The Language of Art // GUEST POST: Alex Wolf
Imagine I handed you a piece of paper and asked you to read the story written on it. You examine the page, and realize it's not covered in English words, but rather in marks that you cannot understand. Surprise! The story is written in Sanskrit and you can't read Sanskrit, unless you happen to be a part of the minuscule cluster of native Sanskrit speakers or Indian culture scholars.
What if your life (and your eternal life) depended on your comprehension of this story.
As Christians we are so often guilty of speaking a language that people cannot understand. The term "Christianese" has even been coined for this phenomenon. Jesus asked us to make disciples of all nations and to be witnesses to those who do not know the truth, so why are we speaking in a language that only believers can understand? We must never change the message of the Gospel, but we may need to rethink how we deliver that message.
Christian artists have the unique gift and responsibility of telling the Gospel story through art. But just like we depend on Christian language in verbal evangelism, we often depend on Christian symbols in visual evangelism. What do crosses and angels and fish mean to viewers whose minds have yet to be transformed by the Gospel? Christian symbology has a very important place in art for believers, but we must expand our vision for evangelistic art. The story of Jesus is sweeping and dangerous and majestic. It's about time our art follows suit.
Join Hope Heals in creating visual art about Jesus that defiles neither the sanctity of art nor Jesus. The Art of the Gospel Contest is a call to pour your heart and sweat and tears into artwork unto the glory of God and for the expansion of His Kingdom. Let's make art that starts a conversation instead of giving all the answers. Let's speak to people in their own language so they may be invited into this beautiful story of hope.