Matt Lewis

Billy Corgan’s advice for Christians: Make beautiful things

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

If you haven’t seen this CNN interview with former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, it’s worth watching. Here, Corgan embraces spirituality in pop culture — and offers some of the best (and most sincere) advice for Christians seeking to make art:

(As an aside, one of my favorite Corgan songs is actually from his short-lived band Zwan. This is vastly underrated.)

Over at Acculturated, R.J. Moeller has some terrific commentary on this topic. And Moeller’s take reminds me of something else I just read by a writer named Laura Turner:

“We did not listen to Christian music in our family growing up. This disclosure surprised a number of people later in life, but I remember resonating with Frank Scheffer [sic] in Crazy for God when he talked about his mother’s pursuit of beauty in art–music, visual arts, writing–and how that didn’t always land them on Christian expressions of art. Instead, he wrote, the idea was that all expressions of art were somehow Christian, because in art we seek for truth and in truth we find Christ.”

Turner can see God in the sublime — whether or not the message is overtly religious. This, I think, jibes with Cogran’s advice to Christians: “Make better music.” The good news is that (perhaps due to the teaching of Francis Schaeffer, and others) we now a generation of Moellers and Turners. As a result, Christian music has gotten dramatically better in recent years.

The message is simple: It’s all about honoring God by making “beautiful things.”

Here’s one such example: