The Danger of Neglecting Beauty

The Gospel Coalition | 2/24/2018 | Staff
penaert (Posted by) Level 3
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Philosophers have long wrestled with this question: What makes humanity distinct from all other life forms? They often point to our desire for truth, goodness, and beauty. Christian theologians have regarded these desires as essential for knowing God. Honesty and falsehood point to the existence of absolute truth. Good and evil point to the reality of undefiled holiness. Beauty and ugliness whisper to our souls that there is such a thing as glory. Truth, goodness, and beauty were established by the God who is defined by all three.

In my experience, many Christians are strongest in their desire for truth and goodness, with beauty running a distant third. But when we neglect the pursuit of beauty, we neglect pursuing one of the primary qualities of God.

Pursuit - Beauty - Qualities - God

When we neglect the pursuit of beauty, we neglect pursuing one of the primary qualities of God.

Beauty is a power wielded by the hand of God. When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation, what did the Lord do? He took Abraham outside under the desert sky and told him to number the stars, and so would his offspring be. God wanted Abraham to connect the covenant promise with a sense of glory (Gen. 15:1–6).

Desert - Sky - Night - Heavens - Horizon

Have you ever seen a desert sky at night? It’s beautiful. The heavens unfurl from horizon to horizon. Glory, mystery, and echoes of the divine spread out before our eyes. Since the dawn of time, such a sight has put an ache for more in the souls of men and women.

Why Does Beauty Matter?

Ache - It—is - Force - Anyone - God

That beauty—and the ache that comes with it—is a powerful, necessary, shaping force for anyone who desires to know God. We have a theological responsibility to deliberately and regularly engage with beauty, because our God, his creation, and his people are all beautiful.

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