a few years ago, i took a class in college on aesthetics. we struggled all semester to define art. that project was dismissed after several weeks of getting nowhere. i asked that perhaps we could instead come up with a spectrum from good art to bad art–maybe some sort of simple criteria for evaluating our expressive creations.

we didn’t get anywhere with that, either, but i wrote my finial paper on the hagia sophia and how the most transcendent art somehow expresses creation, fall, and redemption.

i went to the l’abri conference in rochester, mn last year and there i heard dennis haack talk about how the best stories embody one or more of the four parts of the gospel: creation, fall, redemption and restoration or consummation.

now i’ve landed in DC and in an amazing discipleship program and the last few weeks we’ve been talking about art with our professor. He read us an excerpt from Walker Percy who says, “Bad books always lie. They lie most of all about the human condition”

this concept is so intriguing to me. the idea that books or films or paintings are good or bad as far as they reflect the human condition accurately. we talked about how an R-rated movie (like SE7EN) can really truly portray the depravity of man better than a G-rated movie that makes life look too rosy.

i feel like i finally have a good way to evaluate art. i’d love to continue this discussion with any of you.