This is the first of a series of articles which come out of the experience of an artist whose work is in conflict with the dominant culture. Most of my paintings are of allegorical figures often inspired by the Renaissance and Romantic periods. Much of the great art of the past reflected, despite the Fall, humanity was still created in the image of God and therefore has great worth. But contemporary culture hardly reflects this exalted view of humanity, rather the subtext seems more like B.F. Skinner’s “To man qua man we readily say good riddance”. This diminished view of humanity runs through fine art as well as popular culture. It is most apparent in the culture’s morbid preoccupation with horror, the symbols of death certainly don’t reflect a reverence for life. I seem to be alone in recognizing the significance of these disturbing symbols in contemporary culture.

Christian ought to be interested in symbols since Jesus often used symbols in his teachings. For example, the Parable of the Sower uses the symbolism of seeds falling on different kinds of ground, some ground hinders the growth of seeds while other ground can nurture growth. The different kinds of ground can be interpreted as different cultural environments people live in. Some environments can nurture the spirit while others extinguish it. Unfortunately, it seems today, most seeds fall into what Max Weber called the Iron Cage.