May 7, 2013

Five Evangelical Christs: The Introduction (Part 1)

Rondall Reynoso
The Sunday School Jesus

Currently, I am working on a project where I will be looking at five images of Jesus and discussing how they reflect evangelical beliefs. Evangelicalism is not a monolithic movement and one finds a great deal of theological diversity within the movement. It is my belief that the art reflects a persons philosophy so not only is the work reflective of the philosophy (in this case theology) of the artist but it is also reflective of the theology of those persons who are patrons of the work. It is not my purpose to argue the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of these theologies but to reflect upon how these artworks are reflective of evangelical perspectives on Christ regardless of their theological validity.

It is also my intention to very briefly bring into my research examples of evangelical music including Contemporary Christian Music, hymns, and praise music; evangelical theological writing; and popular evangelical writing including books and blogs. These examples will be used to demonstrate that the Christ images coincide with more broadly held evangelical perspectives. This is where I am hoping that my readers will be able to help out.

As you read these blog posts please pass your observations along to me. Does the way I  am speaking about Jesus in relation to the image remind you of a song, a book you read, or a blog post? If so let me know. Leave a comment or send an e-mail your perspective will be helpful!

On each of the next five days, I will be publishing a blog post reflecting on one of the five evangelical Christs in my project. These posts will not reflect my research so much as they will simply be me “talking” about these paintings and how they are reflective of evangelical perspective. The five Jesus’ are:

  • Head of Christ  by Warner Sallman
  • Christ on the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Sacrifice by Edward Knippers
  • Walk of Faith and The Cross by Thomas Kinkade
  • Oblation by Emmanuel Garibay

With the exception of the Rubens piece, these are all modern or contemporary works. I’ll explain in part three how the Rubens fits into the project. For Kinkade, I chose two works which provide for consideration a fuller expression of the Kinkadian Christ.

I am really looking forward to this project and I look forward to the feedback and consideration of all you out there in the cyber village. More to come tomorrow…


For other pieces in this series please read:

Warner Sallman (Part 2)

Peter Paul Rubens (Part 3)

Edward Knippers (Part 4)

Thomas Kinkade (Part 5)

Emmanuel Garibay (Part 6)


Rondall Reynoso

Rondall is an artist, scholar, and speaker. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Art History from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is completing a Ph.D. in Art History and Aesthetics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.

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  • Your first image made me think immediately of that saccharin song that many Protestant chlldren learn, “Jesus Love Me, This I Know.”

    • I think that is certainly true. “Jesus Loves Me” may well apply to the work of Kinkade which I will discuss in a couple of days.

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