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Art & the Bible

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  933 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
The lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts," writes Francis Schaeffer. "A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God." Many Christians, wary of creating graven images, have steered clear of artistic creativity. But the Bible offers a robust affirmation of the arts. The h ...more
Published May 1st 1973 by InterVarsity Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,952)
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Oct 25, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
This little book had me scribbling notes and underlining furiously the whole way through! It was excellent. There were so many times when I couldn't resist laughing in joy as I read. Just the very first words on the very first page are dynamite. I also really liked what he said about "great art" and the necessity for judging art not only on how well it is done, but by what message is taught. That is a needed message in our day, and he delineated that so well. (See pages 43-45)

I did, however, dis
Todd Luallen
Dec 02, 2015 Todd Luallen rated it it was amazing
Todd - A quick read on the biblical view of art, along with plenty of practical application for the Christian today. If you're wondering about different forms of art and entertainment in the world, and how the Christian should engage with such, this book will give you a good foundation for answering the questions. Schaeffer believes that there is no such thing as a godly style, or an ungodly style. And he goes to a decent length to show support in scripture for non-religious artwork. However, he ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Wade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
In Art in the Bible Schaeffer states “The lordship of Christ over the whole of life means that there are no platonic areas in Christianity, no dichotomy or hierarch between the body and the soul. God made the body as well as the soul and redemption is for the whole man.” Schaeffer very clearly presents the fact that Christianity involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. These are not periphery, side areas – these are the central areas. The arts and the sciences all have a ...more
Emily Polson
I would maybe recommend this for someone who's interested in learning more about the intersection of faith and art, or legitimately curious what the biblical basis for art is. I didn't find it particularly enlightening, but I've already got a well-formed aesthetic as a Christian who is also an artist.
Exodus Books
Apr 19, 2016 Exodus Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This little volume defending the Christian appreciation and creation of art has informed pretty much every book like it since its initial publication in the early 1970s. Schaeffer begins by looking at various art forms as they appear in the Bible, both in their sacred and secular aspects and contexts. With extensive Scriptural support, he demonstrates that art is actually God-sanctioned and that it is a basic element of our human nature—and probably really upsetting the Fundamentalists who made ...more
Joel Ohman
Oct 29, 2015 Joel Ohman rated it it was amazing
“An artwork can be a doxology in itself.” Wow, this is a short book, but truly outstanding. As an author, there is a lot for me to think on here, but I would strongly encourage everyone to read this book. Here are just a few of the passages and comments (some loosely paraphrased) that stood out to me:

Art has value in itself. Why is this? The Christian is uniquely suited to know the value of art, because a work of art is a work of creativity, and creativity has value because God is the Creator. H
Fiona Veitch
Jul 14, 2014 Fiona Veitch rated it liked it
I have been hearing about Francis Schaeffer for the last 25 years as one of the leading theologians to come out of the Jesus Movement of the early 70s. I eventually got around to reading him. The book is a collection of two essays on art and the Bible and what is meant by 'Christian art'. The first essay 'Art in the Bible' was very disappointing. But perhaps this is because I am not the target readership. It appears to be aimed at the sort of evangelical Christian who needs a Biblical mandate to ...more
Sean Wilson
Feb 25, 2015 Sean Wilson rated it really liked it
I think Schaeffer quickly and effectively gets to the point with these essays, both in collecting scriptural data on the arts, and then analysing the role of art for the Christian. There is sufficient detail to make the point, and fluff is refreshingly absent. You can knock this thing over in an hour, if undistracted.

What I found helpful was the idea that the lordship of Christ, if it is true lordship, means supremacy over all things. "Non-religious" corners of the universe, like the arts, are c
J. Alfred
Oct 23, 2015 J. Alfred rated it liked it
A good little primer and biblical study why art is acceptable in the Christian's life and why one ought to create and enjoy artistic works as a part of one's Christian ministry. There's nothing in here that will absolutely blow you away by its profundity, and for all Schaeffer's knowledge about art and its various forms, his judgements are, to my taste, a little imprecise or at least incomplete-- I'm talking specifically about his treatment of TS Eliot's poetry, but I imagine it extends beyond m ...more
Rachel Worley
This was the third book I read for Omnibus IV Secondary, summer edition.

Francis Shaeffer's "Art and the Bible" was very interesting and well thought out. He was recording the views he had formulated and pondered over for many years. As a pianist, I am involved in "the arts" in a rather obvious way, although Shaeffer makes the point that we are all involved in some sort of art in some way. But as I feel I am directly affected by and contribute (though in a small way) to the arts, I found this boo
Jan 24, 2010 Juli rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A quick read (only 94 pages). The first half was so-so but the second half where Schaeffer gives some "perspectives on art" was good. I thought his 11 points were pretty spot-on.

A great intro to anyone interested in theology and the arts. Quick, easy, thought provoking.
Catherine Gillespie
Oct 12, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, culture, art
Francis Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible discusses how Christians should consume, evaluate, and produce art. I think at the time it was first published, this book probably seemed more ground-breaking. Nowadays I feel like Christians have a better understanding of how faith and art can co-exist, and many also understand that Christians should lead in art, not just produce derivative “junk for Jesus.”

I got some good points from the book, both as a consumer of art and as a writer. However, if you don’
Jul 27, 2012 Koleesa rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
This book was pleasant to read and I learned a lot from it; however, I'm not sure I quite agree with all of his conclusions on the subject matter. It makes me very interested in doing more research on the topic.
Cedar Prince
Apr 24, 2014 Cedar Prince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, favorites
This book was awesome! I loved it! I have long heard of Francis Schaeffer, but I have never taken the time to read any of his works until my art teacher recommended this one to me. I must say, I am glad she did! I greatly appreciated it and will probably look up some of his other works. As a long time fan of C.S. Lewis, I will say that Schaeffer is very akin to his style. Though, I do not completely agree with everything (I will have to reread it again as since I was in a time crunch), I will sa ...more
Sep 09, 2015 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on Art and the bible I think exists. I wish there was more of this! As an artist it helped me have a better perspective on how to be an artist as a Christian. It helped me realize that everything we do is too the glory of God, and the goal to our existence is to carry on Jesus' work, which is; to reconcile all things back to God. Including art. Everything has a worldview, I can paint a sunset or a frog and the piece would have a worldview behind it, that I didn't even put e ...more
Daniel Blackaby
Jan 04, 2013 Daniel Blackaby rated it really liked it
A short, but very informative tract on the subject. A perfect starting point for Christians interested in creating or consuming the Arts
Jessica Bondarczuk
whats the problem with abstract art and jasper johns though
Nov 24, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing
We need this book to be read and put into practice.
Rick Wilcox
Jul 30, 2015 Rick Wilcox rated it really liked it
My Christian parents raised me in church, but my faith was born during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970s. It only took a spark to get my fire going and by 15 I was playing my guitar every Friday and Saturday night in Houston-area Christian coffeehouses and any concert venue that would book us. My youth group was filled with tract-carrying Jesus freaks and when we weren’t playing Christian rock and folk music we were street preaching to homeless addicts or knocking on doors of poor families t ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Clint rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This book is an immense help to the uninitiated. Francis Schaeffer does an excellent job in the first essay drawing out biblical passages and stories that frame for the reader how we ought to think about art, in the light of Scriptural truth. At 94 pages long this isn't intended as an exhaustive study, but like Michael Card says in the foreword: Schaeffer was responding to a serious need when he wrote it, but it serves us still by speaking to our current cultural landscape.

The second essay, a se
Philip Cherny
Feb 18, 2012 Philip Cherny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Schaeffer stood as a pretty unique figure for his time, straddled somewhat awkwardly between two worlds that allegedly did not mix: considered too “intellectual” for the mostly pre-war generation of religious conservatives, while secular intellectuals and cultural aficionados would not take him seriously either. Ultimately, he did carve out a convenient niche for himself among the burgeoning baby-boomer Christians. Today he’s considered one of the seminal figures in the revival of neo-evangelica ...more
This is a good introduction to a Christian view on art. They say don't judge a book by it's cover and for this work I would also add that neither should you judge a book by it's size--the book turned out to be better than I expected. Francis Schaeffer delivers in this work that's really two chapters/essay that lays the foundation for the development of a Christian view of art. In the first chapter, Schaeffer attempts to establish Biblically that art is a godly pursuit. He begins his case with th ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the first essay (the book is divided in 2), Schaeffer explains that God, in the Bible, commanded all kinds of art in the creation and beautifying of the tabernacle. Some art was life-like, but the colors of some things weren't realistic. Schaeffer says this implies that we have freedom, as God expressed Himself, to create art that is not photographic but imaginative, or contrary to reality. I had never thought of that before.
Also, he quotes 2 Chronicles 3:6 where twice it says the purpose fo
Robbie Pruitt
Aug 29, 2012 Robbie Pruitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible is a classic when it comes to developing a Biblical theology of the arts or in thinking about theology and the arts Christianly. Almost every book about the arts or theology in the arts, from a Christian worldview that has come out since this book was first published in 1973, references Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible. The book began as two separate essays, the first essay is Art and the Bible and the second is Some Perspectives on Art. These separate ess ...more
Oct 18, 2013 Tirzah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Francis Schaeffer is right up there with James Madison, J.R.R. Tolkein, Bach-and the list goes on. This list is the PEOPLE I WISH WERE STILL LIVING SO I CAN PICK THEIR BRAINS! This is the second book I've read of Schaeffer and as with the first book, I've learned to better look at ordinary things through a Christian perspective. He takes the concept of art and explains how art is expressed in the Bible. From dancing to poetry, he cites different passages where Christians created and/or used art ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Philip rated it it was amazing
In this short book, Schaeffer argues that art is an expression of the Lordship of God over man and man’s lordship over creation. While the worship of art is sin, making art in and of itself can bring glory to God. Schaeffer leans heavily on the Scriptural precedents of the Tabernacle (secular themes in religious art), the Serpent in the Wilderness (Jesus’ view of art), and Solomon’s Throne (secular art). The writer also overviews a variety of art forms in Scripture from the visual, to musical, t ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Coyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written as a response to fundamentalist responses to the "Jesus Movement", in this short pamphlet Schaeffer gives a rough outline of how Christians ought to think about art.
His general argument is that Christ is Lord over all of creation, so that not even art is excluded from His domain, and Christians may therefore participate in art (both making it and viewing it) with good conscience. Schaeffer then gives guidelines for making and judging art, some of which include:
1) technical excellence: T
Doutor Branco
Dec 08, 2014 Doutor Branco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lidos-em-2014
Reading Francis Schaeffer is always a neat experience. This book is interesting, particularly in what is concerned to the Christian wordview of art. I am not certain if I agree with Schaeffer in all points, more specifically in "what is art?", since I am not sure that just being original, contemporary and honest make something art. I suppose that my perspective is that art must gather the following characteristics: beauty, promote human dignity, logic and uniqueness.
Marissa Dame
Nov 05, 2013 Marissa Dame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone! Read it!
Recommended to Marissa by: Jackson
Star Rating:
5 stars (I loved it.)

Content Rating:
PG (recommend to 13&up)

My Opinions:
The title says it all. Schaeffer talks about different forms of art and what the Bible has to say about art in general. He argues how important it is, even just for enjoyment and backs up his argument with Scripture. He also goes into how we should view and create art.

This book was amazing! I've learned so much and it has made me think differently about art, I'll have to read it again. I love how Schaeffer
Mar 17, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short little volume that will take many re-reads to fully digest. I found Schaeffer's defense of art and creativity encouraging and challenging. Especially as a generation of Christians swing back to more traditional venues of Christianity, these concepts risk being lost again.
Worth reading for sure!
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Francis August Schaeffer was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics which he believed would answer the questions of ...more
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“The Christian in the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.” 86 likes
“A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.” 49 likes
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