How Can the Arts Aid in Evangelism?

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Editors’ note: 

For more reading on evangelism in a time and place where Christianity is not the dominant worldview, see Evangelism as Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in Our Own Land from The Gospel Coalition.

In this video, Thomas Terry explains how people approach truth and the role of beauty in communicating the story of the gospel.

The following is a lightly edited transcript provided by a transcription service. Please check video before quoting.

We live in a unique time and space in our culture where the world interprets truth through beauty. So it’s not the PhD that wins the argument anymore; it is the person with the most Twitter followers, who have the biggest social platforms. Those people who sell the most records, those who are most creative, they win.

If we were infusing truth in our creativity, we could bring to the culture, substance and significance. We could beautify the gospel in a way that is palatable for the culture today. If we were to examine the way Paul engaged the culture in his day, he used the philosophers of the age. He engaged the culture in a way that was understood by the culture. And so we can do that as creatives by using beauty to communicate these robust truths of the gospel. We can actually use creativity to speak about significance and meaning and the transcendent God simply by creating amazing and beautiful things.

But so often, we throw beauty out because it’s hard to understand, and it’s subjective, whereas truth is absolute. And I think we need to do a better job at marrying truth and beauty. That will help the culture to digest this beautiful message of the gospel.