The FBA lays a foundation for the visual creative arts and their value in making consecrated space. This site offers a spark for creative tinder for any budget, helping visitors and creatives imagine the possibilities for creating consecrated space within church communities.In Christian Theology, the Transcendentals of Truth Beauty and Goodness describe the being of God, that He is Truth Beauty and Goodness.
It became apparent to me at one point that the churches I was attending (vehicles for learning of God and as a place of community worship) were missing one of the three Transcendentals: Beauty. Much of the authority and operation for the majority of Protestant churches (in particular) were teaching Truth via Scripture, and enforcing the behaviors of Goodness in relationship, but somehow Beauty was not being expressed or even acknowledged. Add to that the modern and contemporary trend of building liturgical church spaces with more minimal aesthetics, some only leaving light as the only theological metaphor, and I was concerned that maybe we were loosing our sense to the value and necessity of the arts to express scriptural awareness and contemplation via the transcendent attraction of beauty.
I set out in 2003 to discover the great Gothic churches of France. Since then I have visited, prayed, observed and photo documented well over 400 churches and cathedrals that make up Christendom that implement the visual arts in liturgy and architecture across multiple traditions and disciplines covering hundreds of years through Europe, Israel, and the United States. My goal was to discover the value of the visual arts and the ways people interacted.
Beauty both dislocates us and relocates us. In that, Beauty has a great responsibility.
The Foundation for the Biblical Arts was enacted to establish a foundation for the creative arts and the value they bring in particular to the making of consecrated space: how the arts inform and move to re-member those that encounter such transcendent and meaningful beauty when done well, or when imbued with meaning as in the case of the icon, or in the case of historic miracles. Truly the essence of a consecrated space is one where God’s presence was manifest in a sighting, a visitation, or in case of a miracle. But the space that is set aside for special purpose can also be read that way through the visual arts and the behaviors witnessed within.
With a focus on the visual arts in particular, this site is available as a spark for creative tinder, encouraging the possibility and the ways for creating such “set aside” places within church communities and even at any budget. Millions of dollars, though a benefit, are not the only means to the end of setting aside a place treated as special and holy.
The foundation for the biblical Arts is a 501C3 not for profit Corporation first established by myself and a friend as an educational site to reveal and inspire church leaders, artists, and congregations of the ‘transportational’ value that appropriate beauty adds to the heart of Christian worship.
This website presents snapshots and essays to lead the conversation that inspires the making of consecrated space. With case studies and observations, I stand by to be a visionary voice to the conversation in helping any church achieve the start of special space. Having seen it done right and also done wrong, I stand by seriously capable to assist.
All anyone needs to do is be open to the conversation with intention to be as boundless as the Holy Spirit. With that particular Wind in our sails, the journey is filled with life that gives life to community and that is the point: our concerted efforts are found in the process, and in the doing, not only defined by the end product.
May we all be blessed by the process and in the doing.
~ Jeff LeFever