, Christianity spread all over the Roman Empire, and the church was working out it’s theology, like working out the difference between icons and idols, and just how far can you go. I’m gonna admit you might find it more exciting if you read up on the whole she-bang before hand, but the art is absolutely beautiful. I haven’t been yet, but I’m planning on going and from the pictures it looks like the place is going to be packed with amazing trinkets and icons and all sorts. So, check out some Christian art history.

It runs from the 25th of October till the 22nd of March and to find out more information click here.

– Miriam

Hearts of Man – Gospel Graffiti


To the heart of the matter from cameron moberg on Vimeo.

Here is another great video from some of the Gospel Graffiti guys, I found it on the Gospel Graffiti Blog. I love the way that they have done this mural, it is SO beautiful!

I think that what Gospel Graffiti are doing is fantastic, its so beautiful to see these guys working together like this to bring glory to God! Be inspired! I certainly am!

– James

“To the ends of the earth”

Next weekend, on Saturday Nov 1st, the church that I attend is holding an event at the Fairfield halls, Croydon, UK, which I think is going to be pretty special! Here is the info from the press release:

On November 1st, Jackie Pullinger will be leading an incredibly exciting event:

A full day jam-packed with teaching, prayer and worship centred on world mission!

It will remind us of God’s heart for mission, catch a vision of the work He’s doing around the world and inspire and equip us to serve and go on mission.

Attend and you’ll hear all the latest incredible stories from Jackie in two inspiring worship and teaching sessions.

But that’s not all: there will be a range of seminars throughout the day led by top, in-demand speakers including Martin Goldsmith (renounced author and teacher) Steve Bell (International Director of Interserve) and Eddie Lyle (CEO of Open Doors).

There will also be a massive exhibition of over 25 different mission organizations including Compassion, BMS, OMF, Crosslinks and YWAM.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity . To find out more, go to the website: www.endsofearth.org.uk.

– James

Andrew Page

The paintings above are all painted by a man named Andrew Page. Andrew contacted us recently and has an amazing and very inspiring portfolio of work which can be seen on his website. About his artwork Andrew says “Art is a powerful tool to reach people with and portray a message where other ministries can’t go.

– James

God’s Eye View

Credit goes to my friend Leon for finding these fantastic images. They are from a collective called “The Glue Society” who exhibited them at the Miami Pulse Contemporary Art Fair. They are described as “Four biblical moments as evidenced by satellite imagery” See them all on The Glue Society website.

Share your creativity

Artists for Christ is not an exclusive club, where only the “elite” have their work featured, we are a community and we want to know about your projects and what you are doing.

So, if you would like your creative work featured, whatever it may be, or you would like to tell the Artists for Christ community about your project, then please feel free to drop us an email at blog@artistsforchrist.net.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

– James