01/7/14

The Importance of Artists

Part 20 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

“You just had to be there.”

Most of us have said these words at one time or another. We wanted to describe an experience or something we saw, but words failed us. So to emphasize the point that it was an extraordinary moment, we resort to an expression that says, “I can’t tell you what it was like, but it was great. To really understand how great it was, you would have had to be there and experience it yourself. You just had to be there.”

01/1/14

Part of a Community

Part 19 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

Perhaps is was because I spent so many years in a Prosperity church, but I think other pastors have made use of the Bezalel story as well. Over the years, I’ve heard numerous pastors read a portion of the passage about Bezalel, though almost never in connection with the arts. Rather it was read prior to the offering.

12/7/13

Willing to Work

Part 18 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

Moses began the Tabernacle program with an announcement to the people, describing what God had said to him, identifying Bezalel as the artist designated to manage the project and Oholiab as his number two. Then he summoned everyone who would do the work, that is, all the other artists involved. Two characteristics of the workers are identified.

“Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. (Exodus 36:2)

10/25/13

The Priesthood of Artists

Part 17 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

Defining biblical terms is often challenging. They frequently have nuances that don’t translate well into English. In addition, the biblical meaning is often clouded or obscured by the definitions of the English words.

I ran into this problem in the study of Bezalel several times. Perhaps the most intriguing is the word “teach.” One of the characteristics of a Bezalel artist concerns teaching.

And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. (Exodus 35:34)

10/18/13

Good Work and Good Works

Part 16 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

The flip side of creativity is discipline. I alluded to this in the last part because it is difficult to discuss creativity without considering discipline. In fact, the discipline part of Bezalel’s character is far more noticeable than his creativity. He was instructed to build the Tabernacle “just as the Lord has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1) With that kind of restriction, it is easy for us to overlook Bezalel’s creativity. He did far more than simply follow a blueprint—though he did follow a blueprint.

10/12/13

The Real Thing

Part 15 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

Christian bookstores usually have a section with a variety of Christian art. Most of it is predictable. There will be a variety of paintings and photographs, each with a Bible verse prominently displayed somewhere in the design. There will be some images of praying hands, in both painting and statuary. A multitude of crosses will be incorporated in every imaginable form, all with heavy-handed symbolic import. What will be almost entirely lacking is subtlety.

10/7/13

The Art of Self-Deception

Part 14 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

A story was told by the Greek historian, Herodotus, of Croesus, the king of Lydia. Considered the richest man in the world at the time, everything he touched turned to gold. Threatened with an invasion by Cyrus, king of Persia, he sought advice from the world-renowned oracle of Delphi, believing that if he could understand not only the plans of his enemies but more importantly, the will of the gods, he could launch himself into even greater success and glory.

09/27/13

What Do You Know?

Part 13 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

Considering my love of art, including film and television, it’s ironic that during my days in Bible College in Los Angeles, the school did not allow us to go to movie theatres. Of course, at the time, I didn’t really know I would end up writing for film. So rather than fight it, we found other, less religiously offensive recreations for our weekends.

09/20/13

Drunken Germans and Other Absurdities

Part 12 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

History doesn’t tell us what motivated Paolo Veronese. Perhaps he was a deeply spiritual man of courage and wit. Perhaps he was a political activist. Perhaps he was a religious agitator. Perhaps he just liked lots of color. It’s hard to say at a distance of 500 years.

Paolo_Veronese_007

09/12/13

Challenging the Source

Part 11 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

In November 1970, George Harrison released his first solo single, “My Sweet Lord.” I remember several of my Christian friends gushing over the song because of the spiritual lyrics:

“My sweet Lord,

Hmm, my Lord,

Hmm, my Lord,

I really want to see you,

Really want to be with you,

Really want to see you, Lord,

But it takes so long, my Lord.”

Background singers echoed with “Hallelujah,” repeated at the end of each line. My friends walked around singing and humming and speculating on whether or not Harrison had become a Christian.