Tag Archives: beauty

The Power of Beauty to Educate the Emotions

The Power of Beauty to Educate the Emotions

Sanctification is a lifelong process for a believer. Although a Christian is freed from the power and penalty of sin, he still must deal with the presence of sin around and within him. If, as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:31, man’s chief end is to glorify God, then the essence of sin is failing to… Continue Reading

The Aesthetic Nature of Truth

The Aesthetic Nature of Truth

Conservative evangelicals admirably repudiate emergent leaders who argue that both content and form must be contextualized; evangelicals insist that since God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, God’s truth transcends culture and must be preserved intact. But since even most conservative evangelicals consider culture as entirely neutral in itself and beauty as in the eye of… Continue Reading

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

I have spoken many times about the power of poetry and music to express what words alone cannot. Yesterday evening, as I was reading The Two Towers with my son, I came across this passage where Sam is asked about the beauty of Galadriel: “The Lady of Lorien! Galadriel!” cried Sam. “You should see her, indeed… Continue Reading

Knowing and Showing His Beauty

Knowing and Showing His Beauty

This entry is part 12 of 54 in the series One Thing Have I Desired You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are to love God for Himself, because of a twofold reason; nothing is more reasonable, nothing more profitable. – Bernard of Clairvaux Not long ago, a prominent (or at least vocal) atheist described the God of the Bible as “… arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction”. Among the adjectives he used to… Continue Reading

Change your tastes

Change your tastes

During the years I was in college and the one year before I was married, I ate a lot of junk food. I grew to love junk food. So when I eventually married, and my wife began to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals for me, I’ll admit that I really didn’t have a taste for it… Continue Reading

Article 9: On Harmony and Variety in Ordinate Expression

Article 9: On Harmony and Variety in Ordinate Expression

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

  This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that inordinate expressions of worship often arise from hearts that are entangled in disordered loves. We affirm that expressions of orthopathy are grounded in harmony with God’s ultimate perception of truth, goodness, and beauty as revealed in Scripture… Continue Reading

Beauty

Beauty

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Back to Basics You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Beauty has been classically defined as that which pleases when apprehended (Thomas Aquinas). Both terms in that definition are worth considering. First, “apprehended.” Beauty can describe things, persons, or ideas–anything that can be apprehended by the mind, and this apprehension may or may not involve the physical senses. Seeing, smelling, hearing, or tasting call all… Continue Reading

Article 6: On Beauty

Article 6: On Beauty

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that beauty exists in reality and is to be the pursuit of every believer (Phil. 1:9–11). We also affirm that the recognition of beauty is fundamental to worship and devotion, and a right approach to God entails both a… Continue Reading

Subjectively universal

Subjectively universal

One of the most difficult matters when having debates over aesthetics (that is, beauty and meaning in the arts) is the terms we employ. For example, the following terms often lack precision in discussion and thus cause confusion: relative subjective objective universal The first two terms are often equated with each other, as are the… Continue Reading

Edwards, the imagination, music, and the sacraments

Edwards, the imagination, music, and the sacraments

Jonathan Edwards has some fairly well-developed theories of art and aesthetics that can inform discussions of Christian aesthetics today. In particular, Edwards discussed the importance of the imagination, which he saw as a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit since it helps believers perceive spiritual reality. Here is a relevant passage from Experiencing God:… Continue Reading

Are Protestants Afraid of Beauty?

Are Protestants Afraid of Beauty?

Leading 20th century Roman Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar contended that Protestantism had no place for beauty in its theology. “Contemporary Protestant theology nowhere deals with the beautiful as a theological category,” he wrote. “For the time being, the only question posed by Protestants is that concerning the relationship between revelation and this-worldly beauty—certainly… Continue Reading

Is there a biblical standard for judging beauty?

Is there a biblical standard for judging beauty?

Imagine I tell my wife that I want to take her to a special place for our anniversary. We arrange for a babysitter for our children, we dress in our finest clothes, and we hop into our car to set off for our romantic “mystery” destination. Becky’s excitement soon turns to bewilderment as I pull… Continue Reading

Aesthetic correspondence

Aesthetic correspondence

Conservative evangelicals admirably repudiate emergent leaders who argue that both content and form must be contextualized; evangelicals insist that since God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, God’s truth transcends culture and must be preserved intact. But since even most conservative evangelicals consider culture as entirely neutral in itself and beauty as in the eye of… Continue Reading

“Language matters, as does beauty.”

“Language matters, as does beauty.”

Bradley J. Birzer discusses the importance of language in “Language Conservation and the Conservation of Culture.” Here’s a snippet: Language matters, as does beauty. With Plato, the modern conservative (That is, the conservative. I’m not including the bombastic media types who have appropriated, assaulted, and remade with plastic surgery the noble concept of conservatism) and religious… Continue Reading

Resources on beauty

Resources on beauty

I received an email last week asking for resources that argued biblically for transcendent truth, goodness, and beauty. Here is what I sent him: I deal with the issue in both of my books: Worship in Song and Sound Worship. These articles may include what you are looking for: Preserving the Truth in our Worship Conservative Christianity 101… Continue Reading

Worship: Effective or Affective

Worship: Effective or Affective

In a striking work published a century ago the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce pointed to a radical distinction, as he saw it, between art properly so-called, and the pseudo-art designed to entertain, arouse or amuse…[He was] right to believe that there is a great difference between the artistic treatment of a subject matter and the… Continue Reading

The Religious Affections and Beauty

The Religious Affections and Beauty

This entry is part 14 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Probably the greatest difference between a thoroughly conservative Christian church and more nominally conservative Christian churches will be found in differences over the religious affections. Conservative Christian churches want to conserve a Christian understanding of the religious affections. In the next few posts, I hope to suggest some ways that churches may recover a right view… Continue Reading

Truth and Worship Forms

Truth and Worship Forms

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have argued to this point that preserving the truth must include not only the preservation of right doctrine, but also the preservation of right imagination. As we have already seen, the imagination is shaped and cultivated through aesthetic forms. We have focused most specifically on literary forms since this is what we find in the Bible, but… Continue Reading