Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Is Christ Reflected?

Damaris Zehner @ iMonk:
I have a question I’d like all you InternetMonks to tackle. It’s this: Is there any absolute standard of good and bad in the arts?
My answer is the title in this post. - and one Zehner agrees with. Just a couple of comments -

One, It does not take long touring art museums to discover there is a standard - at least not if you bother to look closely and study the picture or sculpture rather than look at it, say "Hmmm, cute" and move on. It is also not just a matter of subject or skill - it is some combination thereof. I am not an art critic, so I am not the best at describing it, but sitting next to each other it is very easy to tell good art from bad - popular art from good - and contrived art as bull*&^%. (There is a lot of this latter category in recent decades.)

Two, I will never, as long as I live, forget that time in lit class when I flat out asked "How do I tell the good from the bad" and was told, "There are no standards." Even in junior high school, I was aghast. I absolutely could not figure out how the world worked that way - It was too arbitrary - hence my attraction to science as a field of study. It has only been in recent years, since I have found some experts than can teach the standards and point me in the right direction to see them, that I have really come to appreciate this stuff.

Which brings me to my final point - I think this is what C.S. Lewis called "joy" in his autobiography. It's a hell of an apologetic and I don't know why we do not appeal to it any more. Have most people become so self-absorbed that they cannot see how chaotic things really are around them?

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