Art for God’s Sake

“…beauty and truth are connected. The problem with some modern and postmodern art is that it seeks to offer truth at the expense of beauty. It tells the truth only about ugliness and alienation, leaving out the beauty of creation and redemption.

A good deal of Christian art tends to have the opposite problem. It tries to show beauty without admitting the truth about sin, and to that extent it is false- dishonest about tragic implications of our depravity. Think of all the bright, sentimental landscapes that portray an ideal world unaffected by the Fall, or light, cheery melodies that characterize the Christian life as one of undiminished happiness. Such a world may be nice to imagine, but it is not the world God sent his Son to save.” -Philip Ryken

Take a look at some of these modern and post-modern paintings.




The first one is by Pablo Picasso, the second is by Mark Rothko. I would encourage you to look up their life stories, and learn why they painted the way they did. It is very enlightening.

The next two are by Christian artists Thomas Kinkade and Stephen Sawyer.



lover of my soul


This says it all. I believe Ryken is correct in what he says in the above quote.

I could give many more examples, but it pained me greatly to find examples of sentimental Christian art, and I don’t think I could bear to do it again.

Thankfully, not all modern and post-modern art fits Ryken’s description. Neither does all of Christian art (thank goodness). But what Ryken call us Christians to is a sensitivity to matters of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and an understanding of the inter-relatedness of these three categories in the realm of art.

Check out Philip Ryken’s book “Art for God’s Sake.”
You can buy it here.

It’s only $6, and is only 58 pages.




About Joshua

Amateur writer and honest inquirer. I love to write and learn by doing so. That's why I'm here.
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