Byron smile 1

Dr. Byron Spradlin

I believe that imaginative human expression is an accurate description of the phenomenon of the creative and imaginative activities that people often call art. The Modernist concept of art is generally the default definition people have: “Art is the activities and objects of abstract contemplation.” This definition is neither correct (in the context of reality) nor helpful (concerning why God designed imaginative abilities, activities, contexts, environments, or artifacts).

God designed artistic expressions, contexts, and activities (like rituals, liturgies, pageants, ceremonies, memorials, and such) so that finite human beings and human communities can interact with transcendent realities, starting with the worship of the Creator God. But today in our churches, with the normal views held about artistic expression and artistic specialists, art and artists are generally either written off or not considered in the first place.

This reality is both a shame and a mistake. We need to reshape the church’s thinking habits about creative expression, art, and artists—especially as these things relate to the life of the Church and its worship. The concept of imaginative human expression actually underscores the important role of our God-designed imaginal intelligence.