creation, incarnation, art, vocation

Assumed audience: Theologically-orthodox Christians, or at least folks interested in things that theologically-orthodox Christians think; and specifically those interested in.

A bit of context: I came across this in my notes by hitting the “show me a random note” button in Obsidian this evening, and I was glad to come back across it; I’m sharing it straight out of my notes (unedited save to add a link to the book it references) in the hope it may be thought-provoking to you as well.

Epistemic status: Still mulling, 6 years later.

Stealing a page from Torrance’s The Trinitarian Faith, p. 102: with creation and incarnation as two parts of a whole, how do we reflect rightly on the nature of vocation and especially creative action (including but not limited to what we call art’)?

Related question: is all vocation (rightly understood) fundamentally creative? How, if so — and how is that shaped both by creation-incarnation and by the Fall? What is vocation” vs. job” or work”; how does toil” and labor” intersect with God-given calling to work in making just as he did? Some work is restorative (medicine), some punitive, some only generative in a distorted way, some parasitic. But each of these is a function of living in a broken reality.

We adulate art because it seems more cleanly creative/generative?

And if that is so, it is partly right: it recognizes the true goodness of creative and generative activity. But it is partly wrong because it misses the way all human activity is meant to be that — albeit in dramatically varying expressions, of course. Parenting a child and refactoring code are both not Art” but are also both essentially creative and generative.