THEME: CANVAS 2018
RECONCILING CHURCH AND CREATIVITY
We stand at a stalemate. In many ways, the church doesn’t want the creative and the creative doesn’t want the church. This is in part because the church doesn’t know what to do creatives and creatives no longer sees the church’s value.
Many in the church have chosen to sidestep art, imagination, and beauty altogether. Others here overemphasize the role of creatives and creativity to the point of idolatry. And there are those in the church who use creativity as an evangelistic weapon, ironically using bleached out Xerox copies of the culture’s ingenuity to build a bully pulpit against that very same culture.
Creatives struggle too. Many leave the church because Jesus’s bride has somehow overlooked their talents and undervalued their artistic gifts. Instead of addressing the issues directly, creatives often detach and rework their theological commitments to make a name for themselves in the “new and better” congregation of their artistic community, quietly leading those they inspire to follow them into the dark.
Where did this all go wrong?
More importantly, how do we fix it?
At this year’s Canvas Conference, we want to find a better way. We want to help the church recognize the beauty and place for creativity within its walls. We also want to help creatives find their place in the church and provide a better biblically defined, God honoring theology that can produce a greater and everlasting creativity.
What does the church have to do with creativity? And what does creativity have to do with the church? Join us this November as we explore these questions and many more in order to grasp the relationship between the body and beauty of Christ and to learn how to live these truths out.
The Canvas Conference humbly exists to inform all acts of human creativity and beauty with biblical, gospel-centered theology for the worship of the triune God.
By design, the Canvas Conference stands at the intersection of theology and creativity. Our hope and heart in this venture is gospel-oriented and gospel-driven. We want to help build strong theological foundations for the artist and, likewise, to push Christians to pursue creative orthodoxy in their theological craft. We have found that without theology, creativity wanders from its original significance and purpose; while without creativity, theology often becomes cold, distant, and futile.
In response, The Canvas Conference seeks to build bridges between the artist and the theologian by inviting God to take center stage in every human endeavor. We want to watch the Lord as he put theology and creativity in their proper place. We want to show that creativity begins and ends with the God of Christian Scripture. It is our Creator who created us in his image to create. Thus, we should do so for his glory, for our good, and for the benefit of all. To do this rightly, we need to hear God speak. So we gather together at Canvas to listen to the Lord and be changed by his thoughts on art, the creative act, what he thinks about us, what he has made us to be, and how he can transform our broken attempts at beauty into means of divine grace.
We want those attending the Canvas Conference to walk away better artist-theologians and better theologian-artists. Through our time together, we want to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord and to understand our place in his kingdom with greater clarity. We want to show how each of us can reveal God’s image and how he transforms us into the perfect image of his Son, Jesus Christ. We want every act of our creativity—from writing to painting, from music to parenting—to be enhanced by the reality of the gospel, the hope it affords, and the future it offers. In short, we want to be worship. We want to worship with you. And we want to worship God in a way that changes everything about us and everything we create.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL PERSON WHO WE WANT TO ATTEND?
Those in love with the church. Those who struggle with the church. Those who love creativity. Those who struggle with creativity.
Artists. Theologians. Creatives. Christians. Disciples.
Everyone who needs the gospel in all of its beauty.