At a time when Bibles were scarce and many people illiterate, art became a way to communicate Biblical truth to people who wouldn't otherwise know the stories and concepts of the Bible. That art has survived decades and is recognized today as brilliant and unsurpassed in the art world, despite its Christian overtones. In art classes all over the United States, students study master paintings and sculpture that bring both the Old and New Testaments alive. The study of that art bridges the gap between Christianity and a largely un-churched modern culture. It breaks down the barrier between the separation of church and state. It gives voice to Christian principles many have never heard before.
Although most churches don't support artists anymore and most people can read and have access to Bibles, newly created art hasn't lost its ability to communicate to those seeking the Truth. There are many traditional ways to render a work of art: painting, sculpture, dance, music, drama, pottery, photography and writing to name a few. Each has its place and each can be powerful in its own right. Not all art needs to reflect a scene out of the Bible to be relevant to Christianity. In fact, much Christian artwork created today becomes more like a modern-day parable and less like an exact quote straight from the pages of the Bible. These parable-like renderings speak to a modern culture in new ways.
At one time, old church hymns were written by Christian songwriters and set to popular bar-room songs. This was done with the hope that the culture around them would be drawn into the truths of God because they could identify with the melodies. In much the same way, many Christian artists today strive to find that place where Truth still speaks through their art in fresh ways to the culture around them.
God created people to enjoy life through tasting, touching, smelling, hearing and seeing. This is a perfect set up for the Christian artist to impact the world around them. Artists creating art for the glory of God still have the ability to impact people like the artists of old did. Finding innovative ways to do that is the challenge of the day, just as it was in history.