"Why The Arts?": Nathan Partain

As we are selling our 2014 Worship CD and Liturgical Arts Book, it's a great time to take a minute to talk about Redeemer's focus on the arts.  Just step into the sanctuary to see the art installations there that display our visually expressive nature, walk down the halls to see that we are people who value supporting artists in their work, and start shaking hands to learn that writers, musicians, painters - you name it - have found a home here.  But why?  What is it about art and Christianity that speak to each other?  What does their conversation sound like?  That's why we're asking the question "Why the Arts?"  Today on the blog, our worship leader, Nathan Partain, gives us a few of his thoughts on the subject. 


Nathan PartainArt is an expression of someone’s inner thoughts and emotions and when it is truthful, it bears the beauty of the dignity of that person and their unique God-given perspective on the world. Being creative in nature, it is new and fresh and has a quality of stirring our thoughts to reconsider things that we have thought about 1000 times over. Art is something that is specific to human kind and part of us being image bearers of God. In it’s best forms it is a value to the entire human community.

Art is a language. It is a conversation. It springs out of a specific time and place and a specific person while being in a context of the general culture and the history of art that was before it. It reacts to other art and responds, reflects or answers. In order to understand where you live and what kind of people populate your city it is wise to interact with their art. To see and hear what they are creating. Many times it is the leading edge of the cultural conversation that you are getting brought into. Therefore, if Christians care about their city, they should be aware of its art.

Because of the important role that art plays in the culture of a community, Christians using their creativity as culture makers are very important. Expressing life through art in a way that is skillful, complex, honest, and free, applies the truths of the gospel and confirms that they are common to all humanity. This type of cultural engagement also shows respect for the people around us and builds the validity of the voice of the believer.

-Nathan Partain