Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

An artist conceived the beautiful and striking library at the University of California San Diego, but an engineer made sure it would stand.

Is God an Artist or an Engineer?

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

The whole idea of brain hemisphere dominance may be bunk (see here), but an artist is often alleged to be right-brained. Well, it’s better than being wrong-brained, if that’s a consolation. It is said that the dominance of the right hemisphere of the artist’s brain enables him to conceive, create, and communicate. He can fashion something inspiring from stuff, like paint in a tube or a hunk of clay, that has no purpose if not for art. He creates something beautiful or thoughtful or arresting. An artist, by definition, is skilled, and if he is successful, he touches us or teaches us.

So is God an artist? 

An engineer is said to be left-brained. To the so-called left-brained, beauty is measurable and can be charted on lovely graphs and tables.  More work is done with a smaller investment of work – that’s how an engineer gauges beauty. Work smarter, not harder. Get better mileage. An engineer loves machines like an artist loves sights and sounds.  The machines may be simple like a lever or a screw.  They may be complicated like a Saturn-5 rocket.  An engineer lives for the day when the countdown gets to zero, and we get to see if the invention actually does what it’s supposed to.  Then it’s time to tinker, to make the thing do more with less.

So is God an engineer?

Let’s answer by thinking about the greatest thing God has done so far that we know of: sending Jesus to save us from our sins.  The One who was with God and was God became flesh, lived among us, died as the peace-price for our sins, and resurrected to prove His worth.  Is this story captivating, clever, and cathartic?  For sure, so God must be an artist.  Did the blood of Jesus, the Son of Man, have enough power in it to save all of humanity?  Yes, again, so God must be an engineer.

Artist or Engineer? – no need to pick, really, because something else is certain: Jesus is worthy of all praise and honor and glory.