Our third son Solomon is only 11 years old, but already has demonstrated a remarkable artistic talent. If it were up to him, I think he would work on art all day for the rest of his days.
The trouble comes where he still has math to finish up from last year. As he tells us often, “I just get so distracted. I can’t focus.”
Though we try to be patient and work with him in this, I tell Solomon that he has to learn to focus. He has to learn to control and discipline himself to do what he needs to do even when he would rather be doing something else. In short, Solomon needs to learn what all of us must learn – to want to do what we must do.
Of course, that does not mean Solomon needs to grow up to be a mathematician. And we do not want him to abandon art.
The Philosophy of Art and Math
But America specifically, and Western civilization more generally needs more artists who believe in math, conveying through their mediums the fact and truth that reality must be transcendent and knowable by virtue of God having created us in his image, and by virtue of God giving us the Scriptures to know as much as we do about his character, deeds, promises, and plans.
But so much art in the past century has been a war on objective truth. To post-modern philosophy and its attendant artistic expression, truth is subjective. The only truth we can truly know and tell is what we feel. No wonder American society is in the mess it is.
For more on the history of art and philosophy, read Francis Schaeffer’s ‘Escape From Reason.’
And for more on the need for transcendent, knowable truth pervading the visual cues which society has come to depend on for people to get and develop their ideas and lives, read Charles C. Mann’s ‘The Wizard and The Prophet,’ as well as Edward Bernays’ ‘Propaganda.’
Two plus two equals four and will always equal four. And we need more artists who are able to convey that in all the possible ways to a people who have lost the ability to be reasonable.
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