About A.R.T.

Makoto Fujimura, the founder of IAM (International Arts Movement) in NYC which is connected to the ministry of Tim Keller, is writing a series of essays on art called "A.R.T.: Awareness, Reconciliation and Transformation."  His first essay, "About A.R.T." is available on his blog, Refractions.  Other essays will only be available initially to members of IAM.  Here's a blurb...

After the success of Lord of the Rings, and now Narnia, we desire formore Lewises and Tolkiens to come out. These creative resources are not birthed out of a vacuum, but over generations of commitment to nurture and value creativity. The church has been mostly reluctant to take the lead in cultural production, fearful that those who enter Babylon will come out tainted by her, unable to speak for her values. And since there is still a vacuum in culture that the church abdicated to general culture, even if we desire more Tolkiens and Lewis, the church, in her present status, will be the first to reject them as misfits.

In order to have meaningful dialogue in this condition, we Christians must reevaluate our definition of creativity and art. On one hand, Biblical literalists and separatists (such as the “Left Behind” authors) may insist on that all of what is discussed in art must be literal interpretation of Christian stories, an approach which forbids certain art to exist at all. On the other we have secular purists who desire art to be left alone to the “good” desires of our hearts, self reliant and (in most cases) necessarily alienated from society. My approach in A.R.T. is neither of these routes. In order to lead, and teach our children to lead, Twenty First Century with creativity, we must speak in to our culture to value art and steward her with proper boundaries, and lead with a sense of responsibility. At the same time, we must realize that art is neither a mere tool to be used for ours or other ideologies. A.R.T. must ask deeper questions: what I have began to call “a five hundred year questions.” What we create matters: all art products cast their vision of what the artist consciously or unconsciously desire for the world to become. We are, and will become, what we imagine: and if we do not understand both the power and the danger of our imaginative powers, we will not begin to birth meaningful, and hopeful works of inspiration.