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A Christian Vision of Beauty

 A Christian Vision of Beauty

"A Christian understanding of beauty runs directly into the wisdom of the age by suggesting that the beautiful is simultaneously the good and the true and the real. This goes all the way back to the conversation of the ancients—especially to Plato, who understood the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real as being essentially reducible to the same thing. If there is one good, then that good must also be the true, which must also be the real, which must also be the beautiful. So the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real— the four great historical transcendentals—are unified in the One. For Plato, however, the One has no name...

Augustine, the great theologian of the Patristic Era, identified the One as the one true and living God. Taking Plato’s metaphysical speculations into the very heart of the gospel, Augustine suggested that Christians uniquely understand that the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real are indeed one, because they are established in the reality of the self-revealing God—the triune God of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He alone is beautiful, He alone is good, He alone is true, and He alone is real. That is not to suggest that nothing else reflects beauty or goodness. It is simply to say that He alone, by virtue of the fact that He is infinite in all His perfections, is the source and the judge and the end of all that is good, beautiful, true, and real. For as Paul said, 'From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen' (Romans 11:36)...

If you search through the Old Testament, you will notice that the word beauty is really not there. Instead, you will find the word glory. Throughout the Bible, the beauty of God is most commonly described as His glory. Once we understand the biblical category of glory—that is, the reality of God in terms of His inner reality and the external manifestations of Himself—we realize that God’s glory encompasses all the transcendentals. To gaze upon God is not first of all to see His beauty, but rather His glory."

a[Quoted from “The Disappearance of GOD” by Dr. Albert Mohler (Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2009), pp.50-51, 54-55 and sent to us by brother Amare Tabor.]