October 23, 2014 | Kacey Chambers |
Written By: Dr. Steve D. Whitaker, Head of School
The divide between the church and culture with respect to the arts seems to be ever widening. Sorina Higgins with the Cardus Institute says, “The history of Protestant denominations shying away from visual arts for fear of idolatry, distraction, or idiosyncratic interpretation is well known. The ‘worship wars’ over music have been bitter. When churches have dared to include drama, painting, sculpture, or literary arts, the results have often been lackluster at best and heterodox at worst.”
But it need not be so. Francis Schaeffer believed that for the “Christian, redeemed by the work of Christ and living within the norms of Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the Lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts. A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God – as things of beauty to the praise of God.”
My prayer is that here at The First Academy we can embrace and elevate the arts. After all, the arts were His idea. At the heart of the Gospel message stands the Creator God. His canvas reveals the majestic colors of the sunset. His artistic hands formed the wonders of humankind. His voice spoke peace to the stormy sea, breathed healing into the body of a dying child and, still today, communicates hope in the midst of tragedy. If we fail to see God in His creative wonder, we miss the beauty of who He is and who we were designed to be – His image bearers.
This week we have the opportunity to celebrate the arts at The First Academy as our upper school students perform Godspell in our new Black Box Theatre. The show is a musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. It first opened off Broadway in 1971 and then experienced a revival, running on Broadway from October 13, 2011, to June 24, 2012. The show is taken from a series of parables, mostly from the Gospel of Matthew. Schwartz and Tebelak intersperse an exciting array of modern music with lyrics from traditional hymns. The passion of Christ is treated briefly near the end of the performance.
The students have diligently prepared themselves and they look forward to an exciting opening performance next Thursday, October 30 at 7:00pm. The show will continue Friday, October 31 as well as November 6-8. For details and ticket options, click HERE.
Steve D. Whitaker, Ph. D
Head of School