Friday, May 26, 2006

Common Grace and the Arts: A Question

Zach Nielsen had an interesting post on this issue a few days ago. You can see it here. In the post he was discussing the appropriateness of seeing movies like “Brokeback Mountain.” One point being that there are some amazing artistic qualities that give the movie value, despite its promotion of homosexuality. One argument for this view is that excellent art is a testimony of God’s grace. This thinking is supported in the doctrine of “Common Grace.” I’d like to expand on this…

According to Wayne Grudem, Common Grace is, “the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.” (Bible Doctrine, P.273) In other words, anything short of damnation is the result of God’s grace extended to both the believer and unbeliever. So, when you attend the symphony concert and you sense God’s presence, it is because of the grace of God. Anything good produced by or experienced by any person (again, whether a believer or not) is a testimony of the grace of God. This is why, I believe, good art of any form can give us this transcendent experience of awe and wonder that then leads us to worship God.

The fact that artistic excellence (in any form) has a redeeming quality, leads me to this question. Is there any art that demands a Christian boycott (speaking personally, not in a political sense), simply on the basis of the arts message or agenda, even if it is amazing art that has been recognized for outstanding artistic achievement? What is the line that we as Christians must not cross?

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