Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Update

Photo of the Wise Men and the Star, 
from Stellar House Publishing here

December 15, 2012

Dear friends,

We hope that you are well, and that you are enjoying a blessed Advent, in preparation of the celebration of Christmas.

Reflecting on this last year, and the last few months in particular, we are struck by the many wonderful new beginnings and opportunities that we’ve been blessed to be a part of. It has been a true joy to watch God work in Robbie’s Bible class, drawing many students into deeper relationship with Himself. Robbie has prayed with several students who gave their life to Christ for the first time during this school year. This kind of life-change can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we have been so grateful to witness God work in this way. Our prayer is that these students would grow into maturity through discipleship, and that God would use them in powerful ways in His Kingdom, and in Haiti.

We’ve also been thankful for a couple new opportunities to teach and speak outside of our usual school context. Irene was invited to give an Advent sermon in a local Anglican Church, with the message that we are a people who are part of a story of passionate waiting.

A few weeks ago, Robbie taught a 2-day Overview of the Bible seminar at another local church. The audience was primarily made up of young Haitian men and Korean missionaries. They were so hungry for the Word and to learn more about Scripture. One of the participants greeted Irene before the seminar, and was bubbling over with excitement and exclaiming, “I can’t wait! We’re going to learn the entire Bible this weekend!” It was such a joy to give true Spiritual Bread and Water to this famished group by teaching about the Story of Scripture and God’s continued action in the world.

On a more personal level, as you may already know, Irene is pregnant! The little one is due in early summer, around June 29. Irene is happy to report that she has been feeling great so far, and that we are fortunate to have access to excellent prenatal care here in Haiti. We plan to return to Virginia for the actual birth this summer. These last couple of months have been full of delight, joy, and gratitude, as we quietly contemplate this amazing gift, and as we share and celebrate the wonderful news with friends and family. Please join us in prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers of protection from illness and any other harm for Irene and the growing baby.

This Advent and Christmas Season, may you continue to grow in love for the God who humbled himself to come into our world as a baby. May you deeply experience the presence of Jesus, Immanuel, who is God with us. May you be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as we passionately wait for the coming in fullness of the promised Kingdom of God.

Merry Christmas!

Robbie and Irene

To Support Us Financially

We have partnered with Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE) in order to raise the funds we need to continue our ministry here at Quisqueya Christian School. All donations made through RCE are tax-deductible. If you feel led to support us financially, please visit:

Under the Fund Designation drop-down menu, choose “Missionaries,” and another drop-down menu will appear with alphabetical names of missionaries. You will find our names and account number (26902) listed. You can use this website to make one-time or recurring donations, or to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer.

Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement. We are humbled by God’s provision through the many hands of our friends and family.

Robbie & Irene Pruitt
Bible Teaching | Discipleship | Counseling

Skype: irene.pruitt, robbie.pruitt
Haiti Cell Phones: (+509) 4782-4794; (+509) 4614-7851
Our Blogs:,
U.S. Mailing Address:
628 Galway Lane, Columbia, SC 29209
Sending Mail to us in Haiti: 
3170 Airmans Drive, #2029 QCS, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Trinity Art Project

Trinity symbol photo from here.

This semester I had the opportunity to teach an amazing class called Theology in the Arts where we looked at the theology and art through the lens of art history, scripture, theology, culture, and Christian worldview.  (For more about Theology and Art, click here)

There were three texts for this Theology in the Arts class, which included Francis Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible, Philip Graham Ryken’s Art for God’s Sake, and Hans Rookmaaker’s Art Needs no Justification.

As a final project for the course, students were required to complete an art project of their choice.  The students were inspired to do some artwork of their own by two guest speakers who joined the class, photographer and videographer Michael Bixler, and Corrigan Clay, from the Apparent Project.  Through their suggestions and inspiration, the students decided on doing a painting of the Trinity symbol.  The project would be in the stylistic form of Felice Varini, an artist recommended by Corrigan Clay who uses perspective.

Below is a photo of the classes’ Trinity Art Project, based on Felice Varini’s artwork and the Trinity symbol above.
Photo of the Trinity Art Project by Robbie Pruitt

The students were also required to write an artist statement and make comments about why they enjoyed the project and/or what they got out of the project. What follows is the artists statement and their comments on the artwork.

Artist Statement

Do you ever feel like God is unjust, mean or even weak? Sometimes we attribute negative attributes to God. This often happens when we are suffering or find ourselves in a bad situation. This trouble or suffering blurs our vision and we look at God from the wrong viewpoint or perspective. The right point-of-view to look at God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. In looking up, in a humble position, we see. We may even see as God sees. This artwork is the same. All the wrong perspectives that we can view this artwork from, which distort it and make it unclear, represent the trouble and the suffering that we sometimes face. However, just like God, this work of art can be appreciated and seen if looked at from the right position. This perfect perspective represents Christ, the “way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).”

To see more of Felice Varini’s artwork, click here.

Quotes about The Trinity Art Project

Our imaginations were unlocked to new dimensions as we admired the works of Felice Varini. We caught a glimpse into new depth, and like children watching magicians at a fair, we desperately wished to make it our own.

                   -Natasha Van Dam, High School Junior

This was an edifying experience. It was inspiring to be able to express our view of God using a different medium, words being the usual medium.
                   -Gael Georges, High School Junior

In a world filled with different perspectives and opinions, this piece of art can only be perceived from a singular perspective. Like horses with blinders on, we should focus on God without being distracted. The only way to focus on God is to see Him with humble eyes. 

                   -Stephanie Etienne, High School Sophomore

The artist, Felice Varini, influenced this piece of art with his unique artistic form and style of art, which focuses on perspective. You can only see the Trinity sign from the right perspective or point of view.

This work of art made us go through struggles and frustrations, but we still persevered. God looks for that same perseverance in us. We should not quit seeking Him and living in His glory.

                   -Hans Dorleans, High School Sophomore

This was an amazing experience because this is one of those pieces of art that only has one perspective. You can only comprehend when you are standing in the perfect position. 

                   -Randolph Rameau, High School Junior

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peace: A Fruit of the Spirit

Photo of the Hebrew word for Peace, 
Shalom taken from here

This article, Peace: A Fruit of the Spirit, was first published in its entirety in here

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” –Colossians 3:14-15

“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” –Psalm 34:14

What is peace?  How can we have peace?  Peace is a misunderstood concept, which has often eluded our comprehension and has almost become a cliché.

In the 1960’s “peace” was everywhere.  In the late 1960’s, 1969, the single “Give Peace a Chance,” by John Lennon became an anthem of the American anti-war movement.  In “Give Peace a Chance,” Lennon pleaded, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  In his video performance for the song Lennon pleaded for peace and declared “You will only get it if you want it and we want it now!”  We all desire peace, but how do we get it?

The idea of peace is all over the place and is viewed as the answer to all the world’s problems.  Even in watching speeches at beauty pageants peace shows up as a major topic of discussion and solution to the world’s ails.  Here everyone seems to want world peace.  World peace is paraded and heralded as the greatest need and the highest virtue.  However, peace is more than just words or talk, is it not?

In the film Miss Congeniality, an American police comedy from the year 2000, Sandra Bullock played Gracie Hart who is an undercover FBI Agent.  While undercover in a beauty pageant, Gracie is participating in a question and answer session.  When Bullock does not mention “world peace,” the audience is silent and you can sense the awkwardness.  She then adds the words, “and world peace” to her answer and the audience erupts in applause, approval and praise.  The all important world peace had been stated, and only then was the audience satisfied.

The pursuit and the focus on peace seem to be everywhere.  In the world of NBA Basketball there is even a Lakers player who has changed his name from Ron Artest to Metta World Peace.  During one of his games, Metta World Peace elbowed another player from an opposing team, James Harden.  Late night talk show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, from Jimmy Kimmel Live, exclaimed, “World Peace with an elbow to the head.” and then stated that this act “ended World Peace.”  We have, indeed, reduced peace, and look what we have reduced peace to, a name or a label.

If we have a diluted understanding of peace, how do we begin to look differently at peace and begin to understand it rightly?  We can begin by defining our terms and by looking to the scriptures for clarity on what peace is and how we can have peace.  

According to the Tyndale Bible Dictionary, peace is the “Total well-being, prosperity, and security associated with God’s presence among his people.”  Peace is simply defined as the presence of God.  In the presence of God we have the promise of the fulfillment of total well being, prosperity and security of God’s redemption, which has come in His son Jesus Christ, and we have the promise of the restoration that is to come in eternity in the perfect presence of God.

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary goes on to support this idea of peace when it says, “Linked in the Old Testament with the covenant, the presence of peace was conditional, based on Israel’s obedience. In the prophetic writings, true peace is part of the end-time hope of God’s salvation. In the New Testament, this longed-for peace is understood as having come in Christ and can be experienced by the believers.”

According to the Holman treasury of key Bible words, the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means: “’completeness,’ ‘wholeness,’ ‘well-being,’ or ‘welfare and peace.’ It is derived from a root that means ‘to be complete’ or ‘to be sound.’”  Peace is more than a feeling or something we try to achieve.  Peace is a state of being or condition.

As Paul stated in Colossians 1:19-20, God has made peace “[through Christ] to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”  God’s peace is a person.  God’s peace is His own son Jesus Christ.

Paul also states in Colossians 3:14-15, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”  In putting on the love of Christ and abiding in this love we are bonded in perfection and the peace of God can and will rule our hearts.  This is the Christian’s calling; to abide in Christ’s Love, to find His Peace through the Peace of His cross, and to worship Him with thanksgiving.  

To read the rest of this article, Peace: A Fruit of the Spirit, you can read it by visiting here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Art and the Bible

Cover photo of Schaeffer's Art and the Bible from

A Review of Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible is a classic when it comes to developing a Biblical theology of the arts or in thinking about theology and the arts Christianly.  Almost every book about the arts or theology in the arts, from a Christian worldview that has come out since this book was first published in 1973, references Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible.  The book began as two separate essays, the first essay is Art and the Bible and the second is Some Perspectives on Art.  These separate essays were combined and published as the comprehensive and concise book Art and the Bible

In this thought provoking and essential work advocating for the arts, Schaeffer outlines a sound Biblical apologetic for the arts.  Schaeffer addresses all types of art from architecture, to statuary, bas-relief, poetry, painting, music, drama and dance, to the art of Heaven itself.  The Biblical support of art of all kinds is presented clearly by Schaeffer who walks the reader carefully and thoroughly through important supportive passages in both the Old and New Testaments. 

In the book’s foreword, by Michael Card, added in the revised 2006 edition, Card says, “this book, a primer on Biblical creativity, [seeks] to drum into us the idea that we create out of our worldview and that it is our responsibility to align that point of view with scripture before we continue on.”  Card rightly highlights one of Schaeffer’s main points that the artist should “take seriously the Lordship of Christ in every aspect of their creative lives.” 

Art in the Bible, Essay One from Art and the Bible, by Francis Schaeffer

Schaeffer begins the first essay, Art in the Bible, by looking at the question, “What is the place of art in the Christian life?”  Schaeffer explores how evangelicals have been notorious for “relegating the arts to the very fringe of life.”  He takes an honest look at the sacred/secular divide and how Christians talk about the Lordship of Christ, but often do not allow God to be Lord of all of life, including the arts.  Schaeffer says, “The Lordship of Christ over the whole of life means that there are no platonic areas in Christianity, no dichotomy or hierarchy between the body and the soul.”

Schaeffer offers up four basic concepts from the scriptures to help us along in our understanding of the place of art in the Christian life.  These for axioms are: one, God made the whole man, or person; two, in Christ the whole man is redeemed; three, Christ is the Lord of the whole man now and the Lord of the whole Christian life; and four, and lastly, in the future as Christ comes back, the body will be raised from the dead and the whole man [person] will have a whole redemption.”  Schaeffer’s desire in this framework is a holistic look at the whole person and the whole life under the Lordship of Christ.

Schaeffer makes the point that humanity has been created in the image of the creator God and that we reflect the image of the creator in our dominion and creativity.  He says, “True spirituality means the Lordship of Christ over the total [person].”  Schaeffer confidently makes the point, "If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole [person], including [their] intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just ‘dogmatically’ true or ‘doctrinally’ true.  Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole [person] in all of life." 

Schaeffer makes the case that the Lordship of Jesus includes the arts.  He writes, "The lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts" He continues, "A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God.  An art work can be a doxology in itself."  Schaeffer goes on to point out the arguments against the arts, the main ones being the issue of idolatry and the creation of graven images.

There are those who believe that the scriptures speak against the arts, or at least believe that the scriptures are silent when it comes to the topic of the arts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Schaeffer builds a case for the arts from the scriptures beginning with the command to have no graven images.   He explains this commandment as a warning against idol worship and unpacks this as its true intent and meaning.  Schaeffer says, “Only God is to be worshipped.  Thus the commandment is not against making art but against worshiping anything other than God and specifically against worshiping art.”

Schaeffer goes on to build a Biblical case for the arts from the scriptures, which happen to be full of art of all kinds.  He makes the point that scripture does not contradict itself and points to the art in the tabernacle and the temple, which God instructed to have created.  The art in the tabernacle includes “almost every form of representational art that men have ever known.” says Schaeffer.  God commanded this creativity and set the patterns in place to ensure His artistic direction (see Exodus 25, 28, and 37).  Schaeffer also explores the art presented in the temple, which God had directed and inspired (see 1 Chronicles 28; 2 Chronicles 3 and 4; and 1 Kings 6 and 7).

Schaeffer surveys the fact that art takes on many forms throughout the scriptures.  All types of art is represented within the Bible; there is practical art and architecture, there is realistic representational art, there is abstract and imaginative art, there are examples of both functional and non-functional art in the scriptures, and there are examples of both religious art and non-religious art.  In looking at “secular art,” Schaeffer says, “The factor which makes art Christian is not that it necessarily deals with religious subject matter.” 

Schaeffer looks at Jesus’ use of the brazen serpent, a work of representational art, to illustrate His own crucifixion (see Numbers 21).  He also looks at the poetry of scripture in David’s poem or song in 2 Samuel 23 and in the psalms of scripture.  Not only was David a poet, he was a musician as well.  Schaeffer says of David, “The writing of poetry, the making of a beautiful instrument, the tuning of it so that its music can be filled with beauty—David did all these things as a spiritual exercise to the praise of God.”

Schaeffer looks at music and David leading choruses in 1 Chronicles 23:5, he says,  “And art breaks forth with all its beauty, all its strength, all its communication and all its glory.”  When speaking of “creativity in praise of God,” and “music upon music, art upon art,” Schaeffer says, it is “all carried to a high order of art at God’s command.  And when you begin to understand this sort of thing, suddenly you can begin to breathe, and all the terrible pressure that has been put on us by making art something less than spiritual suddenly begins to disappear.”  

Schaeffer begins to conclude his first essay, Art and the Bible, by making the point that art does not stop in the scriptures with the end of this lifetime, but continues on.  He also asserts that there is no spiritual separation of the arts between the here and the hereafter.  He says, “Art does not stop at  the gate of heaven.  Art forms are carried right into heaven.  Is there any platonic separation here?  Not a bit.” 

At the end of the essay, Art in the Bible, Francis Schaeffer goes on to describe a mural in the art museum at Neuchatel painted by the Swiss artist Paul Robert, which illustrates the goodness and beauty of art and God’s desire for art both on earth and in heaven:

“In the background of this mural he pictured Neuchatel, the lake on which it is situated and even  the art museum which contains the mural. In the foreground near the bottom is a great dragon wounded to the death. Underneath the dragon is the vile and the ugly—the pornographic and the rebellious. Near the top Jesus is seen coming in the sky with his endless hosts. On the left side is a beautiful stairway, and on the stairway are young and beautiful men and women carrying the symbols of the various forms of art—architecture, music, and so forth. And as they are carrying them up and away from the dragon to the present to Christ, Christ is coming down to accept them.”