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Imagination Redeemed

I was reading one of the classics in the realm of art and faith this week in my studio – Art & the Bible by Francis Schaeffer. One of the issues he deals with in the book is one I have faced many times as a worship pastor and minister to creative people – what is “Christian Art” and what is appropriate creative expression for artists who are Christians?  Should the subject of our work always be overtly spiritual in nature, or is there room for the expression of beauty beyond accepted religious subject matter?

At this point in my life, the most difficult part about hearing a question like that for me is not slapping the person asking it! (Quit laughing!) Honestly, I get so frustrated with people in the church who segment their lives into ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’! In reality, life in the Kingdom and especially creative expression in the Kingdom is all about the merging of the two – sacred and secular – into a divine dance. It’s all about seeing the creativity of the Father, inspired by the Holy Spirit, show up in unexpected places and bring His presence, power and healing to individuals and culture.

So where’s the line between sacred and secular? Is there a line? And, is there room for beauty that doesn’t carry an overtly religious theme? To answer these questions, Schaeffer masterfully explains how the redemption of man and Lordship of Christ include the whole man and all of his nature – not just the religious portion of his life.  Therefore, anything he puts his hand to, especially the creative, can and should be redeemed – regardless if it is religious in theme. Schaeffer explains, “When a man comes under the blood of Christ, his whole capacity as a man is refashioned.  His soul is saved, yes, but so are his mind and body. True spirituality means the Lordship of Christ over the total man.” (Francis Schaeffer, Art & the Bible, page 10). How much more the imagination of an artist!

The Father’s desire for all artisans in the Kingdom is the redemption and restoration of our imagination in order to infuse us with His creative nature. He wants all of us – spirit, soul and body – to be saturated with all of Him.

 Matt Tommey is the Founder / Executive Director of The Worship Studio and a professional basketry artist. He is also a musician and author of the book “Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Fulfilling Your Creative Calling as an Artist in the Kingdom”.  You can see Matt’s basketry work at and purchase his book here.