The fallen ‘angel’ picture has created quite a controversy in the past weeks with the heights of ignorance reaching its peak of people believing it to be real! It is an art work, a sculpture of the Chinese conceptual artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu. Taking “Art” to be “fallen” and “unchristian” the church has largely come to either disassociate itself with arts or to limit it. The cause to bring back arts into the Christian thinking with biblical perspectives and to see the call of the church in this form is the case for this issue “Arts Special”.
Art is everywhere; walking through the Phoenix Market City in Chennai or the Marina Bay, Singapore or the IGI Airport, New Delhi, the shopper or the casual stroller or the traveller definitely stumbles upon the art forms installed here. But art is not limited to modernity or urbanity and this is evidenced through the tribal art forms of Bihar and Jharkhand that adorn the Cover of this issue. And the Bible celebrates the arts of ordinary people; the first recorded song writer of the Bible, Moses was a slave, the greatest hymnist David was a shepherd.
This issue of The CALL carries works on literature, performing arts, visual, media and culinary arts. Among its literary works this issue brings two poems, ‘Walking Thru Darkness’ and ‘Paid to be Away’. ‘The Song that turned my Life’ is a testimonial to how Scripture based songs can touch & transform people. A new feature in this issue is the Book Review on the Bihar-Bangalore connection book, ‘Booker Prize Winner ‘The White Tiger’’.
The Greek word for ‘Hypocrite’ is the technical term for the performance artist, a stage actor. The lead article ‘Practice What You Preach (and Sing)’ narrates two incidents from the life of Brother Augustine Jebakumar and shows how what we teach or preach or sing need to align with our life.
A treat for children is the Comic Strip in the Children’s Chronicles column, ‘Pyari’s Secret’. The Magnifying Glass column article ‘Reaching Children, Creatively’ features the use of arts in the ministry among children by GEMS.
‘The Greatest Literature’ recounts the reminiscence of an English teacher and ‘English Literature & my Bible Study’ of a University Verbal Faculty. There are also treats to the taste buds in the Culinary Arts section, but with a difference – the taste of eternal life in three narrations!
For people in arts it is easy to be carried away by the satisfaction of producing an art or by the appreciation it brings. The Scribe Baruch & Prophet Jeremiah belonged to the few who harkened to the word of God. While the entire book of Jeremiah is prophecies concerning Judah, in the 45th chapter we see a prophecy directly concerning Jeremiah’s Scribe, Baruch. This is the word of God to Baruch, “And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them…” (45:5).
The MK Memoir article of a GEMS MK ‘Student of Literature & the Scripture’ ends rightly with these words, “…make me an instrument, for your glory alone” and this needs to be the aspiration of every Christian in arts, “Arts for the glory of God”.
The Director’s Desk encourages the readers in ‘Heart of Art’ to “develop and apply the God given potentials with creativity and innovation through empowerment” and brings in balanced biblical perspectives to the arts of mentoring, giving, preaching, witnessing, leading and administering so that the Lord may build you as an “instrument for His noble purposes” (2 Tim 2:21).
Art is Creativity and God is the source of creativity. The art of God starts with the Creation and culminates at the Calvary and the Cross reconciles this torn world and troubled lives to God. Francis A. Schaeffer summarises beautifully in ‘Arts & the Bible’, “A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.”
A(rt)ction driven reading!
Chief Editor, The CALL
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