24 January 2007

God in art: this is not a sermon

i've started a new series at street group, and i plan to blog about it as well. the series is about using art as a bridge to discussion about God and theology. so.. here is the first entry.

rene magritte's piece (shown above) claims "this is not a pipe." i assume most people have been confronted with this piece at some point, which is one of the reasons i chose to start with it. i really like it. magritte is the kind of person i could imagine going out for a coffee with and having a great time while simultaneously embarassing those with us.

to this piece he said, "a picture is not to be confused with something one can touch. can you stuff my pipe? of course not! it is only a representation. had i written on my picture 'this is a pipe,' i would have been lying." (translation by cate)

how does this bring me back to theology? the things that we see and think to know and understand, are only a fracture of the whole truth. as in the painting only a flat representation of a pipe is shown, we see only one dimension of Gods creation. 1 corinthians 13:9-12 says, "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

feel free to comment.. i'm sure there are other things this painting brings to mind..


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