The Fall of Christian Art

From Covenantal Art, by Bojidar Marinov

To deviate shortly from our topic, this also explains why Christian art has deteriorated so sharply in the last one century compared to Christian art of previous centuries. If artistic abilities are direct inspiration and revelation by the Holy Spirit, just like Biblical wisdom, then any ideology that diminishes the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church will by necessity diminish the faith in His direct operation in inspiration and revelation to individual believers. Less inspiration and less revelation will lead to less artistic ability, and to fewer people having artistic talents. In the last 100 years, we have had such ideology: cessationism, the belief that the Holy Spirit has ceased being involved directly in the life of the Church through the manifestation of His spiritual gifts, described in the New Testament. One of the fruits of that ideology – among many others – has been the disappearance of talent and the dominance of mediocrity. Churches – especially the Reformed churches – have been strictly rationalistic in their worldview; and rationalism can’t produce artistic talent. I have read a number of articles and book that complain about the decline of arts and literature in our day; but the critics seldom follow through with finding the source of the problem, namely, the decline of the belief in the real presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. When the Holy Spirit is reduced to church activities regulated by a churchian elite, His inspiration disappears. And therefore art disappears too. Next time some pastor of theologian complains about the decline of arts, remind him that he is part of the problem by teaching and preaching the doctrine of Enlightenment rationalism, also known as cessationism.

Cessationism — that rationalistic (near-atheistic, certainly anti-supernatural and mechanistic) ideology, only arising in the late 19th/early 20th century, that the Holy Spirit is now silent, and that there are no more miracles — is basically a false doctrine. The Holy Spirit acts today, and heals today, and provides visions for the righteous today.

(Yes, of course, the Scripture is now sealed: no more books are to be added. But the Holy Spirit acts as more than the author of Scripture!)

The denial of the Holy Spirit is directly tied to the gutting of the Christian Faith today.
(For more on the foolishness of cessationism, see The Truly Covenantal and Reformed View of Prophecy (and of the Other Gifts)

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