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So, why create a website about theology and creativity? And what is the purpose?
A Christian Creative Quandary
Christian creatives face a quandary where the space they naturally inhabit in our society is growing ever more and more not only secular but radically secular. What adds to the problem is the lack of engagement by creatives and lack of ministry to creatives in the church. In some churches, there’s not much effort put into engaging creative minds with theology using creative media, and, on the part of many creatives, there can be a lack of interest in what they might perceive as dull and irrelevant to them.
However, I’m not saying that the problem is only on one side of the equation. Both churches and individual Christians are responsible for their own discipleship of, growth in, and contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). But, as we look around the Evangelical landscape, together with vast numbers of other people groups, creatives are often either falling away completely from the church or remaining just barely ‘Christian’ in their commitments.
Our culture’s sway has tremendous influence on every church-goer, however, creatives tend to work in the fields which are the engines of culture and act as its heralds, prophets, and – in very significant ways – creators of culture. Digital media especially has become a driving influence in our culture’s lunge towards moral, political, ethical, and theological liberalism. Our airwaves are filled with propaganda – beautifully designed and captivating, glimmering images that transfix our gaze and affections on a very secular ideal of “the good life”. Creatives are in the middle of that world, providing the designs, creativity, and enticement that spreads its message far and wide – proselytizing millions by its seductive sway.
It is unfortunate when any Christian goes out into their respective professional field without significant theological grounding to face the ideological rigors and challenges encountered there. Christian creatives can often find themselves showing up theologically unarmed to an ideological gunfight, staring down the muzzle of competing worldviews aimed at dismantling their faith.
A Creative and Theological Journey
The “why” behind this project has its roots in my own journey – both as a creative and a theologian. For a large portion of my life, the labels ‘artist’ or ‘creative’ defined a majority of my identity and self-understanding. So too, and more importantly, did the label ‘Christian’.
As far back as I can remember, I can recall my mom keeping me entertained with a stack of blank paper and some pencils. The blank page was (and still is) an open invitation to endless possibilities and explorations of whatever my imagination could conjure up. Fast forward to today and I’m still creating and finding new ways of artistic expression – from traditional art with illustration and painting, to graphic design, a past career in 3D Character Art, and creative projects with digital media, video, and web. Needless to say, a lot of my life’s journey has involved creative pursuits in some form.
My journey theologically has also defined a lot of who I am. I grew up in a Christian household with a broadly Evangelical upbringing in Trinidad. My college years in the US continued fairly steadily and uneventful as I regularly attended church and even a young adults Bible study. However, when I moved to Vancouver for more formal training in 3D, I found myself a few time zones and seven thousand kilometres away from any meaningful community and accountability. Folly and worldly enticements got the better of me for that year – rocking my faith with lingering effects reverberating far beyond. I realized quite quickly how unprepared even a lifetime (up to that point) in the church had left me for the challenges I’d face. The creative fields hold many spiritual challenges and pitfalls for a young Christian whose faith has never been tested before in those ways.
However, that season forced me to do some intense soul searching and apologetic reasoning to realize the importance of theology – a word I could barely define prior to that crisis of faith. Graciously, the Lord used various means to call me back to Himself from my wandering, but it was not without its toll on my life and soul.
A Void to be Avoided
Reflecting on some of my life’s journey has made me recognize the void that often exists in the lives of Christian creatives – especially in the area of developing a solid, robust, reasoned, and resilient theological grounding over all areas of life but especially related to how we connect our faith to our work as creatives. Many of the troubles I fell into really came down to the fact that several areas of my theology were about as deep as a puddle in the middle of a desert on a hot summer’s day. Either I had not picked up what was being put down by the Christian teachers and influences in my life (which might be a likely possibility), or I had never been challenged with enough theological rigor to make me think deeply in a way that impacted every area of my life. I have a feeling that many other Christian creatives inhabit this space.
A Drop in An Ocean Bucket
This is my little offering and humble effort in adding to that conversation. It is a response to the deficiency I noticed reflecting on my past challenges and an expression of two of my life’s biggest passions – theology and creativity – for one purpose: to glorify the Lord.
The articles, videos and creative media that you will find on this blog/website will not be geared exclusively to creatives. You will find articles and content that explores complex theological concepts, book reviews, and devotionals – among other types of articles as well. You’ll find a diverse cornucopia of topics here because I believe that theology is for all of life because Christ is not just Lord of our Sunday mornings and 20 minute devotions – He is Lord of all. Thus, every area of life must be brought under the Lordship of Christ and every competing thought be brought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
While some of the articles here may seem irrelevant specifically to a creative’s life (and reflective of my odd assortment of theological interests), all of God’s truth is relevant to all of God’s children. So, while I hope that creatives will find the materials on this site useful to their spiritual growth, I also hope that many others who may not label themselves as creatives would likewise benefit. Beyond that, I pray that the articles would also help to tune our affections and desires to the Kingdom of God – that we would desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:16). I pray that as I share some of my creative projects in the portolfio sections on this site that it would inspire fellow creatives and encourage many more people to take up their pens, paintbrushes, mouse, cameras, etc to create to the glory of God!
I’m thankful to see various other sites and ministries focused on solid theological ministry to creatives and within creative spaces (e.g. CANVAS Conferences, TGC Arts & Culture Group, Media Gratiae, etc). So, while this blog/website may be a drop in an ocean, I find myself in a local expression of that sea contained within my particular time, geographical location and culture – my bucket, so to speak. I speak and write from a particular experience, with peculiar passions and interests, and perhaps a unique perspective (I don’t currently know anyone who has worked professionally in and holds degrees in both the 3D industry and theology). So, while this drop may not change the ocean much, and may not even seem that significant in the bucket, at least we’re getting some things wet – and perhaps God may be so pleased to multiply it for His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria.