Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

Erin Zoromski

Theological Commitments

Here are my four theological commitments that I have developed and have become more

refined because of Luther Seminary. They are presented by four oil pastel pieces of artwork that

are shown on my website. The four theological commitments are labeled such as this: Saint &

Sinner, Hospitality & Love, Justified by Faith / Grace, and The Arts and Theology. Each

section explains my specific theological commitment along with an interpretation of the artwork

that goes along with it.

Saint & Sinner

To start off with, the first art piece is called Saint & Sinner, which happens to be an

idea from Luther to be more exact. A lot of this Saint and Sinner idea has come from

professors at Luther Seminary who talk about Luther and from some of the class readings. I am

not one-hundred percent sure on where exactly this idea was quoted since I did not have to take

the more extensive Lutheran Confessions class, but I know that this idea pops up in other places.

For example, in The Bondage of the Will Luther talks about how sinfulness is found in everyone

and not by free choice.1 This would then be the Sinner side of the human. Obviously, Luther

goes on to talk about being justified by faith and not by works later on in this same writing and in

other writings of his, which I will talk more about for another art piece. This would then help

show more of the Saint side of the human, especially when faith is part of this whole thing in

the first place. Overall, this means to me that humans are both saints and sinners at the same time

because we are constantly not doing what we should be doing, but God has given us the grace

and justification in order for us to be saints.

1. Timothy F. Lull and William R. Russell, Martin Luthers Basic Theological Writings,
3rd ed., (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012), 141-147.
Here is then my interpretation of my art piece for this theological commitment to help

explain further. First of all, the art piece is supposed to overall represent an abstract tree where

the trunk is a human or human kind in general. The trunk is colored by two colors where the

golden brown is the Saint while the darker brown is the Sinner, so it shows humans are both.

The roots are there to show how embedded this is within us and that goes back to the very

beginning. Then the arms or branches reach upward in a praising formation in which it touches

the lush green that represents us still bearing good fruit or having the ability of being good

because of God. Along with that, the yellow ring around the green represents God in which we

are justified by faith and have God to help give us life for nourishment and growth.

Hospitality & Love

The next piece of artwork is called Hospitality & Love. This theological commitment is

that we as Christians should be able to practice hospitality and love for our neighbors and for the

other. I believe in treating other people with respect and to give a helping hand out of love

instead of obligation. Thus, I follow Scripture that talks about loving the neighbor or showing

kindness to others. For example, it says in Luke, He answered, You shall love the Lord your

God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your

mind; and your neighbor as yourself.2 Obviously, there are multiple examples similar to this

passage in the New Testament in which Jesus commands us to do this. Along with that, even

Amos Young has suggested using Jesus as the paradigm for hospitality in which we must use

Jesus as the example of hospitality. 3 It would make sense to use Jesus as the main example since

2. Luke 10:27, New Revised Standard Version.

3. Amos Young, Hospitality and the Other: Pentecost, Christian Practices, and the
Neighbor, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008), 101-103.
he is so important within the Gospels and in Christianity overall. It is just the matter of

interpretation Jesus when he does his hospitality work within the Bible text. Additionally, Luther

can be applied to this hospitality and love concept because in his writing called Freedom of a

Christian, Luther says, A Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is

perfectly dutiful servant, subject to all. 4 In other words, we are free in order that we may be a

servant to our fellow neighbors, which I believe should be out of love and is out of the love of


Now, to interpret my artwork for this theological commitment a little more closely. There

is a red frame which represents an open door without a door because I believe that hospitality

should be open for all and open from the givers end. Also, there are multiple hearts within the

red frame to show that hospitality should be given out of love and in many forms since every

heart is not the same size or color. Lastly, there is a yellowish or golden glow coming from the

door frame with the shadow of the cross present. This then represents the light and it is possible

to practice hospitality and love because of Jesus Christ. This also means that Jesus/God/Holy

Spirit our always present within in our lives with whatever we do, especially in the face of the


Justified by Faith / Grace

I have already mentioned a little bit about Luthers idea of justification by faith in a

previous artwork, but this one specifically displays that along with the idea of Gods grace,

which is called Justified by Faith / Grace. I have been hearing this idea a lot throughout my

time here at Luther Seminary, but I have learned more about it when it came to my Reformation

4. Martin Luther, Three Treaties, 2nd Rev. ed., (Philadelphia, PE: Fortress Press, 1970),
history class. Once again, I do not have a specific place in which Luther says this exactly, but I

know it is mentioned in a lot of his writings. I found an example of this in The Bondage of the

Will again in which Luther states, The other kind of righteousness is the righteousness of faith,

which does not depend on any works, but on Gods favorable regard and his reckoning on the

basis of grace.5 In other words, we are not saved by good works alone, but I know Luther still

encouraged everyone to do good works, but not to expect to be saved by just them. Grace also

comes into place here, so they seem to intertwine with one another since Gods grace is given to

us freely and without us doing anything, which is usually the first step when it comes to Gods

righteousness. Even the Bible reads as this, yet we know that a person is justified not by the

works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.6 Additionally, I believe that everyone is

given this grace and cannot turn away from it in a sense, but faith is the ultimate way onto

justification. However, I am still figuring out what is means to have faith or to express my own

faith, but I know I am able to express it a little better through my artwork or through my theatre


Thus, the interpretation to this artwork goes as such. I have represented Gods grace

coming down onto humanity like rain where humanity is represented by the multiply skin

colored umbrella. However, we cannot use the umbrella or anything else to avoid Gods grace

because it just goes straight through and onto us as if the umbrella has holes in it. Also, the rain

could also represent Gods righteousness raining down onto us in which we cannot stop it, but

will receive it with faith as we put down the umbrella in order to trust God.

5. Timothy F. Lull and William R. Russell, Martin Luthers Basic Theological Writings,
3rd ed., (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012), 155.
6. Galatians 2:16
The Arts and Theology

One last art piece I have created is the one called The Arts and Theology. This is the

theological commitment of me believing that art can be theology or can express theology. I have

come to this to be true myself since I have taken a course on this and have expressed my own

theology throughout my various art and theatre work without really realizing it. I have various

sources that confirm this kind of theological thinking of art. For example, a theological idea that

could possibly come out of theatre is the incarnation where Todd E. Johnson and Dale Savidge

says, Live theatre, then, of all the arts, may best approximate the incarnational character of our

God because of its combination of narrative and performative qualities. 7 Theatre shows the

human experience or meant for the human experience, so it would make sense that it has an

incarnational quality to it. Obviously, there is a lot more that they say about theatre and how it

displays theology, but just watching a play or looking at a piece of art work could bring up many

ideas similar to this. Finding the Biblical themes in all kinds of art can be possible if you only

look since so many of us have been influenced by Christianity in the first place, even if you do

not believe it. It just takes a lot of seeing and interpretation work, which is very subjective, in

order to fully understand or to truly see any kind of art. Thus, making art and performance art a

very creative and crucial way to express ones theology overall.

For this last piece of art, the interpretation of it is a little more obvious, or at least it is to

me. I have set it up by framing four sections of art as if it were a window. The window is more

balanced out in order to see a cross to show that Christ or God is present within art. Along with

that, the pencil and paper represents creative writing, the eighth note represents music, the

7. Todd E. Johnson and Dale Savidge, Performing the Sacred: Theology and Theatre in
Dialogue, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 58.
comedy and tragedy masks represents theatre, and the painting easel represents the visual arts in

general. In a way, I am showing the importance of art and interpreting it through a theological or

Biblical lens because a lot of art can be interpreted in this manner if only we just see it in this

light or through this type window.