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Johann Sebastian Bach once said “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Bach also said that he worked hard on his craft and those that worked as hard as he did should see results. Bach recognized that believers should excel in whatever they do as that would honor the Savior. For much of Christendom, this maxim was followed. The finest thinkers were Christians; names such as Augustine, Ockham, Anselm, Aquinas, and Pascal still play a central role in secular programs of philosophy. Science, too, saw Christians take the lead with such notables as Newton, Kepler, Boyle, Mendel, and Kelvin. And of course the world's great artists continually produced paintings and statues around biblical themes.
But that seems to have changed today. Peter Kreeft put is best when he said:
Good art both reflects and drives the culture in which it is presented. It is at root a medium that engages the heart first, and then the mind. We know that the story tellers of today are the record producers and the movie directors; and we can see their influence at the fashion shows and at the ballot box. However, Christianity seems to be markedly absent from making a significant impact in this day and age. We've settled for following the lead of those who hold views antithetical to Christianity. I'm not satisfied with the ghettoed Christian music station or television channel. I'm not satisfied with the substandard and derivative work of Christian artists who are supposed to substitute for the secular flavor of the day.
Now, to be sure, I don't want to paint with too broad a brush. LeCrae is topping the hip hop charts all over the place. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien's books are still masterpieces. But we should see more. We should be leading in the arts, not following.
So, I'd like to challenge you, Christian. If you have a passion for storytelling, if you're an artist, filmmaker, writer or musician, work hard and take a risk. Think about how to work hard and honor God while being meaningful. We need to move the culture of today. In so doing we can move people more towards Christ.