“An author should never conceive himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before, but simply and solely as trying to embody in terms of his own art some reflection of eternal Beauty and Wisdom.” C.S. Lewis.

I chose to begin with this quote as I believe it well summarizes the conclusion I hope to lead us to. As humans, we are born with a certain inclination towards the desire to create. To originate. To bring to life. Understanding this desire, on its face for the Christian, may seem fairly obvious. Man, made in God’s image, would naturally take on the characteristics of God - one of which is that of creativity. Of course we have that desire! However, despite this fairly logical statement, there is a distinct difference between the creativity of the Created and the Creator. We will first map out these differences and finally provide a logical overview of the conclusion such definitions must lead us to.

First, what does it mean for humanity, the Created, when we apply the word “create” to our actions? My own induction into the arts may help to define. As a young kid, I remember watching Swiss Family Robinson, my mind swirling with ideas of the life I could create in the woods behind my parents’ home. Myself and several of my young comrades spent hundreds of hours digging trenches, fashioning spears, and conquering the unknown acres. When we weren’t outside, we spent our time reading books or watching movies, encountering the weight of loss, romantic love, vengeance, forgiveness, and all the new discoveries that come with young age. All of these introductions to the arts began to craft my understanding of what could be. These discoveries and inspirations endeared my young mind to the new, the original, and self expression. I then began to try my own hand at filming short movies or plucking at the piano. My mind raced with possibilities, reordering of structures, new camera angles, varied rhythms of the strikes on the piano keys. All of these joys fueled my love for “creativity.” There was a common thread in all my creative endeavors: all of my ideas could be traced back to a source of inspiration. I was not originating technically. We might better define my creative efforts as recreating or reimagining. This is true of all human creation.

In contrast to the way humans are introduced to creating, God was given no introduction; there was no source material. He fully expressed himself with no outside influence. His original ideas were original. This is baffling. It is important for the Christian to grasp this truth. Your source for creativity can all be traced back to the original Creator. This implies that our creativity is ultimately not original but a retelling of the known.

If God is the true Creator and we as the Created are reimagining His handiwork, what would it look like for the Christian to properly create? It would mean to honor or reflect the intent of the Creator with our recreation of His original work. We must know our God to be able to create in a way that honors Him. In knowing Him, we are able to bring to light what contradicts His character and make what He calls beautiful shine even brighter. Further, it is not enough to simply regurgitate facts about right and wrong, but it is our privilege to present reality, through the arts, in a way that stirs our minds and hearts to marvel at God.

When thinking about one’s calling to create, I hope that the Christian feels a deep longing to use those giftings to honor the original Creator. Our understanding of our creative abilities and the source of those abilities should propel us to create excellent art and in so doing, magnify the Originator.