Quotes On Faith and Art

Here are some wonderful quotes from authors and theologians about the intersection of faith and the arts. Enjoy!

Some Quotes Everyone Will Enjoy:

“Metaphors can bring theology to life, pinning down abstract ideas into vivid pictures that we can comprehend by way of imagination. “ Lucy Shaw

“Our God is the God of plenty, who uses multiple word pictures throughout scripture to illuminate the minds of both writers and readers.” Lucy Shaw

“... much of the finest art and music of spiritual and theological import - whether popular or highly cultivated has been created without the church’s blessing, or indeed the church’s knowledge.” Frank Butch Brown

“Culture is what we make of the world, in both senses.” Ken Myers

“The beautiful is wholeness, harmony and radiance. Artists are obsessed with wholeness, harmony and radiance.” Thomas Aquinas

"You have made us for your yourself, O God, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. We yearn to cleave to the One, and when we experience completeness, we have a sense of being at home and at rest. So the beautiful gives us a sense of peace." St Augustine

“This is my God and I will beautify him with praises?" Exodus 15:2

“I saw everything as if for the first time, things I had looked at for so long that I had quit seeing them.” Eugene Peterson

“She did for me what artists do: saw the unseen in the seen, heard the no-longer-heard in the heard. She perceived forms and relations in what had become disjointed, broken into fragments by inattention." Eugene Peterson

"Artists PLAY and ENTER INTO PAIN" - David O. Taylor

“...even when people experience the very same artwork at the very same time they might well be having very different private experiences of that artwork…” David O. Taylor

“Our creator God is interested in extravagant, useless beauty, that God made beautiful things just for kicks.” - David O. Taylor

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.” Ann Lamott

“Let us risk boldly. Let us fail humbly. Let us make such works of artistic beauty- small and large, simple and complex – that the world around is will pause for one moment and say, “Truly there must be a God, and he must be here.” David O. Taylor

"David's first job as king was making music, attempting to re-establish the divine order in Saul's disordered mind and emotions. Establishing order in the midst of chaos is basic to kingwork. Music is probably our most elemental experience of this essential work. Music, bringing rhythm and harmony and tunefulness into being, is at the heart of all work. Kingworkers, whatever their jobs, whistle while they work." Eugene Peterson

"He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40

"Let everything that has breath sing praises to the Lord!" Psalm 150

Some Quotes Highlighting the Intersection of Christianity and The Arts:

“Theology is the North Pole and art the South Pole of the Christian Life. Theology is the study of what God does and says; art is what people say and do in the entire context of what God says and does…. You can’t have one without the other…’” - Eugene Peterson

“Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually, so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.” – John Wesley

“All art is a gift, not an achievement. Like the entire gospel, art establishes its purpose not in its utility but in something bigger than itself: grace. And like worship, it pulls us into something bigger than ourselves, pulling all our play and all our pain into a beautiful life of God in Christ.” Andy Crouch

“If we get beauty right, we will get the pastoring of artists right because that is their terrain. Their terrain is not propaganda or boosting people’s self-esteem.” Jeremy Begbie

“the artist is physical and embodied, set in the midst of a God given world vibrant with a dynamic beauty of its own, not simply “there” like a brute fact to be escaped or violently abused but there as a gift from God of overflowing beauty, a gift for us to interact with vigorously, shape and reshape, form and transform, and in this way fashion something as consistent and dazzlingly novel as Bach’s Goldberg’ Variations, art than can anticipate the beauty previewed and promised in Jesus Christ.” – Jeremy Begbie

‘liturgical artists should want to hear worshipers say: Truly your song, your poetry, your dance helped us to pray, to hear God, to know and love God.” David O. Taylor

“to attend to, to contemplate, to savor, to adore the sheer goodness of God, the FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.’ David O.Taylor

“Through your work, we gained a new glimpse of God’s character, the person of Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit.” David O. Taylor

“Every generation is called to do this: to respond to the cosmos of our triune God with a lasting act of Thanksgiving that will be a gift over which future generations can brood and be challenged and know they aren’t alone.” David O. Taylor

“Let him rip off the veils of habit that obscure the beauty of Christ in the faces we look at day after day. Let her restore color and texture and smell to the salvation that has become disembodied in a fog of abstraction.” Eugene Peterson

“These are good things always to be doing. What is dangerous is when we stubbornly close God off from refreshing, redirecting, or even replacing elements in our corporate practice of Christian faith” David O. Taylor

“In some Christian circles art must have a Bible verse attached to legitimize it. Others say that it is only good art if it is “Christian art,” that is if it is used as a vehicle for evangelism. But if we go down this road far enough, we will begin forcing Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor to include vocal annunciations of Jesus’ name in order to be God-honoring classical music. If we believe that beautiful things cannot have their own justification for existing, then we might as well say that cherry tomatoes need to be used for evangelism in order to be worth producing.” David O. Taylor

“The danger of limiting art to its utilitarian value is that it belittles the God of creation. It also robs our artists of a vast terrain of human exploration, a terrain with deep sorrows and expansive laughter. The mundane and the mysterious belong to God originally and it is our duty to be good stewards of it.” David O. Taylor

“Is the art helping people encounter the living God with heart, mind and body or is it enabling them to become distracted from him?” David O. Taylor

“Our goal as Christians is not to be polished and impressive, but to be true.” David O. Taylor

“We see it when we insist God should grant everything in an instant matched by music where every tension is immediately resolved, no dissonance “lived through” David O. Taylor

Like to read/watch more?:

Jeremy Begbie: Theology Through the Arts

Andy Couch: Love and the Risk of Innovation

Anne Lamott: The Habit of Practice

David O. Taylor: For The Beauty of The Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts

Madeleine L'Engle: Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Bono and Eugene Peterson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l40S5e90KY

Three Visions Necessary for the Christian Artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im3J6K4ZlTs

Tim Keller: Creation and Creativity https://vimeo.com/173669479

Tim Keller: Where Imagination and Innovation Meet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmNW7EtP6Xk

Tim Keller: Worship https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/worship-7362/

Tim Keller: Adoration: Hallowed Be Thy Name https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/adoration-hallowed-be-thy-name-6387/