A short course on art and the Bible with Alastair Gordon
Created to Make
The Bible has much to say about the arts. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s word is full of those who made art, music, design, writing, performance, and architecture. The Bible itself is, of course, a wonderful work of art.
This course will introduce you to the biblical foundations for art. Whether you are an art practitioner or lover of the arts, these sessions offer a helpful introduction to the wonderful scope of creativity in God’s word. Given the Bible's rich witness, there can be no doubt: the God of the Bible is a God of creativity.
Alastair Gordon is an artist and writer based in London. His art features in galleries, collections and art fairs around the world. He lectures in painting at art schools across the UK and is course leader for the Graduate Residency program at Leith School of Art, Edinburgh. He is co-founder of the Morphē Arts Trust, a Christian mentoring charity for artists, and writes for various publications and art journals. His latest book, Why Art Matters, was recently acquired by Tate archive in London. He draws every day and works from his South London studio.
1. The Creativity of God—November 2
In the beginning, God created. We only need to look five words into the bible to see creativity is at the heart of God’s character. In the Genesis account, we see a blueprint for the arts in the creation story. We see how God creates with dignity, rhythm, diversity, order, and perhaps even intuition. At the start we see the imagination of God worked out in his reoccurring anthem, ‘Let there be… and it was good’. How else can we respond but like the creation itself which declares the glory of God?
2. The Making of Man—November 9
Where God creates, humans make. Scripture offers distinctive language for human art including words that indicate design, worship, and bringing forth. From Genesis, the nature of art is connected with ideas of beauty and truth. In this session, we consider the art of Adam as the first human and artist in the Bible. From there we look at the first art collaboration in the Bible and their designer leader, Bezalel, the first described as filled with the Spirit.
3. Through a Glass, Darkly—November 16
As all creation became subject to the fall so also the arts remain broken. In this session, we see how art became an idol of hearts and minds for God’s people. We also consider how God works through art to punch holes in the darkness, offering healing, balm and even lament through music, words, and pictures. Even in the darkness, we see glimpses of the new creation.
[Break for Thanksgiving on November 23.]
4. Cleaning Windows in the New Creation—November 30
The new creation is so good it cannot help but seep through. In this final lecture, we consider how the arts are being renewed through the work of God’s Spirit and may point us toward his return. We consider the abundance of the new creation, offered in glimpses now through the arts. We reflect on the possibilities for art in the life yet to come and how that may influence the way we make and review art today.