A BEAUTIFUL FAITH
I enjoy going to art museums. Art inspires me, it lifts me and it shows me what is possible. I have visited some of the greatest art museums in the world. I have been to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia. I have been to the Metropolitan in New York City. I have been to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I went to the Vatican museum in Rome and the Louvre in Paris. One of the constants in all art except contemporary art is the religious theme. Michelangelo, De Vinci, Rembrandt and many others focused their work on biblical stories or themes. Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, De Vinci’s The Last Supper and Rembrandt’s Descent from the Cross are all incredibly famous. And they are artistic representations of biblical truth.
The Vatican is especially filled with Christian art. The paintings, the sculptures and the tapestries communicate biblical themes with phenomenal beauty. As I think about such great art two questions come to my mind. Do people appreciate the scene the art is displaying? And why is there so little Christian art today? This art cannot be seen as simply a painting or sculpture. It cannot be viewed as just religious history. It must reflect a living faith.
When I was in the Sistine Chapel it was packed with people in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. The paintings are breathtaking but the truth they present is even more so. The scene of hell is one that should make any person shudder. Michelangelo’s Pieta in St Peter’s church is heartbreaking. The pain of Mary as she holds her dead son Jesus is impossible to miss. This is art at its very best. It moves us to consider transcendent truth. There is no greater truth than the biblical message.
Where is the Christian art today? I think some would say it is in medias and movies. They have become the predominant medium for Christian artists. It is certainly more accessible than other forms of art. If the great artists no longer create religious art than these museums become even more significant. They hold a treasure that Christ followers need to pursue.
My hope is the thousands who see this art in museums all over the world every single day are being impacted by it. I am praying the truth that is being displayed will touch their heart and open them up to the gospel. They would come to a personal, living faith not simply historical knowledge. Let’s make sure as Christ followers we are living out biblical truth in our own lives as an example for those who are seeking.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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