A Van Gogh Observation about Christ

I think that Christians can learn a lot about their faith from people from outside of the fold, people who have not been “Christianized” into their faith much like a machine-line product. Those of us raised in a Christian culture have to be careful that our faith is not merely something that we have imbibed from the atmosphere of our life much like other parts of our identity—gender roles, political affiliation, affiliation with the “local sports team”, etc.

Now I am not at artist though I am married to one and have learned a lot from her as I have had to recognize and learn to live with someone who looks at the world differently than I do. She also brings a different perspective to my faith from time to time, not having been “Christianized” as I have been. And I receive weekly emails from another artist, Robert Genn, who also has interesting things to share about space which are often relevant to spirituality. Today I want to share with you an observation about Jesus made by Vincent Van Gogh which I found really interesting. He saw Jesus as an artist but an artist whose medium was the human spirit and life.

I can well understand that you were a trifle surprised to hear how little I liked the Bible, although I have often tried to study it more thoroughly. Only its kernel—Christ—seems to me, from an artistic point of view, to stand higher than, or at any rate to be somewhat different from Greek, Indian, Egyptian, and Persian antiquities, although these also stood on a very high plane. But, I repeat, this Christ is more of an artist than all artists—he worked in living spirits and bodies—he made men instead of statues.

(This quote shared by one of my favorite bloggers, a Quaker who lives in England, whose blog is titled, “Finding God in 365 Days”)

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3 thoughts on “A Van Gogh Observation about Christ

  1. pilgrim52

    Well, I’m honored to be one of your fav bloggers! I am not an artist either, but I am married to one; a musician. I envy those who can create art like paintings, music, etc. Some say you and I create art with words and perhaps that’s so, but I observe and write. I wouldn’t call it ‘creating’. Is that wrong?

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    1. literary lew Post author

      Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps not “creating”…but very important. I don’t really know. Words, critically applied to reality, certainly can “paint” a picture. I just don’t know. Glad you liked Stefan George. Don’t know a lot about him but those two observations of his really grabbed me. Thanks for trusting me with your email. And, I know you won’t mind the endless barrage of spam that I will now send your way!

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