A Christian Approach to the Arts

Missionary Dave Brown introduces his new book

After working on it for ten years, my book Une approche chrétienne des arts (A Christian Approach to the Arts) was published over the summer by Excelsis. The sub-title is “Playground or battlefield” because the arts can give great pleasure but at the same time call into question dearly held beliefs. This has obvious implications for evangelism!

I show in my book that art has several functions: revealing reality, telling stories which we can identify with, making us aware of the passing of time and death, asking questions, stimulating our imagination, communicating a vision of the world. And it does this in an almost mysterious way by producing effects on the public which go beyond the means used by the artist! However, the amazing thing is that the human mind tries to understand, and people try to share what they feel, by using language. So that means that spiritual questions can first be talked about indirectly via a discussion on the arts before enough confidence is built up to talk about more personal issues.

My prayer is that churches will make the most of God’s gift of the arts to proclaim the gospel, as one part of its apologetics. The aim is to make Christianity plausible before people start to wonder about its truth. Back in the 17th century the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote about this: “Men despise religion […]. Firstly, show them how desirable it is and make them want it to be true. Then, show them it is true.”

In this connection, could you pray that more churches would think of using the Perspectives Bible exhibition De la Parole à la Peinture based on a series of famous paintings based on biblical themes? And could you also pray for a small committee which is working on a project to make an evangelistic book based on this exhibition?

If you don't live in France and would like to buy a copy of Dave’s book, please contact him at david.brown.paris@gmail.com

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Dave & Mary Brown

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