It is said that Michelangelo is the greatest influence on western art in the last 500 years. As a devoutly religious man, most of his sculptures, paintings, architecture works, and poetry were in service to the church. His most famous painting depicts the book of Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Centuries later lines of tourists still form to see his work because of its excellence.
His most famous sculpture is of David as a young warrior. When asked how he was able to create his masterpiece, he responded simply,
“I just took away everything that didn’t look like David.”
Michelangelo lived in a time where most of the art in the world was influenced by the Christian faith. Today, you may have noticed, we live in a much different time. In fact, our faith is virtually absent from culture and the public square. That is, with one exception that perhaps you’ve not thought of.
Christian music, specifically the kind of music that is heard on your radio station, is the one form of art that seems to go beyond the boundaries of our churches, schools, denominations, and religious organizations. It reaches into hospitals and prisons, into trains, planes, and automobiles, even listened to by those who aren’t believers.
This last Easter we heard Christian music via Z88.3 played at Seaworld in Orlando, and until recently during Night of Joy at Walt Disney World in Orlando and Rock the Universe at Universal Studios, three of the top theme park tourist destinations in the world.
Knowing the unique and important place that our radio stations have in an ever-increasing secular culture and knowing how excellence transcends barriers I wonder what advice Michelangelo might give those of us whose art form is Christian music radio.
Perhaps he’d say…
Just take everything away everything that isn’t excellent.
(If you’d like to learn more about taking away everything that isn’t excellent, please check out the previous 627 Frost Advisories).