1. Bethany J. says:

    Lovely post!  Thank you for the writing inspiration today. 🙂

  2. Johne Cook says:

    I think the language is important. What are you rebelling against? I’d agree if you said creativity is an act of rebellion against the status quo, against business-as-usual, against falling into a rut. Creativity in that sense is swimming against the stream and doing something different (not unlike breaking off from the herd and finding the narrow gate). 
    Using other language, I think there is one Creation, God’s creativity, literally making something out of nothing, and everything do is Invention inside God’s Creation. In that sense, our Invention isn’t rebellion, it is mimicking God’s burst of originality with our own efforts to make something new, something uniquely our own, and I think that honors God. 

    • Lauren says:

      That was my initial reaction as well — that creativity (exactly in the terms that Yvonne describes it)  is a form of rebellion. By using our writing to glorify God, we’re rebelling against many of the “norms” in culture and in modern literature.
      Rebellion is not necessarily a bad thing, although it seems to have picked up that connotation.  I think all fiction writers rebel in their own way, not against God, but against, as Johne suggests, the humdrum of everyday existence. In speculative fiction, especially, aren’t we asking the “What if?” questions? What if animals could talk? What if there were life on another planet? What if dragons were real?
      I think that creativity is rebellion, but it is worship as well.
      Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

  3. Thanks, Bethany!
    And also, thanks Johne – and I agree with you concerning both things you brought up: 1) the “rebellion” of creativity isn’t necessarily against God; and 2) we can’t create anything (as in, something from nothing) but can only use what God has given us.
    The fact is, I don’t know the context of the original quote. It could very well have referred to rebellion against the status quo, as you suggested. My response was based on my initial reaction to seeing the statement in a tweet. I replied to the tweeter (“Possibly — or is it worship?”) but got no response, and I didn’t pursue it further.
    Interesting side-thought: if creativity is rebellion against the status quo, could compliance with the norm be considered worship of it?

    • Lauren says:


      Interesting side-thought: if creativity is rebellion against the status quo, could compliance with the norm be considered worship of it?

      WOW! I had never thought of it that way before. I think you’re absolutely right. Definitely food for thought, both in writing and in everyday life.

  4. Galadriel says:

    Have you read the passage on this in On-Fairy Stories by Tolkien or a similar passage with Aule and the Dwarves in the Silmarillion? I don’t feel like getting up to find the book right now, but it’s 
    Yet the making of things is in my heart from my own making by thee; and the child of little understanding that makes a play of the deeds of his father may do so without thought of mockery, but because he is the son of his father.

  5. Wow, the pastor really said that? Talk about God sending you a message direct. 🙂
    Yeah, I’m not sure who creativity is rebelling against, aside from maybe our culture, which worships all things ugly. I guess it just depends on the spirit of your rebelling.
    There’s also the counter-quote, and I forget who it’s from: “Let the excellence of your work be your protest.” If I remember correctly, someone said it to Michael Card, who pinned it to the wall where he could see it every day.

  6. Cathie Adams says:

    I remember the former pastor saying that, Yvonne.  I intend to write my thoughts, fiction, and poetry until my last breath.  However, I’m not sure the rest of the world wants to read what I write.  Time will tell if an editor wants to share my words of creativity with anyone else.  (LOL)

    • Good – if you remember it too, Cathie, then I didn’t just imagine it! As Kessie said, it’s not often you get something that direct and pointed from the pulpit.
      Funny thing is, I later read the book that inspired him so (Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller) and I didn’t much care for it.

  7. Very interesting, provocative post!  I linked to this from my Facebook account.  Thanks for the encouragement and spurring an equally interesting discussion!

What do you think?