On Works Of The Imagination

We deny that God can be known and rightly loved solely through cognition and the understanding of objective propositional statements about God.

“Today most people consider works of imagination as enjoyable distractions, but of little real significance. Even most Christians assume that their cognitive beliefs about God are important, but musical or poetic expressions about God have little purpose beyond making truth about God interesting, enjoyable, or exciting. This leads to the conclusion that what works of imagination we choose are merely a matter of preference or that the only mark of successful sacred art is whether it ignites passion for God.”

 

We affirm that expressions and vehicles of ordinate affections are usually works of imagination, expressed in metaphor: music, poetry, literature, and other arts. The Word of God itself is a work of imagination. At least two works of imagination are commanded for worship: poetry and music (Col 3:16).

We deny that God can be known and rightly loved solely through cognition and the understanding of objective propositional statements about God.

_______________________________________

Today most people consider works of imagination as enjoyable distractions, but of little real significance. Even most Christians assume that their cognitive beliefs about God are important, but musical or poetic expressions about God have little purpose beyond making truth about God interesting, enjoyable, or exciting. This leads to the conclusion that what works of imagination we choose are merely a matter of preference or that the only mark of successful sacred art is whether it ignites passion for God.

Yet works of imagination are more than merely enjoyable for the following reasons:

First, as we have already shown in Article 4, right affections are central to biblical Christianity. Some affections are appropriate for expression to God, while others are not. Even something like love has multiple nuances of response, only some of which are worthy of the Lord. Christians dare not express toward God the same kind of love a man shows toward his wife, for example.

Read More