Is there anything more subjective in the world than art? I have seen artwork line the halls of high schools which I find to be incredibly sophisticated and that speaks to me on a deeper level. I have also walked the halls of fine art museums and seen pieces worth millions that I would not care to ever see again. And yet, there are many in the world who would disagree with me. Some of them to the point of investing vast amounts of their wealth to purchase what I can’t seem to appreciate.
Can you relate? All of us have seen art, heard music, or experienced some other form of creative work which we can’t understand the appeal. This is subjectivity. Everyone has an opinion and no one can prove that theirs is more important than another’s. However, what I love about this concept is that it points to an objective truth of God.
Isn’t that wonderful? We worship a God who used differing opinions on beauty to prove His immovable truth. What is that truth? God touches humanity, not just through the natural beauty around us that shows His glory (Romans 1:20), but also through man-made beauty that points to His communicable attribute of creativity (Exodus 31:1-6).
What is a communicable attribute? It would be a quality or characteristic that can be passed down. Love is a crowning communicable attribute. Just as God loves, so we love (John 13:34-35). We don’t do it as perfectly as He does, but we are capable of it. And just as God creates (Genesis 1:1), so we create (Exodus 35:31-32). Have you ever thought of this? Where God spoke the cosmos into existence, we can create on a smaller scale, which shows His finger-print on us.
When I think of this communicable attribute of creativity, it makes me think of Collin’s artwork that hangs on our refrigerator at home. It is subjectively beautiful. Amy and I find it gorgeous with every line, shade, and color representing the free will of our child. When I first sat down with him and helped him to understand how to color inside the lines of his coloring book, I had hopes he would imitate that work. When I saw him finally grasp the concept of coloring within the lines, I saw that he was “following in my footsteps” in a sense.
This is a picture of our relationship to God. Art may be subjective, but objectively, every time we create we imitate and bring some amount of glory to our Father. Just as I watch over Collin’s shoulder as he creates and I beam with love for this child, God looks over our shoulders, watches us create, and beams with love for us. As we write stories, craft plays, orchestrate music, design art pieces, cook meals passed from generation to generation, and otherwise take part in all variety of cultural expression, we show the world what it means to appreciate the creativity of our God.
Is creativity eternal or is it just some detail which man invented while here on this earth? We must believe that it is eternal and it is good. Not only did God invent creativity with the creation of the cosmos, but His creativity will also be a calling card of the eternal kingdom and representative of the community that will unite for all time in the heavens. In Revelation 7:9-10, John writes, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all the tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” The diversity in culture is permanent and part of God’s perfect plan. Let’s praise Him that we will all enjoy His attribute of creativity together as we spend eternity celebrating how all of our differences in culture point to the God who unites all His children through Christ’s reconciliatory work (Ephesians 2:14-19).
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff