Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Question of the Day #6

Why is modern Christian art so trite ?

Give your answer in the comments.

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At 10/27/2005 9:03 AM, Blogger mathyoo declaimed...

because modern christians are, for the most part, shallow and uneducated thinkers. They've been conditioned to respond to shallow art as well. Any art that might be perceived as challenging or having real depth wouldn't sit well with the commercialized christianity of today.

At 10/27/2005 10:11 AM, Blogger vjack declaimed...

Their art is supposed to be a reflection of their beliefs and not purely for aesthetic purposes. Given all the problems with these beliefs, why should we expect great art?

At 10/27/2005 11:14 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I'm not sure what qualifies as "modern Christian art." Can you give any examples?

At 10/27/2005 12:55 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Im with Zach. I havent seen much modern Christian art. Although I HAVE heard some modern Chrsitian music. Does that count?

And if it does count, then I would say its trite due in part to its infantile belief framework. Its carrot-stick approach to morality and its groveling, belly-up, were-not-worthy attitude toward their savior.

It screams out feelings of insecurity and inadequacy and need for a cosmic parental figure to comfort them and soothe their fears and negative feelings, while simultaneously encouraging those feelings of inadequacy.

The Christian music seems to me to be mainly two things: 1) a trumpeting of their submission to their cherished figurehead, and 2) a way to express, placate, and encourage their feelings of insecurity, guilt, and inadequacy all at the same time.

At 10/27/2005 2:22 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Although I HAVE heard some modern Chrsitian music. Does that count?"

Of course. Music is counted as art. So are fiction novels and movies.

At 10/27/2005 5:22 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I was wondering about Christian music. I'm reminded of the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard," where Cartman decides that he's going to get rich by forming a Christian rock band called "Faith + 1." He tells the boys that they don't have to actually play well; as long as they talk about Jesus in their songs, Christians will buy their records (it worked for Creed).

Unfortunately, Cartman decides to take love songs and replce "baby" or "darling" with "Jesus." Some amusing lyrics from his songs:

I need you in my life, Jesus/
I can't live without you, Jesus/
And I just want to feel you deep inside me, Jesus/

Don't ever leave me, Jesus. I couldn't stand to see you go./
My heart would simply snap, my Lord, if you walked on out that door./
I promise I'll be good to you, and keep you warm at night./
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, why don't we just... shut off the lights./

I want to get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus./
I want to feel his salvation all over my face.

Whenever I see Jesus up on that cross/
I can't help but think that he looks kinda' hot. /

At 10/27/2005 9:17 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

What is modern Christian artÉ

I`m here to help, my friends.

I have some links for you to consider:

The Consultation
Beyond the Bridge
Arise and Walk
Abide with Me

You can click on the pics to see them.

The church used to be what funded any kind of art that needed a budget. Art that really lasted. We had Michelangelo and The pre-Raphaelites. Good stuff.

The Victorian age killed christian art. It developed a kind of romanticism that sucked the soul out of the art in favor of sentimentalism.

It all started with painitngs like this:

Jesus Knocking

As you can see from these paintings, sentimentalism is the order of the day. Even Christian art that seems edgy is still sentimental. Like a pen drawing on a Pee-Chee of a teen's favorite star--Christian art is much like the fan art you see of favorite Star-Trek celebrities embracing each other. Jesus is depicted as a personal friend. The painitngs are fantasies of personal relationships from fan-atics.

This painting, for instance, could depict Jim Morrison. It belongs on the wall of a teenaged girl.

This Catholic Jesus has a slight Japanese Pokemon appearance. Look at those big, blue eyes! Dreamy!

At 10/27/2005 11:03 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Ah. How about this gem, built at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio?

At 10/28/2005 11:59 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

OMG the style of the blog changed! I cant adapt... Im melting!


At 10/28/2005 12:47 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Woh! New look! I thought I pulled up the wrong blog at first! Zoiks!!

I glanced at a few of the portraits linked above (thanks for those, Ali!). I must say, they seem suitable at best as scenes on placemats in a Nebraska bake shop.

I will say, however, that much of the religious art (I'm speaking primarily of music here) before the Victorian age is very impressive, both in technical mastery as well as emotional unity. One could hardly call the motets of Palestrina "trite." In fact, he seems to have earned the ire of at least some church authorities for his daring polyphony, which, according to the church, had the undesirable potential of making religious text unintellible to listeners. A modern parallel to this would be Stalin's rebuke of Shostakovich and other Soviet composers for formalism (essentially autonomy in artistic expression) in some of his earlier compositions (e.g., the opera Lady McBeth of Mtsensk), and again in the late 1940's when many of his pieces were condemned by the Zhdanov decree, which reaffirmed a commitment to cleansing the arts of "bourgeois" and/or other elements that authorities disapproved of. Like Palestrina, Shostakovich did his best to comply with the ideals of the Soviet Realist ethos, but still went on to write some amazingly powerful orchestral pieces. So even in the realm of religious art, that is, art under a coercive regime, we find the theme of a Rand novel: the individual vs. the colletive.


At 10/28/2005 11:58 PM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

Atheists have no justification for saying what music is trite or not:

At 10/29/2005 12:26 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Hey Atheist Sucks guys, why didn't you talk about me on your blog yet ? I sent you an email but you never answered.

At 10/29/2005 12:42 AM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

Well, Francois guy, to be honest, you just don't interest me. Thus I find no need to mention you in my blog or website... yet.

At 10/29/2005 12:48 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Yea, you're probably right. It's not worth it. I, on the other hand, will go ahead and point-n'-laugh at you on my next entry.

At 10/29/2005 1:09 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Here is the definitive answer to the question:

Christian art is "fan art." No matter what you do, and how well you paint the picture of Kirk and Spock, it's still a picture of Kirk and Spock. It's a picture of your big heart-throb star, Rock Star Jesus. It's gonna be trite.

And for "Frank:" why does someone who is bored and disinterested bother to lift his lily fingers and respond to a blog post? The answer is he doesn't. So you're interested. It's okay. It's interesting.

Maybe you should inspire yourself toward higher things by contemplating the poetry of Helen Steiner-Rice or that amazingly deep "Footprints in the Sand" poem. I hear they teach college courses on that in the better Christian colleges.

At 10/29/2005 10:22 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

You know, a portrait of Jesus never gives the full context of Christianity without a scene of Jesus presiding over the judgment and condemnation of souls which happen to die in their infancy. Since they have not been "saved," they would have to be cast into hell for eternity. So without scenes of defenseless little baby souls being cast into the eternal flames which burneth forever and ever, these glowing, radiant and serene images of the Christ figure are a most insidious example of deliberate false advertising. As it is said, one can lie by omission, and I surely do not know Christians for their honesty.

At 10/29/2005 10:02 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Religious Art: Look at your own risk.

At 5/05/2008 8:53 AM, Blogger Dancefaster declaimed...

"because modern christians are, for the most part, shallow and uneducated thinkers."
Bullshit. I'll admit that because of the growing commercialism of christianity within certain parts of the world (e.g USA) alot of people have been sucked into Christianity because of the external 'show'manship from various evangelical programmes, however in no way does that mean that there aren't some of us that have come to christianity through reasoning. 'uneducated thinkers'? then how come a staunch atheists like Alistair Mcgrath (Oxford university professor) couldn't help but be converted when faced with the overwhelming evidence FOR God provided by science and rational thought? Don't make generalising statements about Christians and then accuse US of being 'conditioned' in our thought processes, perhaps if you looked past the 'shallow' nature of the christianity you perceive you might realise that it takes just as much faith to beleive there is no God as to beleive there is one :)

At 8/16/2010 3:23 AM, Blogger ming declaimed...

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