By far the most important of the fine arts in Israel and the early church was the field of literature. The Bible itself is the result of the sensitivity of literary artists to the Spirit of God. Each of the many forms of biblical literature contributes to our understanding of the philosophy of the worship arts.
Proverbs comes under the Biblical category of wisdom literature and emphasizes practical living before the face of God. The book is filled with distinctive maxims and adages — general principles that are usually (but not always) fulfilled this side of heaven. For instance: The righteous suffer while the wicked seem to prosper and enjoy great blessing. But, ultimately, rewards and punishment will be fulfilled in the new heaven and earth.
Solomon wrote: “Grey hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). Someone else has said, “A single conversation across the table with a wise man [or woman!] is worth a month’s study of books.”
To craft a theology of imagination and artistic human expression I believe there are six basic – but foundationally important – theological principles that both church and mission leaders in general, and worship, music, and arts-ministry practitioners in specific, need to understand. It’s necessary to establish these six principles if we are going to responsibly and energetically help church and mission leaders around the world better re-engage and integrate imaginative expression specialists into ministry strategy development and missional ministry practices.