1. Great article, Mark.

  2. Travis Perry says:

    Yeah, I visited Rome in 2012. I was really amazed by many aspects of the city, and while I have been to many cathedrals that inspired a sense of God’s greatness, St. Peter’s struck me as a building intended to impress upon those who visited the greatness of the CHURCH and not God. I actually disliked most of the building, though there are individual works of art within St. Peter’s I thought were great.

    And there is a lesson of course as you said–Christian art should not primarily be about praise of the artist…

  3. Although I haven’t seen the Vatican, I have been in gorgeous church buildings both in Europe and the United States. The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. is pretty incredible. I understand your disquiet, your thoughts here. Although these buildings were built to lift our eyes to God, to put us in awe of his majesty, we are often instead caught staring at the gold-plating and the intricate designs. Are these buildings a celebration of Christ or a celebration of man?
    As a writer who knows artists (I can’t draw stick figures or paint or sculpt), I know Christians who create art for God’s glory would rather have His majesty proclaimed than their own. I think the creation of beautiful churches can be a way of worship for craftsmen and artisans. However, they can be part of an empire that distracts us from who Christ really is – the Son of God and the Son of Man, born in a stable, a carpenter, a preacher who spoke to thousands on hillsides and from fishing boats, a man who understood the parable of the yeast and the parable of the the prodigal son.
    Jesus showed us God’s love in every action and word. To follow him, to honor him, to worship him – we know we need to love like him.

What do you think?