Author Archives: David de Bruyn

The Process of Correspondent Love

The Process of Correspondent Love

This entry is part 32 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Love for God’s beauty is known not only by imagination and through changed nature, but also by exposure. The writer of Theologia Germanica wrote, “And he who would know before he believeth, cometh never to true knowledge…We speak of a certain Truth which it is possible to know by experience, but which ye must believe… Continue Reading

The Position of Correspondent Love for God

The Position of Correspondent Love for God

This entry is part 31 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

One’s nature determines much of one’s desire for God. What is inherited from Adam and from biological ancestors, partly determines what one desires. Unless the human’s sin nature is miraculously transformed, he or she is without power to love God ultimately, and without the position or tools to pursue God (Jer. 13:23; Rom 3:10–12; Eph.… Continue Reading

Loving God’s Beauty

Loving God’s Beauty

This entry is part 30 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

At this point, it will be helpful to summarise our argument in five steps. Step one: God’s beauty is his love for his own being. Step two: God’s beauty is perceived and apprehended by love for God. Step three: This love must be a correspondent love: one which corresponds with God’s love in degree and… Continue Reading

The Dilemma of Commanded Love

The Dilemma of Commanded Love

This entry is part 29 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If God’s beauty is perceived through correspondent, or ordinate love, we face a dilemma. Love is not merely a mental choice between options. One cannot simply choose to love as a naked act of the will. As Tozer said, “[E]very man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be.… Continue Reading

More Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

More Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

This entry is part 28 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Brother Lawrence’s (1614–1691) collected letters, known as The Practice of the Presence of God, describe his attempt to love all things for God’s sake. He remarks that he was pleased “when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts”… Continue Reading

Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

This entry is part 27 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It would be an insurmountable task to gather the collective thought of Christians on the topic of love for God. Suffice it to say, that many Christians have spoken frequently on the degree and nature of rightly ordered love. They have spoken not only on the required order of Christian loves, but on their kind.… Continue Reading

A Biblical Theology of Loving God

A Biblical Theology of Loving God

This entry is part 26 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Is the idea of correspondent, or ordinate, love present in Scripture? Does Scripture describe what love for God should be? It does indeed. In terms of degree, Scripture makes a hierarchy of loves very clear. The first of the Ten Commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3). Deuteronomy 6:4–5 was… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Beauty Through Correspondent Love

Knowing God’s Beauty Through Correspondent Love

This entry is part 25 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What can we conclude about God’s beauty and how to perceive it? 1) God’s beauty is his own consent, love, or affection for his holy being. 2) Loving this beauty, and necessarily, its object-God’s being simply considered-is the means of perceiving this beauty. Loving God is the analogue of God’s beauty in the creature: a… Continue Reading

Beauty: the Link Between General and Special Revelation

Beauty: the Link Between General and Special Revelation

This entry is part 24 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What relevance does understanding beauty in general revelation of creation have for understanding the special revelation of God’s beauty? This is a perennial question asked by evangelicals. What does beauty have to do with evangelism, discipleship, sanctification or church life? To answer that, we need only consider the many similarities between art and religion. Art,… Continue Reading

Biblical Fact-Check: 613 Commandments?

Biblical Fact-Check: 613 Commandments?

I’m not sure where it began, but someone started the tale that the Hebrew High Priest had a rope tied to his leg, so that if the sound of the bells attached to his robe stopped jingling in the Most Holy Place, the people on the other end of the rope would know he’d been… Continue Reading

Judging Beauty in Creation (2)

Judging Beauty in Creation (2)

This entry is part 23 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We continue with the next three aspects of experiencing beauty in creation. Immediate Response After contemplating beauty receptively, we experience an immediate response, which is usually unpremeditated and almost instinctive. This immediate response is not the final judgement of the soul upon what it is encountering, only its initial reaction. To take this superficial reaction… Continue Reading

Island Culture

Island Culture

Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a tidal island off Normandy, France. Water levels have varied over the centuries, but at its highest, the island would be completely cut off from the mainland, and at low tide, foot traffic could recommence. The tidal island is a decent illustration of the relationship between the church and its surrounding culture.… Continue Reading

Judging Beauty in Creation

Judging Beauty in Creation

This entry is part 22 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The two domains of God’s revelation are general revelation and special revelation. God has revealed Himself to all men generally through the created order, and God has revealed Himself specifically to some through His Word, mediated through various agents. If we wish to perceive the beauty of God, we will find it in both domains,… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Description

Beauty’s Description

This entry is part 21 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Beauty defined may be abstract and remote; beauty described should be concrete. What does beauty look like? For that matter, since beauty is not only (or even primarily) visual, what does beauty sound like, feel like, or seem like? When we have encountered or experienced beauty, what is that experience? The best approach is to… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition: What About the Cross?

Beauty’s Definition: What About the Cross?

This entry is part 20 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If beauty is ultimately God’s self-knowledge and communicative self-delight, we can explain easily enough why other theories of beauty have defined beauty as harmony and symmetry, or truth and goodness, or pleasure and delight. For Trinitarian love is the ultimate and absolute form of harmony and unity, being a symmetry not of objects but of… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition: Addenda

Beauty’s Definition: Addenda

This entry is part 19 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Jonathan Edwards combined insights from each of the theories of beauty, while being primarily theological. His theory was different from his Christian forbearers, though. Instead of resting on the medieval idea that God’s beauty was equivalent to his being, Edwards insisted that the beauty of God is God’s interaction with his being. Beauty is not… Continue Reading

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

This entry is part 18 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

How do we decide between these competing definitions of beauty? As Christians, we would firstly say that we cannot be satisfied with a definition of beauty abstracted from God. Beauty must be defined in relation to God. For that reason, special revelation (Scripture) must define beauty in general revelation (nature and art), not the other… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition

Beauty’s Definition

This entry is part 17 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Defining beauty is no easy task. A definition of beauty or the beautiful has eluded the grasp of those who wish a definition with mathematical precision. This more than two-millennia-old discussion remains open, and no definition has satisfied its perennial participants or become the final word. Among those who venture to define it, we can… Continue Reading

Tattoos: To Do or Eschew?

Tattoos: To Do or Eschew?

The Christian life is meant to be a life of obedience grounded in discernment. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21) Such discernment is not simply an inner sense of confidence, or a feeling of sagacity, but an active judging of all things for their meaning. The pursuit of meaning is… Continue Reading