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Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts
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Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Encourages Christian artists in the pursuit of their calling and provides artists and non-artists alike a short introduction to thinking Christianly about the arts.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 2nd 2006 by P & R Publishing
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Melanie
Jan 20, 2008 Melanie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melanie by: C. Vaughan (Winthrop)
A favorite quote:

"The problem with some modern and postmodern art is that it seeks to offer truth at the expense of beauty. It tells the truth only about ugliness and alienation, leaving out the beauty of creation and redemption. A good deal of so-called Christian art tends to have the opposite problem. It tries to show beauty without admitting the truth about sin, and to that extent it is false--dishonest about the tragic implications of our depravity...Such a world may be nice to imagine, but
...more
Sally
A short little book about God's plan for the arts, covering these four principles: 1) the artist's gift and call come from God; 2) God loves all kinds of art; 3) God maintains high standards for truth, beauty, and goodness; and 4) art is for the glory of God. Since it appears that our daughter will be going to art school, following in one of her brother's footsteps, I appreciated this reminder about God's perspective. These are good words: "What kind of art would be worthy of such a God? Only go ...more
Jenny
Starts out sounding like a very simplistic concept with obvious points and narrow scripture references but as the chapters move along the focus becomes deeper and more enduring. The author's opinion is voiced in a couple places that feel unnecessary and caught me up for a second. Luckily they did not detract from the overall message of the book. A good, quick read that is prompting me to read about the references he makes to other authors. This is my life's goal: To make art for God's sake.
Becky Pliego
Good, but not quite substantial.

My favorite quote:

"Christian Art is redemptive, and this is its highest purpose. art is always an interpretation of reality, and the Christian should interpret reality in its total aspect, including the hope that has come into the world through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather than giving in to meaningless and despair, Christian artists know that there is a way out."
Jason
Oct 25, 2008 Jason added it
This would be a good book to assign as supplemental reading for a high school-level Christ and culture/worldview class. It would also be helpful to young Christians who have artistic talent but may not recognize how God-glorifying art can be.
Hope
Art for God's Sake is a manifesto for artists of all types to do what they do for the glory of God, basically debunking the addage that art needs no reason for being, i.e, It's just "Art for art's sake." Not only is the book meant to encourage artists in their calling, it is also meant to give non-artists a short introduction to thinking Christianly about the arts.

Some reviewers said it was too simplistic, but for someone like me (with no art background), the simplicity was a huge plus. I underl
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viktor palenyy
Good and solid but rather light. In my opinion Rookmaaker's shot booklet is much better on the subject.
Robbie Pruitt
Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts, by Philip Graham Ryken is a solid resource, which aids in nurturing a deeper understanding of the arts and assists in cultivating a Biblical worldview and theology of the arts.

Art for God’s Sake is an unassuming, simple, and easy to read book about recovering the arts and restoring them to their right place in God’s kingdom for God’s kingdom purposes, and to God’s own Glory. Ryken summarizes his work, “This is the Christian view of art: the artist
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Elizabeth
One of the only redeeming things about this book is that the cover work was done by Makoto Fujimura, and Ryken mentions Fujimura in the book.

Other than that, I found it to be, in the words of Liz Lemon, "BLERGH!"
It was awfully repetitive, and because the book is a mere 64 pages, the repetitiveness is far more noticeable. I wanted to like this book, but I just didn't.
Allyboardman
a quick 58-page read full of pure gold. The author so wonderfully communicates the importance of art [and the artist] being true, good and beautiful to and for the Lord. a must-read for those who vocationally exercise their creativity.
Job Dalomba
Ryken is a favorite author, thinker and pastor for me, so this book was a good short read over a cup of coffee. Lots of good thoughts and a good starting point for Christians to understand art for Gods sake.
Joseph Pearman
Having seemingly neglected it, by God's grace the Church is relearning the profound value and necessity of genuinely excellent art. May God help us to see creative art as an avenue for His glory.
Davina W.
Good, short book about how to serve God as an artist. At first I was a little frustrated with it, because the author writes very vaguely and unpractically about what to do and not to do. On the last ten pages however he redeems himself and focuses ones heart on offering our art to God, who is the greatest artist.
Hiroshi
A great encouragement for an under-appreciated vocation.
Kelsey
In this short but very profound book Ryken explores the how art can encompass truth, beauty and goodness. I believe his most profound insight is how he relates the death and resurrection of Christ to aesthetics. Ryken says, "God's design was to turn ugliness into beauty. He did this first with the body of His Son, raising Jesus from the dead and giving him a glorious resurrection body...Those ugly wounds have been transformed into glory (page 56)." How wonderful!
Ryan Boomershine
Fantastic and very short read. Very, very helpful in encapsulating what I was hoping would be true about goodness, truth and beauty.

As a non-creative, non-artist this is an essential read in helping me better appreciate those people gifted in that way, and even helps me better hope that my one or more of my five children will lean that direction [which has never been a hope of mine].

Scott Hayden
Ryken lays it out so well. In a short, easy read, he expounds four principles from Exodus 31.

1) The artist's call and gift come from God.
2) God loves all kinds of art.
3) God maintains high standards for goodness, truth, and beauty.
4) Art is for the glory of God.

Then in a surprisingly moving finale, Ryken unfolds the "artistry in the plan of salvation."
Courtney Deberry
This book was a wonderful starting place for the christian artist. It details the foundation of art and sets important biblical principles in perspective. I believe that this is a wonderful prerequisite for deeper study on the topic but can be read again and again throughout any artists' career.
Meaghan
Oct 06, 2008 Meaghan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any Christian pursuing the arts
Recommended to Meaghan by: Kenny B.
Shelves: worship
Very good little book. Easy to read in one sitting. My only complaint is that it doesn't go in depth - but that's to be expected with a book this small. Gives a very basic biblical defense for God's call to artists and just scratches the surface of what that call does and doesn't mean.
Gregory Byerline
Concise presentation of art from a biblical context and Christian worldview. Excellent read for an introductory look at art and its origins before proceeding into other books that are more specific and explorative (i.e. "Art and the Bible" by Francis Schaeffer).
Kelli
A simple and clear perspective on the importance of reclaiming the arts and restoring them to the beauty and importance God intended for them (with an emphasis on doing our best in our creative efforts). A sixty-four page booklet.
Janice
This is a good book about the Christian's view of the arts. It is along the same vein as Schaeffer's Art and the Bible. I plan on using the principles he outlined with my 11th grade Omnibus class: Building a Christian Worldview.
Jeremy
Great primer on distinctively Christian art. It's not groundbreaking, but it's a good summary of what has been said, and he points to deeper resources. You could say that the book whets the appetite, but it doesn't slake it.
Ben Titsworth
I bought this back when I was thinking about being in music and graphic design. It's ok. It didn't exactly grab my attention. The writing was very eloquent, it just didn't have enough "omph!".
Angela
I read this little book in order to give it to my niece and her husband who are actors in Toronto. It's excellent and a great introduction to a Christian view of the arts.
Matt Chapman


Brief but inspiring introduction to the role art plays in bringing glory to God. Good bibliography included at end to direct further study.
Annie Pliego
A good and concise introduction to recovering the arts and bringing them to their highest purpose in the fallen world we live in.
Ben Kreps
Compelling little book that lays out some biblical principles for the artist. Thought-provoking and soul-stirring for the creative type.
Andrew Canavan
Great introduction to thinking about the arts from a biblical and theological perspective.
Artmom
Very small book...a quick read packed full of what it means to be Christian AND an artist.
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Philip Graham Ryken is Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he has preached since 1995. He is Bible Teacher for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, speaking nationally on the radio program Every Last Word. Dr. Ryken was educated at Wheaton College (IL), Westminster Theological Seminary (PA) and the University of Oxford (UK), from which he received his doctorate ...more
More about Philip Graham Ryken...
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“Art is always tempted to glory in itself, and nearly every form of art has been used to communicate values that are contrary to Scripture. Art is as fallen as any other aspect of human existence. This fallenness perverts the arts against fulfilling their original purpose and prevents us from embracing them uncritically.” 0 likes
“Art has tremendous power to shape culture and touch the human heart. Its artifacts embody the ideas and desires of the coming generation. This means that what is happening in the arts today is prophetic of what will happen in our culture tomorrow. It also means that when Christians abandon the artistic community, we lose a significant opportunity to coniniu- nicate Christ to our culture.” 0 likes
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