After a year’s worth of praying and thinking and designing and tweaking and redesigning and tweaking some more, we are excited to unveil both a new logomark and a new website.
Read the following for a behind the scene’s look at how we thought through our logomark.
Our mission statement at Bethlehem College & Seminary begins, “Under the authority of God’s inerrant Word, we exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ…”. These words are the most succinct description of who we are as an academic institution in the service of Christ, His gospel, and His church. I’d like to focus for a second on two of the above phrases.
First, “in all things.” BCS exists in order to show the world that the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is supreme “in all things”—not just happy things, or spiritual things, or churchy things. All things. He is King, in all wisdom and goodness, over everything that is, was, and ever will be.
Second, “through Jesus Christ.” BCS exists to show the world that its joy can only be had in its Creator, and therefore that joy can only be had in its Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter where a person lives, what he or she is like, no matter what he or she does for a living, he or she can only find true Good in Him.
These two thoughts are seen together in what Pastor John calls the “foundational passage” for BCS, Colossians 1:15–18. Specifically, in part of verse 17 that appears on the official BCS seal in Latin: omnia in Christo constant. “In Christ all things hold together.”
At BCS, we strive to see God in Christ in every sphere of life so that we can treasure him above all things, and we try to do this in both the seminary and the college programs. We want to see Christ in all of Scripture, both New and Old Testaments, to see him in the history of the Church, to see him in the thoughts of great theologians and the music of the tradition. We also want to see Christ in all of the created order, in the heavens above, the rocks beneath, and in all the critters and events that live in between. Because He is there.
Now: if you had to draw that in one simple picture, how would you do it?
As Bethlehem College & Seminary’s resident graphic designer, I have been tasked with doing just that. Step by step we have chosen colors, typefaces, created a wordmark, and an institutional seal. Now, I am happy to introduce to you BCS’s logomark:
Even though art is not to be pedantically explained and limited by one person’s view of it, we thought it would be helpful to lay out a few of the design concepts that stand behind and have produced this mark.
Theologian Hans Boersma in his book called Heavenly Participation, calls us modern Christians back to the view of the world held by “the Great Tradition”: the view that the cosmos is like a God-woven tapestry, painting a huge picture of God, man, and the relations between them. The universe is unified in that it all points us back to its source, artist, and goal, the Triune God. “Such an outlook on reality,” he says, “will turn to Colossians 1:17 and will argue that the truth, goodness, and beauty of all created things is grounded in Christ, the eternal Logos of God.”
So, BCS’s logomark is at once a close-up view of a weave of a tapestry, as well as a series of crosses that hang together. Why? Because tapestries hang together of their own accord rather than being clamped or molded by an outside container. Why? Because it is Christ who is to be seen in every tiny detail of the tapestry of God’s created order, it is Christ who is the overarching theme and goal of all of the events depicted in that tapestry, and it is in Christ that the whole tapestry—creatures and history—hold together. Why? Because a tapestry, like the cosmos, has an Artist that stands behind it.
I hope that this inside look at our new logo’s design is not pretentious or off-putting to you, but rather that it helps you understand and value the unique mission of Bethlehem College & Seminary. More than that, I pray that it helps you trust and love even more our God who has so skillfully woven our story-telling tapestry called Redemption.