In the final episode of Season 3 of the Eudo Podcast, Dr. Paul M. Gould wraps up our season-long discussion on beauty, mystery, story, longing, the divine, and art with a discussion on creativity, specifically noting connections to art and apologetics on the way.
Five ideas about Creativity:
#1. We are all called to create.
- In Genesis 1 and 2, we learn of a creating and cultivating God. God brings the world into being out of nothing and then gives it shape and function. He establishes the world, a world full of beauty, order and abundance. And then, as the pinnacle of his creation, he makes us. Humans. Created in the image of God. So, since God is a creator and cultivator of the good, truth, and beautiful, so too are his image bearers.
#2. Creating Beauty is Hard to do; Destroying Beauty is Easy.
- It might take weeks or months or years even to create that masterpiece. The art that awakens and inspires and is true to the way the world is have teach—it is not all “sweet reasonableness.” It requires work to be honest and sometimes to project outrage and the tragedy of this world before you can reveal the beauty beneath (or beyond) this world.
#3. The Creative Process is a Process.
- Bringing order, beauty, grace and meaning out of chaos is difficult. It takes time. It requires a “dance of thought with imagination” as the poet Luci Shaw describes it.
#4. When we behold the end product of our creative activity, there is rest, satisfaction, and joy.
- When we finish creating there is peace, rest, satisfaction, and joy.
#5. We Create as an Act of Love for Others.
- The poet Luci Shaw describes the creating as overcoming chaos. She says, “Poetry, drama, sculpture, painting, architecture, gardening, any creative art, or act, like music, gives chaos the chance of disintegrating back into a kind of primal order or meaning that we call beauty.”
In bringing order out of chaos, we create new things that point to the divine. We also offer a foretaste of the future of all things; which God will renew. Creating art or stuff that embodies goodness, truth, and beauty helps others to see, and perhaps find the source behind it all in God. Art and artist help us to “look again” or look with fresh ideas at the familiar—and as we see the extra-mundane even in the mundane, are hearts are awakened and we set people on a journey that leads, if faithfully followed to God. In this way, when we create meaning and stuff, we love our neighbor and serve our fellow man.
- Luci Shaw, “Beauty and the Creative Impulse,” in The Christian Imagination