As we noted in the last post, God created the original perfection. While this should not be minimized, the first understanding we should have about creation, is what it says about it's creator, namely that God is creative! This is a very obvious conclusion, but something which we may have not thought about. We have not considered the implications of what it means when we understand that God is an artist. Edith Schaeffer wrote on this subject considerably:
"The only artist who is perfect in all forms of creativity--in technique, in originality, in knowledge of the past and future, in versatility, in having perfect content to express as well as perfect expression of content, in having perfect truth to express as well as perfect expression of truth, in communicating perfectly the wonders of all that exist as well as something about Himself, is of course God--the God who is Personal. God the Artist! ~ Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art
If God is an artist, and we are created in His image, not only are we His art, we each are artist ourselves. So when we create, after our creator, we honor something of His initial creativity.
Yet, there is something more we need to consider about God's art. God's art is not in it's original form. It is as if God painted the most perfect painting of the broadness of nature and it's landscapes and man to live within it and then another came along and violently cut it across it's canvas, tearing it's beauty and man with it! If we let this sink in, we can feel the loss. We can truly lament the destructiveness unjustly wrought upon God's art! Much like the tears Jesus shed over Lazerus, we weep ourselves, if we truly take the Fall of mankind and creation seriously.
As a result we should consider that nature is no longer properly reflecting the testimony of order that God intended in His perfect art. Consider these words from Schaeffer:
"...nature provides no sufficient base for either morals or law, because nature is both cruel and noncruel." ~ Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?Schaeffer is not merely being philosophical here. He is replying to the attempts of man to use nature for these things and likewise echoing a tenant of scripture:
Nature is in bondage to corruption and subject to futility:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:19-22 ESV)Thus nature, like us, awaits the coming of Christ, who will not only completely restore the image of His people, but also nature itself.
Yet, we should not forget, however, that God's creation still speaks, bearing not just the testimony of Adam's violence, but it speaks still strongly enough, though the noetic affects of the fall, with the strength to declare God’s invisible attributes:
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 ESV)This is significant, and should help us to understand where our true hope rest. Not in man, he is imperfect. Not in nature, it is imperfect. It rest in the message of the creator, who has sought to restore His divine painting! We should understand that one of the most prominent themes of scripture is the restoratative aspect of God's Covenant. Remember the promise to Abraham after he was prevented from offering Isaac, who was typologically a representation of the offering of Christ?
"and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:18 ESV)Thusly, Christ, Abraham's offspring, has blessed the nations.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (some manuscripts read, "peace and goodwill among men)So now consider this: In Christ, there is this thorough understanding of restoration!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV)Wow! So, now returning to the understanding of creativity. We are no longer creatures of the fall, but the recreated process has begun, from the inside out. We are being restored, the painting restoration has been paid for in blood, the Son of God was cut, that the perfectly painted canvas that was tore in two might be fully restored.
So what does this mean for us? As Transformationalist, we are in between these two worlds and we must now make strides to represent our true citizenship to the watching world. We are to strive to be personal in a world that follows impersonal nature. We are to be creative, in a world that steadily sees creative and merely utilitarian or abstract. We create after our Creator, who gives meaning to the creation and our creativity shows our inheritance to His creativity, who has both created and re-created His people.
This will be what I will strive to represent personally in my post on this blog in various ways. From time to time, I will display intentional acts of creativity. I do this with the intent of honoring and glorifying Christ, and showing the beauty of creativity as a testimony of His creativity, before a watching world. Join me! Join me in your life, declare the God of creation, through creative acts!
When we are creative, when we restore beauty, we display the miraculous nature of our redeption.