The Power of Art

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We watched this at the Centricity Music retreat this week, and it touched me profoundly.  Spend a few minutes appreciating the story of how this artist came to know Christ.  Beautiful.

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


12 Comments

  1. Paul

    How personally profound.
    I have not been able to paint for about 5 years, not at least with any inspiration.
    I too will seek the word as this gentlemen has and seek Him
    Thanks for sharing, God meant for me to see this.

  2. Hunter

    Great video, Andrew. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 The music in the video is all by one one my favorite bands, by the way – Hammock. http;//www.hammockmusic.com/ Check them out if you haven’t heard them before.

  3. Mike

    I’ve been thinking about John 4 and how it seems to me that Jesus was telling the woman that He wanted to change her nature. Its very natural to thirst. How unnatural to never thirst again. Yet that is what He was promising. Great video and yes it speaks to us on an unnatural level. It seems natural to want to fill ourselves with the things of God yet very unnatural to allow Him to do the filling.

  4. Profile photo of Curt McLey

    Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    Besides being really well made, I agree Andy, it is profoundly moving. I had a big lump in my throat from about the first minute in, and the rest of the way through. I’ve been thinking about this topic all week, so the video smacked me particularly hard. Pastors, teachers, leaders, artists—any Christian that spends time on “stage” or in the public eye—are particularly vulnerable in this area, though we are all susceptible. We run the risk of being modern day Pharisees—or at best, hypocrites—that are consumed with looking good, maintaining a godly image (mechanical, going through the motions), than simply living in Christ. I am a cripple of my own design, until I “empty my buckets.” It’s a beautiful thing, so simple, and yet we make it so hard.

  5. Chris from PA

    Nice… Comes to me while reading through a book my dad told me I have to read by William P. Young…yes, it is right next to me so I could include the “P”… Called “the Shack.” How differently we perceive the Maker of all that is good and how He fits into our everyday occurences… Now back to reading the book… I have to…the next “Wingfeather Saga” isn’t written yet!

  6. Tony Heringer

    Barliman…I’m sending this link on to my wife. She heads up a arts academy at our church. It fits her mission.

    Did this artist ever exhibit his Gospel of John paintings? It reminds me of a collection put on last Easter — local artists submitted paintings related to “The Stations of the Cross.”

    There is a lot to be teased out here, but I’m just absorbing the testimony of this man. Awesome! However, you were at a retreat, so I’d be curious as to some of the thoughts that came from the audience of aritists there. Give us a recap or have some of your compadres post out here.

    P.S. I agree with Mike, it would be good to have ‘The Shack” reviewed here.

  7. Tony Heringer

    After I posted, I was reminded of something I recently read in a book called “(Re)Thinking Worldwiew: Learning to Think, Live and Speak in This World” by J. Mark Bertrand. In a section entitled “The Engine Is Stalled and Flooded” the author has this to say:

    “Too often, rather than developing critical perspectives that empower expression, evangelicals evolve systems that restrain and channel it into tightly prescribed outlets. But what is witness if not unrestrained expression; a desire to share what one knows without regard to setting or propriety?

    Bearing witness has more in common with creativity than criticism. While criticism delights in analysis, creativity is, first and foremost, an urge to tell. … I’m an artist more than an intellectual, more comfortable with fiction than nonfiction, and every word I write reveals the gaps in my knowledge–or, more precisely, the vast empty deserts of ignorance that connect the occasional oases of understanding. When you bear witness, you expose yourself in a way that the careful critic never does.

    I shouldn’t be too hard on the critical perspective, though, because I’m a big believer in that kind of detached, measured thinking. But we must draw a distinction between healthy and unhealthy criticism, and the difference in their fruit. Criticism is healthy when it supports creativity, wisdom leading to witness. It is unhealthy when it inhibits cultural contribution, either by stigmatizing it or by failing to equip us with the necessary tools and mindset.

    When creativity is encouraged, it is often not accompanied by the kind of rigor necessary to make a successful contribution to the larger culture. … What we need, both personally and corporately, is a healthy critical outlook that organically blends into creative contribution.”

    This video seems to be an appeal to creative expression as a way to bear witness to Christ. Did your session at the Centricity retreat lead to that type of dialogue? That is what I had in mind in my last post and I think the above passage was what prompted it.

    On a side note, I do think the Rabbit Room is place where a “healthy critical outlook…organically blends into creative contribution.” It is my prayer that our time here leads to many “successful contributions to the larger culture.”

    Thanks, once again, Barliman (a.k.a. Andrew Peterson, The Proprietor, AP, etc., etc., etc.) by starting up this site, you have done a very good thing indeed!

  8. Chris from PA

    “The Shack”…with this video makes quite clear the relationship we attempt to have with God…or lack thereof…along with causing a person to question who he or she considers God’s role in this world to be. Special note is made to the fictional line of the book rather than the real life version of “The Version of Art.” Though one may be able to read this book in a short amount of time, like the watching of the video presented here, to the artist’s mind, pause is made during the process to absorb the complexity created with every stroke of key or brush. Okay, you gotta read it…

  9. Brece

    This video was simply amazing. I loved the part where he said his original approach to art was for the eye and not the heart. But then God showed him differently. If I could approach the rest of life that way as well. So much of my life is approaching how things look to other people, or how easy things will be for me to get through life and not truly looking at what my heart says or what God is showing me. I have seen this guy actually work and while the video was great at explaining, it may be even better to see what happens as he works. How pictures and themes are uncovered as the time progresses. How God reveals through the hands and paint of a simple man, just trying to talk about what God has put on this guy’s heart.

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