This came through my blogroll last night. It is well worth reading.
Recently, I’ve been engaged in heavy conversations with multiple people about art’s role in Christianity — or rather, its lack thereof, within Christian circles. Along with it, I’ve noticed, comes a tendency within such stories to go the way of intellectual laziness. Establishing straw men arguments to tear down to vindicate a shallow perspective is the height of intellectual laziness. Watching the original film, I felt ashamed of its narrow focus. None of the atheists in my life are closed-minded, judgmental, or “angry at God,” because how can you be secretly angry at Someone who, in their mind, does not exist?
C. S. Lewis stated in one of his books that God is no fonder of intellectual laziness than any other kind. Christian films (and books, and music, and art) are only deep and profound when deep and profound truths permeate them. When Sunday School answers fade, and Reality takes its place. When hard questions do not always have answers, much less simplistic ones. The most engaging art is not an evangelism tool, it is an exploration of a deep connection to essential truths, with a willingness not to preach, merely to breathe.
There is a reason The Lord of the Rings will carry on for generations. Its messages are in its depths, not in its words. The greatest novels, the ones that stir our heart, the best films, are not propaganda but art containing truth. As artists, aspire to that kind of art — art for its own sake, that glorifies God through reflecting Him, that shines not on the pages but between the lines because you are so full of Him that your worldview bleeds into the spine, rather than inserting Him awkwardly into its texts. He made you in His image… to create.