Free Essay: Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer

Published: 2022-11-30
Free Essay: Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Art Bible
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1358 words
12 min read

In his book, Art and the Bible, Francis Schaeffer presents a foundation for the development of how Christians should view art. In the collection of his two essays, Schaeffer provides both the biblical precedent of how Christians should enjoy the freedom to create art and further offers procedures for how Christians should generate the art. Schaeffer elaborates the principles that should guide the artists because just as the musicians and preachers, their art is their interpretation of the biblical worldview. He emphasizes on the need to align our worldview with the scriptures. Schaeffer believes that the worship of God is the highest calling and worshipping God entails being concerned with His creation and identifying and appreciating the God-given abilities in the form of art. Christian artists should seek to glorify God through the mediums of art and creative works. This book gives a detailed insight that God is interested in art and that evangelicals and the Christian community should embrace art as a form of worshipping God. Schaeffer explains that art should not be idolized, but instead, Christians through artistic works should reflect a faithful picture of the Christian worldview.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Summary of the Book

Schaeffer's book Art and the Bible is divided into two chapters or essays that expounds on the Christian view of the art. In the first Chapter, Schaeffer attempts to give Biblical reasons and examples that art is a Godly pursuit. He first illustrates how the Christian life which is inclusive of the works of art is governed by the Lordship of Christ and God who are in charge of our lives (Schaeffer, 2009). Schaeffer disputes the fact that the ten commandments prohibit the creation of works of art as some Christians argue. The ten commandments forbid the worship of graven images, and this is used as an objection towards art. Schaeffer, however, disregards this notion by presenting data that illustrates the works of art in the Bible. He gives multiple examples some of which include; the Temple, the Tabernacle (represents tapestry) and the Solomon's Temple (architecture) as evidence that God approves the works of art (Schaeffer, 2009). He further illustrates how poetry (the Psalms), drama (some of the prophet's signs), songs (of David) and dance (in the Levites who played music for the Temple worship) depict the works of art in the Bible. Schaeffer with the use of rhetorical questions elaborates how the creation of the birds, trees, mountains, winds and bird's songs not only represent religious objects but works of art (Schaeffer, 2009).

In the second chapter, Schaeffer gives the principles of how Christians should pursue their interest in art, how to evaluate it and worship God through art. He emphasizes that art has value in itself as an art, and any work of art such as a painting, a novel, or music must be first appreciated and evaluated for its aesthetic value before grasping the message regardless of whether it is a Christian message (Schaeffer, 2009). Schaeffer also explains the need for validity and emphasizes the word that the art ought to express. He acknowledges that styles of art are constantly changing and Christian artists should embrace the changes. Some other attributes of evaluating the art described by Schaeffer include technical abilities that represent the artistic skills of Christian artists (Schaeffer, 2009). According to Schaeffer (2009), Christian artists should be equipped with worldview intellectual content, and their messages should be related to their artistic vehicle. He identifies four different kinds of artists, and these are; a Christian with a Christian worldview, a Christian with a non-Christian worldview, a non-Christian with a non-Christian worldview and lastly a non-Christian with a Christian worldview. Finally, Schaeffer believes that art is an essential medium of worship and that it reflects the creativity of Christians (Schaeffer, 2009).

Points that I Agree With

The book prompts questions such as the place of art in Christian life. Most Christians and evangelicals have relegated art and put more emphasis on human life. I agree with Schaeffer that the concept of the Lordship of Christ has been misunderstood and the riches the Bible provides about culture and Christian life has been ignored. Christians who feel that the art is forbidden in the Bible quote the readings of the ten commandments without giving attention to the kind of art that was represented by Moses such as the representations of flowers, blossoms, and nature which represent natural beauty (McCullough, 2015). I agree with Schaeffer that God is only interested with beauty as is seen with his creations such as the mountain Alps, birds, trees, and beautiful people, and as much art has a place in the worship of God. Art does not in any way deal with the religious subject matter but instead represents representational art of both seen and unseen world (McCullough, 2015).

I also agree with Schaeffer's findings that God is ever looking upon the works of art as long as Christians maintain and work under the Lordship of Christ. Christians should emulate the type of architecture that was used in constructing the temples and use those skills in praising God. The creative part of the Christian life should be devoted to Christ because Christ is the Lord of whole life and the Christian life should be filled with truth and beauty (Turner, 2017). Schaeffer also explains how the human being is engaged in the works of art whether as professional or amateurs through books, music, or just by admiring flowers, and this gives a sense that the Christian life itself is a work of art.

I concur with Schaeffer's Christian perspective of art that states art represents beauty, pleasure, empowers a message and carries with it a shared symbol of communication. This makes it possible for a non-Christian writer or painter according to the Christian worldview (Turner, 2017). Schaeffer depicts a type of art that is affected by changes in styles, but for Christians, accepting those changes is not bad as long as they do not violate the teachings of the Bible. Art should represent the themes of Christian view that claim man is broken and God is perfect.

Personal Opinion

Schaeffer's book gives a more detailed insight into how Christians should use the different forms of art to worship and praise God. Human beings are made in God's image, and the works of art created by human beings are highly appreciated by God as long as it conforms to the scriptures. This book also helps Christians understand some of the fundamental truths about art. The book also enlightens Christians on the need to embrace cultural changes and changes in the art without compromising the theological and doctrinal teachings. The book gives a clear image of the relationship between culture and spiritual life by explaining that the works of art are not a waste of time in the light of eternity. God has gifted human beings with nature, and it is through the actions of minds and hands that Christians can express the works of art. This book depicts Schaeffer as an advocate of the works of art for the Christians and non-Christians. He represented a liberating expression for the lovers of art and also gave guidelines on how art should be used to support biblical views. This book provides a specific type of freedom mixed with a balanced and clear understanding of the works of art.


Both Christians and non-Christians should engage in arts because God appreciates the work of art, and the Bible mentions almost every kind of art such as drama, dance, music, architecture, representational art and poetry and how they were used to glorify God. Christians should not treat works of art as "worldly" pleasures or secular but should use art to worship God. Schaeffer illustrates the importance of appreciating art because it has value in itself and it is as important as the message it portrays. Christians need to value art and use the works of art as mediums to worship God.


McCullough, J. (2015). Sense and Spirituality: The Arts and Spiritual Formation. The Lutterworth Press.

Schaeffer, F. A. (2009). Art and the Bible. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Turner, S. (2017). Imagine: A vision for Christians in the arts. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Cite this page

Free Essay: Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer. (2022, Nov 30). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism