The best way to grow to appreciate art is to experience it but sadly we live in an age where many Christians have been trained not to do so. Certainly, there are mediums that Christians should avoid altogether (i.e. pornography), but as someone who is learning to appreciate art on its own terms, I find it sad that so many have been trained simply to avoid much of it altogether (and often on unbiblical grounds). Sometimes its seems art is this ambiguous thing we can’t quite get our heads around and art critics don’t help us much either. That said, I think there is a huge need for Christians to reevaluate how we are approaching art and for those of us who are learning to appreciate it, to help others to follow suit.
We live in a dark world and certainly there are elements of art that could potentially damage those who experience it in unhelpful ways and we need to be aware of that, but simply put “offense” does not equal bad art. With this in mind, I thought I would alert you to a helpful article on “How to Think About Art”
aimed at the Christian layman. There is certainly much to be said on this subject and much more than Brad’s article here can say. And you may even find his “lines” difficult to define (I think Brad intends for them to be) as they are probably a bit different for everybody (1 Cor. 8-9). But I think I think in the end the questions Brad asks are worthy ones and a good place to start for Christians who want to grow to appreciate art and avoid mere labeling.