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John Piper offers a wonderful theology of art, in which he defines art as that which is done not merely for utilitarian purposes, but to move or affect.

Strengths of this definition:

  • “good” art affects us in an emotional and/or spiritual way
  • purely pragmatic communication does not seem artful
  • everyone can be artistic in some fashion
  • art and definitions of art should be rooted in God’s character
  • Christians should be more motivated than anyone else to care about art
  • What we could add to this brief definition:

  • some art also has practical purposes (e.g., a beautiful advertisement)
  • art demonstrates the common grace of God, even amongst non-believers
  • art requires intent that sets it apart from everyday actions
  • Joel Jupp
    About Joel Jupp
    Joel Jupp teaches for Moody Bible Institute and Aurora University, and he directs worship music at Lombard Christian Reformed Church. He studied at Taylor University (BA), Ball State University (MA), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div), and Asbury Theological School (D.Min, in progress).