December 13, 2007

Art vs God?

I was reading an editorial this morning by Camille LaPaglia of that really caught my attention. By the way, is what I would consider a fairly liberal online mag and spews forth the typical human secularist diatribe you would come to expect from such a media outlet. So why do I read it? From time to time I read liberal editorials just to see what the "other side" is thinking and writing about. As a Christian I think it is always valuable to see what tactic's the world is using to attack God. I read it because it allows me to become more aware of my talking points with unbelievers and to understand what is the latest social and philosophical influences of our culture. Taking this approach we can begin to rationally show people God is not an absurdity, but just the opposite, God is real and he can be known if we just use the very faculties God has endowed us with. I also think as Christians we have lost our ability to "think" logically and rationally and therefore we have become unable to rationally explain our theology or why we believe what we believe. Instead what I witness is more of a "parrotting" if you will of "Well My Pastor said______________".

So back to the article I was reading. What caught my eye was a statement LaPaglia made and it is a interesting one. She is writing about the Presidential Primaries and how religion has become such a focus for the candidates. In her editorial she writes:

"But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe."

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The amazing thing is she see's that the human secularist & Atheist are only accelerating the further downfall of our culture. Her comments regarding Atheist is an interesting one, but yet the most alarming phrase is the what LaPaglia suggest we substitute God for - "Art and nature for God - the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe". LaPaglia in two sentences has managed to completely contradicted herself. On one hand she see's that human secularist and Atheist are going no where, but yet she is imbibing the very essence of what they believe!

Christian philosopher, Francis Schaeffer writes in his book "How Should We Then Live?" that one can tell a tremendous amount about a culture in its art, music and writings. When man is inspired by his deepest interests in life, these will be reflected in the arts of the culture of that period. An example would be the Roman or Greek Empires, whereby we see the exquisite detail and emphasis on the human form - the Roman Greco man where it exemplifies strength, beauty and power. However, Schaeffer writes that over the centuries we have seen the further moral & philosophical decay of mankind reflected in the arts as a direct testimony of our ever increasing desire to worship ourselves. In centuries past we have often seen how God and religion was in large part, central themes of inspiration for artist and creative types alike.

However, the comment made by LaPaglia seems to suggest that instead of allowing art to become an outlet of expression, we must now worship art & nature in of itself - or as she put it "the grandeur of man and the mystery of the universe". Instead, we are now worshipping the created and not the Creator. Paul in his letter to Rome points out that in his day this very thing was occuring with the Romans:

Rom 1:21-23 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts turned to worthless things, and their ignorant hearts were darkened. (22) Though claiming to be wise, they became fools (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that looked like mortal human beings, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.

If what LaPaglia is saying is indeed to occur, then we are beginning to witness serious pagan-like behavior from within our culture. For as Paul says, their hearts have indeed become ignorant and darkened. No longer do we worship God the Creator, but we now worship the created and the created will worship itself. These are indeed sad and dark days when we as a culture begin to beleive in such non-sense. That we are somehow as gods and we need to seek devine inspiration from art and nature. What lunacy! As I had stated in my previous posting, how can one even look at somehting as complex as DNA, or Photosynthesis, or the human form and not see the handiwork of our creator. Sadly, the modern day church continues to parrot old sayings and slogans and lazily refuses to address today's culture in debate or as Paul would say "come and reason together".

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