Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? (Part 2)
A Breach in the Wall of Christendom
Christianity has been vigilant to defend absolute truth and absolute goodness from the forces of postmodernism. Scores of books and sermons and lectures have been written and given for an apologetic regarding truth and morality. However, the forces of postmodernism are making a breach in the wall of Christianity and that is in the area of aesthetics—beauty. Very few soldiers of light are rushing in to fill that area of the wall, because we’ve given up that quarter of our citadel to the enemy. This is because by-and-large we agree with the enemy there. Why not create music that bangs one head on the wall screaming over and over that God is love, joy and peace? Isn’t that beautiful? This type of thinking is very dangerous and attacks the safety of our city.
What is Beauty?
According to Merriam-Webster the definition for beauty is “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”
God’s Word describes God as beautiful. David says in Psalm 27:4:
“One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in His temple.”
Not only is God beautiful in Himself, but He made a beautiful world that communicates His attributes and reflects His beauty. Genesis 1:31 says that “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” The form of His creation communicates His own goodness! Indeed this is what Romans 1:20 tells us: “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” R.C. Sproul says that “God is the source, the fountainhead, and the norm of all that is beautiful. Just as everything that is true points to God, and everything that is good points to God, so everything that is authentically beautiful also points to the source and fountainhead of that beauty.”
Each and every one of God’s qualities and the sum of them all are, beautiful. We were made to know, delight in and enjoy God forever - God is so good, wonderful and magnificent - that when we know God more and more our spirit soars and we experience joy in Him. This is all for His glory and praise! This explains well the definition of beauty the writers of Merriam-Webster were aiming at when they say—“the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”
God’s glory is very closely related with His beauty. God’s glory is His beauty manifested, just as beams of light emanate from the sun. His glory shows the reality of His infinite majesty, worth, and significance.
The apostle John said of Jesus: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
The author of Hebrews says this of Jesus: “but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:2-4
Wow, the One who upholds the universe by His Word—God the Son—was the Word spoken by the Father “the Word became flesh”! In Jesus we see the Glory of God. “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
I could go on and on about the glory and beauty of God—in fact, for all of eternity!
But I think you are beginning to get the point of how important this topic of beauty is, because God is beautiful.
(Stay tuned for Part 3...)