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 to get them to allow us to pick them up on our refurbished school bus to take them to church.
They were the best days of my life.
Everything I am has grown from those roots and their lessons inform my daily interpretation of the world. Francis Schaeffer wrote Art & the Bible in 1973 at the heart of that age. As a poet and musician, I found in it a unifying force that brought together every aspect of my life. Little did I know how much he would later influence my thinking with his clear eyed apologetics and social call to action with other books including What Ever Happened To The Human Race? If the Apostle John caused me to major in Theology, Francis Schaeffer made me add my second major in Sociology.
I recently reread this book and have fallen in love with it all over again. In it he says
Trumpets, cymbals, psalteries, harps, all the various instruments of David-music upon music, art upon art-all pouring forth, all pointing up the possibility of creativity in praise of God, all carried to a high order of art at God’s command. And when you begin to understand this sort of thing, suddenly you can begin to breathe, and all the terrible pressure that has been put on us by making art something less than spiritual suddenly begins to disappear. And with this truth comes beauty and with this beauty a freedom before God.
If you love art and beauty, this book is for you.