Friday, April 13, 2007

Are We Dead to Beauty?

Beauty is an attribute of God that reflects elements of His nature in a transcendent way. As such, true beauty provides insight and knowledge about the character of God. However, we live in an ugly culture of strip malls, warehouse churches, wimpy subjective art and music and literature.

As Christians devoted to the creation mandate and the beautiful truth of the holiness of God, why do we tolerate and even participate in such transitory and demeaning art? Are we no longer capable of recognizing true beauty? Are we guilty of suppressing the truth in our unrighteousness and has God given us over to the lusts of our hearts because we “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:18-15)?”

Is it possible that God has given the modern Church over to its own desires and that we have entered into a Babylonian captivity of sorts in which we are no longer able to appreciate and learn from beauty, truth, and goodness?

Paul says in II Timothy 4: 3-4 (ESV), “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” The prevalent passion in the arts is for subjective entertainment—not objective, substantive, permanent, beauty.

I pray that God has not made us dead to beauty; however, because it is a spiritual attribute, we are dependent upon the enlivening of the Holy Spirit to enable us to appreciate and apprehend that which is truly beautiful. May the Lord restore and multiply this gift in His people.

1 comment:

Jason Parolini said...

Greg -

I wonder how much of our devaluation of beauty comes from our endemic American pragmatism. We seem far more concerned with the "bottom line" than beauty. I trust that blogs like yours and biblical leadership in the church will begin to enliven an appreciation for that which is good, beautiful and true once more. Thanks for your labors.