Posts Tagged ‘Christ John Otto’

If you’re like a lot of people, you might be scratching your head and saying “Who is Bezalel?” If you’re a Christian artist, you probably already know. I’m reading a great little book about Bezalel right now from author Christ John Otto and it is an eye opener. Throughout scripture there are several people that were said to be filled with the Spirit, but the first of them was Bezalel. Why was he filled with the Spirit? To make art! Bezalel is the second artist mentioned in the Bible. The first, of course, is God. Bezalel was filled with the Spirit so he would be able to do the work of creating and constructing all the beautiful things that made up the Tabernacle. It was a momentous task.

I was really interested to learn what Bezalel’s name means. In Hebrew, Bezalel means Image of God. He is also the son of Uri, which means light. His name literally means Image of God son of the light. And so it is with all God calls to create in His name. We get this privilege of a kind of mini-incarnation. We get to call into being things that were not. We get to make the invisible, visible so that others can see it and understand. We are given the privilege of of creating, and while our creations pale in comparison to the things our Father creates, we at least get to help to inspire people and help them to understand. We are sons and daughters of the light because we are children of God and we are called to reflect his light into the dark corners of our world. Like Bezalel we need to create that which God inspires as closely as we are physically (and in Him) able, to that inspiration. If we are faithful in this God will use us and our efforts mightily. God is good and so must we be and do good as we create with all that we have to His glory. Bezalel modeled that for us all. One could argue He created a physical manifestation of the throne room of heaven. His work a literal interpretation of what our Lord taught us to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven.” May we do the same with our work.

Let’s be Bezalel. Images of God, children of light.


I just finished reading An Army Arising: Why Artists are on the Frontline of the Next Move of God and it is quite a good book. In it’s pages Otto describes feeling a call by God to raise up an army of artists to build Christ’s throne on the earth. It’s a similar call and vision to the one I have felt in my own life, i.e. to encourage people to use their creative gifts to serve the Lord and others to the glory of God. As you can imagine, I was quite interested to read this book. I was not disappointed.

This is not a book with project ideas and how-tos, instead it is a call to “arms” a Spiritual boot camp of sorts, dealing with Spiritual disciplines and what it means to die to self, take up our crosses and follow Jesus. This is a much needed element in living in obedience to Jesus as creatives and one that we ignore at our peril. As such this is a pretty necessary book.

Full disclosure, since we have a wide variety of theological world views reading this blog, Otto’s theology is Charismatic, and that is reflected in this volume. Personally, I think the information in this book is vital to living as a Christ-following creative, especially the information pertaining to disciplines and submitting our gifts and our lives to the Lord. This book is well worth your time.

It’s interesting how things happen sometimes. I’ve been seeing commercials for the movie, Monuments Men. I thought the concept was interesting so I decided to read the book. It’s the true story of some museum guys who enlisted in the army in World War II to form a team called the MFAA Museum, Fine Arts and Archives. Their mission was to recover the art and artifacts Hitler and the Nazis stole and to protect and recover them. It’s a fascinating book and it really has me excited to see the movie.

One day last week, I saw a book offered free for the Kindle called An Army Arising: Why Artists Are on the Frontline of the Next Move of God. When I finished Monuments Men, I started in on it. I’m only about a third of the way in, but the concept of the book is that God will use artists to redeem the culture, turn back the darkness and build the Kingdom. He makes the point that our world is in the midst of a Spiritual war and that artists are on the front lines. I have long believed that God is raising up a generation of artists to reclaim the culture and that through the power of God, they will run AMOK against a world system that is pushing us toward destruction. The author’s points are fascinating and well worth considering.

So on one had we have soldiers saving art and on the other God using artists to do battle by making art and telling a better story. I had no idea how much the concepts would sync up, but it sure seems Someone did.

I highly recommend Monuments Men and while I don’t recommend books until I am done with them, An Army Arising is showing some real promise.