204. against a pragmatic view of the arts

pragmatic – adjective, dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations

Art, in the world but perhaps more so in the church, is often forced to justify itself. “To what ends?” the question goes. “What’s it for, what will it do, what will the return on investment be?” But I think about a flower sent to a woman one loves. Maybe there are some who send that flower with those utilitarian questions answered in their minds – “to woo, to get her to love me, to get some booty.” What woman wants a flower weighed down by all that baggage? And I think art that is forced to submit to utilitarian ends becomes just as crass and meaningless. But to the one who gives their love a flower out of unconditional love, that is an act of beauty. And that’s the kind of patronage Christian artists need from the church. In fact, it’s the kind of support that all artists need regardless of religious affiliation.

ps. sorry for the lack of blog entries recently. I have a bunch of ideas in the queue so stay tuned.

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