The Necessary Intersection of Creativity and Theology

And How You Are Both Creative and a Theologian

God is an artist and the best thing He has created is you. He goes to a blank canvas with no instrument in hand. All He needs is His voice. With every word bursting forth into the blank space, the picture begins to take shape. It’s 4-dimensional, it’s living, it’s breathing, it’s here and now. Look around. You are living in His painting. You are His painting.

creativity and theology

The unique thing about you, the thing that sticks out like the proverbial elephant in the room is your reflection. No. Not the thing you see when you look in a mirror. Not the thing you see when you look down into a body of water. You don’t get any credit for this. The unique thing about you is whom you point back to, whom you reflect, whose image you were created in. God put His mark throughout His work of art, but none clearer, none more powerful than in you.

The Necessary Intersection of Creativity and Theology

Who, then, are you? Simply: you’re an artist created by the Grand Artist in His grand piece of art. God creates. We create. Smaller pieces, of course. Much smaller in fact.

He’s the perfect, unchallenged Grand Master at this. We’re the baby trying to crawl – we’re not even novices.

What Just Happened?

Thus far, I could have said three simple statements and I would have communicated the same basic truths:

  1. God is Creator – He has created all that is seen and unseen.
  2. We are created in the image of God.
  3. God is infinite, we are finite.

There’s certainly a time and place for the straight prose of theology, but as carriers of God’s truth (Jesus followers) we should tell God’s story creatively from a foundation of good theology.

The first four paragraphs are vastly different than the three statements above, yet both are communicating the same truths. Which engaged you more? The four paragraphs or the three statements? I don’t claim to be a creative, but I do know that God has created me, just as He has you, to be creative.

We Are All Creative

You may not believe it, but it’s true. It’s in your hardwiring. It comes out in different ways for you than it does for me, but it is still there. In fact, at the most fundamental level, every time you choose to communicate, you are being creative. You are creating words, crafting them together in a unique way that brings about meaning.

Step up to the plate. You are a part of this game. You belong. You’re not out of your league, you may just play a different position.

We Are All Theologians

This one may be even harder to believe, but it’s true. Everyone, no matter their beliefs, is a theologian. You have beliefs about God and you have beliefs about how this world works in conjunction with your beliefs about God. You have beliefs about how your life functions in relation to your beliefs about God. 

Whether or not you have a theology that is biblical is still up for debate, but a theologian you are.

So once again, step up to the plate. You are a part of this game, too.

How They Come Together

There’s certainly a place for the logical thinking, mystery investigating, word parsing theologian.

There’s certainly a place for the story telling, analogy leveraging, medium testing, expressive creative.

There’s also a place where these two come together – and must come together. These two need each other. And these two are both found within you. You may lean more toward one than the other, but never forget that you are a creative theologian. 

But what would it look like if the people who leaned more heavily toward theology and the people who leaned more heavily toward creativity came together to bring forth something that is true and something that is engaging? Wouldn’t it be beautiful? 

Someone Who is Doing Just That

Thomas Terry, the owner of Humble Beast Records, is doing exactly that. And even more, he is an advocate of it. Watch the video below where he talks about the intersection of creativity and theology.

What will you do?

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Brandon is the Spiritual Development Pastor at The Crossing, a church plant on the east side of Cincinnati. He is the author of Crucified to Life and Preaching Sticky Sermons. His passion is helping people discover hope and transformation in Christ. He & his wife, Sara & their daughters, Kairea & Piper, live on the east side of Cincinnati with their two dogs.

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