About Reimages (cont.)
From an outer space perspective, you see the sun’s light rushing over the horizon of the earth. It begins as a pure white source and starts mixing into a dazzling golden color. It continues on, diving in and through the earth, splintering into a countless number of colorful hues. In time, these colors splash through even the furthest corners of the earth, creating a web of gorgeous prisms that are heard by all. Zooming into the ground level of your little life on earth, you see the creations of other people whizzing by (but not without having touched you first). Literature, music, film, conversations, meals, photographs, dance, designs, faces, and so many experiences of culture are crossing into your path. They are seen and enjoyed for what they are; each one surrounded by a colored bubble that collectively represents the rainbow spectrum. You are deeply moved. Panning out again, you see the earth booming, resounding with this colored echo, bubbling forth countless reimages of the white light that rushes over it.
In your imagination, the white light running is like the power that speech holds, shooting across our world in various shapes through different mediums. The white is transfigured to all different hues, reflecting the source of speech creatively. Sometimes, the instances of wordless speech generate the greatest impression. The world impresses itself upon you through all of those different junctures of culture, and you learn anew the truest knowledge.
A Knowledge Dressed To Compel
“…pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified…” (2 Thess 3:1f)
Think of God’s words actually running along. What would that look like and how do we even consider an image like this? Transforming souls as it is preached, it continues splitting through every piece of a culture, every area of work a person could possibly do. Can you see the masses pushing forward, each helping hold up Christ’s banner through their respective fields, strengths, and giftings? Imagine the spirit of the gospel permeating through every aspect of this world: families, governments, churches, philosophies, economics, science, politics, business enterprises, sports, cuisine, music, literature, dance, film, and other arts.
REIMAGES is type of gesture of remembrance. I want to remind myself and maybe somebody out there that the world of God is being advanced by what we make. The goal of REIMAGES is to encourage all people in their relevant area of work, as well as collect and appreciate the reimages of truth we see in these works.
The Pattern for Wordless Speech
The creation of God speaks, and its style of speech sets the pattern for how all of humanity’s creations speak. The gospel message is being carried forward by these creations; a communal construction and building is occurring. The gospel is sprinting forth with this kind of power and colorful radiance in all the fields of our world. Is it not fascinating how the culture, the creations of people, follow this pattern? Creative works of many kinds and origins have the power to speak! And they are not just speaking aimlessly; they are steadily pushing forward what the Bible speaks (whether the author intends it to or not). Scripture is breathtaking when describing the advancing role that God’s creation has in Psalm 19:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Martin Luther, an influential theologian, describes how “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” This method of speaking is also occurring in the creations and culture of people, God’s image-bearers. This is his world, the created order, and it is pulsating with biblical truth. The psalm continues:
“Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
God’s creation speaks the common human language in a wordless fashion. This sets the pattern for all of our creations. Though they may or may not use the words of Scripture, or any words for that matter, they still may speak the message. Take a piece of fiction, for example. It may not be explicitly speaking the words of Scripture, but it may be imaging biblical truths (even if simply because it is beautifully constructed and enjoyable). As the psalm continues, we can find where your “picture” has been rooted:
“In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like the bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.”
The light of the gospel is blazing its way forward through our world in the art realm. Art is referring to anything created with most vocations in mind. The word “vocation” could just as easily been used, but bringing up art emphasizes the inclusion of some marginalized works. Patterned after the speaking-power of God’s creation, his mini-creators (mankind) are building a world that reimages his glory.
The Bible is very moving. What people are making actually reimages the truth of Scripture and can point people towards God. In the heart of the artist, the laborer, and the family member, the Cultural Mandate (Gen 1:28) is finding its consummation-in-process by the Great Commission, because Christ has saved us.
Networking for Joy
Writing is one good way to take some action with your thoughts. This collective is aimed to chronicle the observation and experiential process as it unfolds.
Also, may it be noted that the authorship at REIMAGES welcomes correction. REIMAGES welcomes any biblical correction, reminders, and cautions. If we wait until we become “experts,” this communal search would never have begun.
REIMAGES holds to the final authority of Scripture: Sola Scriptura. This is the lens and rubric. For even natural revelation (such as the sunset) was not intended to have the same governing role as the Word. Their roles have different textures, and we should receive them differently. This role dynamic in itself is reimaging the Trinitarian roles (Thrice Texture). Once this distinction is understood, there is freedom to engage discerningly with anything and see the truth embedded, the reimages.
The desire behind REIMAGES is to be a supportive voice that encourages others to enjoy God more. To enjoy Him, we need to see Him. We need to be reading the Scriptures to each other. And one way we can “read” to you is by looking into the created things around us and ascribe to God the glory due His name. C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak…We are far too easily pleased.” So, we are on a journey towards more joy. Since it overflows, I must share it with you.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Heb. 10:24f