My son 18-year-old son and I enjoy listening to the Avett Brothers. Musical compatibility with a teen isn’t always easy, so I’m thankful. When he told me that some listeners wish they wouldn’t sing about their faith, I just laughed and shook my head.

It’s not that easy to take the worldview out of the art.

In Nancy Pearcy’s book Total Truth, she says this about worldview:

We might say that each of us carries a model of the universe inside our heads that tells us what the world is like and how we should live in it . . . The Marxist may claim that human behavior is ultimately shaped by economic circumstances; the Freudian attributes everything to repressed sexual instincts; and the behavioral psychologist regards humans as stimulus-response mechanisms. But the Bible teaches that the overriding factor in the choices we make is our ultimate belief or religious commitment. Our lives are shaped by the “god” we worship—whether the God of the Bible or some substitute deity.

Our worldview is the filter through which we view the world: Does God exist? If so, who is in control, God or man? Is there life beyond death? Is man self-sufficient or dependent on the love and guidance of an all-powerful and merciful God?

Your worldview will impact your answers to these questions and may be radically different than that of your neighbor or the person standing next to you in line at the grocery store.

In John 15:26-27 Jesus says:

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

If the Holy Spirit lives within us, a spirit of truth that testifies of Jesus Christ and enables us to bear witness of him, then practically speaking how do we bear that witness?

In active love towards family and friends.

In our daily walk, both public and private.

In the art we create.

You don’t need a paintbrush, a guitar, or a camera to make art. If we do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) then what we create should honor that spirit inside of us, not deny it.

Looking for the worldview is habit for me, but not for my kids. It’s important to teach them that everyone doesn’t create from the same perspective. When I hear “Next time I’ll be braver, I’ll be my own savior” in a song on the radio, I recognize the humanism and I need to help my kids see it, too.

You don’t need to be your own savior if you recognize that you have the Savior.

Whether or not we’re consciously aware, our art reflects a working out of our earthly salvation in the day-to-day, living in response to the unfathomable sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross.

Do you think about the worldviews represented in music, literature, television, art, and movies? How does the artist’s worldview influence what they create?

by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet Home

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  1. 1

    Dawn,
    I like the line, ” our art reflects a working out of our earthly salvation in the day to day…”. I pray daily that my writing would reflect my worldview of being God-centered. Even my daughter who dances, would say she works out her worldview in her dance and movement. I think the two are inseparable (art and worldview). Thanks for being a window into God’s great love with your photography!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 2

      Bev, I think you’re completely right that your daughter can work out her worldview in her dancing. Thank you so much for the compliment on my photography!

  2. 3

    loved this – “You don’t need a paintbrush, a guitar, or a camera to make art. If we do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) then what we create should honor that spirit inside of us, not deny it.” and the quote on the picture.

    thank you.

  3. 4

    Love this (along with the rest of your post…) – “If the Holy Spirit lives within us, a spirit of truth that testifies of Jesus Christ and enables us to bear witness of him, then practically speaking how do we bear that witness?

    In active love towards family and friends.

    In our daily walk, both public and private.”

    My eldest struggles with the “fact” that others cannot see the God she sees. Through their study of 10th grade biology with evolution – a favorite section of her teacher, she has difficulty answering the required questions “how does this prove evolution…etc” I try to encourage her to learn about the beliefs of others, to see their viewpoint, yet still remain sure of the the One who holds it all. Thank you for your encouragement to take the day to day events, thoughts and actions – step-by-step for His glory!

    • 5

      Holly, I feel for your daughter. I teach a 10th grade biology class, but from a Christian worldview. My 7th grade daughter just did a presentation on an animal that defies evolution (the giraffe), but I get the feeling your daughter’s teacher wouldn’t like her turning the question around.

  4. 6

    I hope my eternal and Godly views are reflected in the writing and the art I create. I am drawn to others who do the same. I can appreciate the others influences and views, but I far prefer the uplifting Christ centered world.

  5. 7

    You can’t take the worldview out of the art. My daughter is being bothered by a book, Squids will be Squids. Dawn, as an artist you will know how this can affect a 12 year old artist, right? She prays for the authors to know Christ.
    In our homeschool we are going to be studying a worldview curriculum called Starting Points. I hope that it helps us think about worldview more. Pretty much we have soaked ourselves in scripture songs and hymns, but as we turn to high school it is time to arm ourselves for reaching out to the world!

    • 8

      I’m glad you’re there to guide your daughter. She may not be able to reach those authors, but she can be an influence right there in her own life.

  6. 9
    Beth Williams says:

    Dawn,

    I see the worldviews daily on news, tv, magazines, even at work (college setting). I don’t like what I see. My perspective is that people feel anything goes–if it feels good, looks good, etc do it, wear it, eat it–don’t worry about the consequences of your actions. We also have a generation of “entitled” people out there thinking big government owes them something just because theyare!

    I listen to Christian music mostly as I like the view it represents. Mostly I watch clean cut TV, if any at all. My world view is Christ is the head of me–my Lord, YES There is life after death. Praise God I will get to see my animals & parents some day!

    • 10

      Beth, it sounds like you’ve got a strong worldview filter. There are a lot of people who “trade what they know for what they feel” (see the song lyrics in the bubble in the photo).

  7. 11

    So very, very true! My kids are younger, and my kindergartener is just learning that other world views exist. But if we aren’t careful to recognize them, they can slip right past us, and into our own hearts and minds. So important to teach these things to our kids! Thanks for the reminder.

    • 12

      Rachael, this is so true! If you don’t acknowledge and recognize those worldviews, they can suck you in. Maybe not in all areas, but they are sneaky sometimes.

  8. 13

    Have you read Nancy’s newer book, Saving Leonardo? In it she discusses worldview in relationship to fine art, film, and books as well.
    We all have a worldview and it can’t help but affect our artistic expression, and yes, all of our life decisions.

    • 14

      Elizabeth, I have Saving Leonardo, but I’m not too far into it yet. It’s even a recommended resource for the high school classes I teach.

      • 15
        Anonymous says:

        My son took a class from Nancy where she taught Saving Leonardo while it was in its draft form. The high schoolers in that class gave her feedback which she incorporated into the final book.
        She’s a phenomenal teacher.

  9. 16
    SoCalLynn says:

    This will be a great conversation over lunch today with my 13 year old daughter. She is homeschooled, and we are a Christian family, but we have many conversations about world view and I am so thankful that she, at her young age, seems to already have a firm grasp of this concept and already uses it to discern truth when looking at the world.

  10. 17

    Dawn, this is something I’m just coming to realize the importance of. We are on the cusp of double digits with our oldest and it feels like the weight of the world(view) is on our shoulders right now. This post came at a tender time in my parenting, as I struggle to define what the top priorities need to be as we zero in on the influences coming in from the outside of our home and how to teach our children to be critical of them. This is a conversation that I so wish mothers would have, and have graciously, more often so that we could share strategies. I so appreciated this post!

  11. 18

    I am writing a paper on educational philosophy today, so the timing of your post is uncanny: As part of a final paper, for a Master’s level course at a public university, I discuss how spirituality plays a role in our learning. One always hesitates to ‘go there’ at a public learning setting and I feel this is so incredibly sad, especially sad that I admit to initially feeling this as well. As the learner in this situation, I have more freedom. I had made a short comment on the topic earlier in the semester, and the professor actually thanked me for broaching the subject. Doing so provided her leeway to dive into the topic with her response. My heart was warmed that even at a public university, which can feel spiritually-barren at times, those with Christian worldviews do indeed exist.

    Simply LOVE your post, Dawn. Thank you.

  12. 20

    This is kind of different i guess…. I like that you said we show our worldview through our art…all that we do and say paints a picture. To me mercy is a very important quality of God and He wants it in me. And i’ve noticed with different people that some times it’s best to pray rather than speak. Not always. People now bristle with the name of Jesus. Usually because it’s been forced on them at some point rather than offered to them. So rather than alienate them and lose them i ask God for mercy from me and Him on their behalf. Sometimes they bring the subject up and i speak as I can. Sometimes I wait for an open door.

  13. 21
    Brooke Burger says:

    I concur, I cannot seperate my beliefs from how I see the world. My faith in God is what makes me what I am.

  14. 22

    What a beautiful song so simple is the love we share. I loved it!

  15. 24

    Excellent post!

    I’ve only recently discovered that this is an area we as Christians (even non-Christians really) would do well to educate ourselves about.

    Because whether we realize it or not all of us are seeing things through a worldview and are also being fed a slew of worldviews that run completely contrary to Christianity. So being able to identify how those worldviews differ is faith & truth building to us personally & extremely important to teach to our kids as well.

    I’m in the middle of reading “Saving Leonardo” by Nancy Pearcey and it’s incredibly eye-opening, so I was happy to see you making a reference to one of her books (haven’t read that one yet).

    Thanks again for the thoughtful post, keep up the good work!