Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Seeing Jesus in the Arts

The BBC video below is one of the most thought-provoking commentaries on art that I've ever seen with a great soundtrack to boot. It's an hour long but if you have any interest in the arts I think it's well worth your time.

Introduction: "Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives. In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert. Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation." 

I kept thinking of a quote from Cheryl Forbes as I watched this video: 
"God gave each of us a desire for beauty; it is part of our desire for him, who is loveliness incarnate."

I'm not sure if the narrator is a Christian but I think he hits the nail on the head. One of my favorite quotes in the entire video is found at 43:30: "Art has the ability to redeem life by finding beauty even in the worst aspect of things." 
 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  -Ecclesiastes 3:11


  1. I can't wait to watch this, Peter! I agree 1000% that art and beauty in art is essential to life. This reminds me of CS Lewis in his book The Four Loves: "“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Have you seen the movie "The Lives of Others"? A foreign film, but about the arts. One of my favorite movies. Hope you guys are well! Blessings from the T dot. : )

  2. Loved it... best line: "This returns me to Oscar Wilde's remark that all art is absolutely useless. Put usefulness first and you lose it. Put beauty first and what you do will be useful forever." Amen.


  3. There are no more useless people on this earth than artists.
    I'm sorry, but this is true truth. A nice sunset, a calm snowfall, a rolling ocean's tide is all the art one needs. The so called artists running around today are pathetic pretentious pretenders.

  4. Funny that this video was posted now. We just got back from Rome and this video nailed exactly what we felt there. We saw works of art and architecture that not only leaves you speechless and in awe, but it profoundly humbles you as well. Because when you see these masterpieces, you cannot help but think how the Lord must have guided the hands, paintbrushes and chisels of these artists. Awesome video, thanks for sharing!