Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 138: Art + Faith by Makoto Fujimara

by | Mar 29, 2024 | 2024 Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Makoto Fujimara, Marion's Favorite Books, Marion's Favorites, Marion's Reading Life Blog, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

I have always had a fascination with the intersection of art and faith, particularly from the perspective of American Christianity. Throughout most of my life as an adult (currently in my early fifties), and even prior to that, it seems like these two things have been in conflict.

Art has often been seen as suspect by some Christians who perceive the art world as an assault upon traditional values. These expectations of art are largely driven by fear that art will lead us away from “truth” into an anarchic freedom of expression.”

The above excerpt from Makoto Fujimara’s book, Art + Faith, underscores the separation between Art and American Christianity. In his argument, Fujimara, an artist, contends against it and illustrates the importance of art in relation to faith, as seen by God. Art is not limited to the cultured; it is a significant component of human progress blessed by God.

The primary message is that God, through art, grants us the opportunity to collaborate with him and play a role in the New Creation described in the Bible. However, Fujimara warns throughout the book that God wants us to take part as co-creators but only He can do the final work of creation as the ultimate Artist.

Furthermore, he highlights how present-day church teachings predominantly center on the idea of humanity’s inherent flaw and the role of God in restoring and repairing imperfect individuals. Despite this, God’s capabilities go beyond just healing, fixing, and restoring; He also possesses the ability to create, generate, and surpass what humans can imagine. This message needs to be preached more on Sundays.

“God’s purposefulness is not aligned with our notion of day to day pragmatic purpose God did not build us as survival machines that would function like clockwork; we are creatures of magnificence and imagination made in the image of God.”

Once again, in this second excerpt from the beginning of the book, Fujimara highlights the importance of God’s perception of us and our place in his grand design. Throughout the book’s ten chapters, I marked paragraphs like this that deeply connected with my personal faith journey. As someone who attends church regularly and reads the Bible, I have always found it difficult to reconcile the connection between art and faith. Trying to reconcile two of the most important things in my life has felt like swinging from one end of a pendulum to the other. It’s inspiring to read about someone who has journeyed a similar path and left behind a trail of wisdom that I’m excited to follow.

Art + Faith is a must-read for anyone intrigued by modern American Christianity, accessible to both general readers and those with theological knowledge. Art is not disregarded or deemed worthless by God in society. Nevertheless, it is a fundamental element that contributes to our human nature. This will be one of my favorite reads of the year and one of the most important books I have ever read.

I will end this review with one more excerpt from the book.

“God the Artist communicates to us first before God the lecturer.”




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marion Hill