Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fallacy # 2: All Art Tells the Truth

This fallacy sound similar to the former but it is really much more subtle. This argument does not equate art with truth, but rather since all art is stating something and speaking to a real audience, then we may assume that there is truth to be heard in each artwork. This theory, however, like the former is a bit naive. It takes only a quick perusal of any artistic form to find error, or at least contradiction between worldviews. Take for example literature.

C.S. Lewis has keenly noted that the "value structure of most literature (and of the other arts) is...'sub-Christian.'" Lewis clarifies by outlining what the value system of European literature looks like: (1) honor; (2) sexual love; (3) material prosperity; (4) Pantheistic contemplation of nature; (5) Sehnsuct [longing] awakened by the past, the remote, or the (imagined) supernatural; (6) liberation of impulses. And it is not European literature alone that bears these hallmarks. Everything from Kate Chopin to Charles Brockden Brown to Henry David Thoreau (not to speak of the more modern authors).

Beyond literature we find divergent worldviews in music, movies, and paintings. John Cage's philosophy behind his composition is particularly dangerous, as is Jackson Pollock's approach to painting. One need only look at what various artistic and imaginative expressions are actually saying to find the fallacious nature of this statement: all art tells the truth.

We must be discerning with our art appreciation. Know that inherent in every piece is a worldview that may or may not fit with the Biblical worldview, it is your job to asses the imaginative, reflect upon it, compare it with Scripture, and decide.

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