Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beauty Points to God

Beauty is a strong indication that ideals are real. The more nearly a form, sound, or color approximates its unseen ideal, the more beautiful it is. And ideals imply absolutes. To borrow an illustration from Plato, if the flawed beauty we see in nature is a shadow, a reality must exist outside nature to form the shadow and a light must exist behind the reality to cast it. And realities are always greater than their shadows. For beauty to exist there must be a God who designed it as the ultimate expression of perfection.

Beauty not only points us toward God but also reveals something of God’s nature that even believers often find surprising. Just as reason shows the consistency of God and morality shows the character of God, beauty shows, if we can open our minds to see it, the emotion of God. Beauty is the joy, the delight, the smile, and the laughter of God—the ecstasy of God. Beauty reveals that God desires not that we merely exist but that we revel in supreme delight. Beauty shows that the world is infused with more meaning than mere mechanics.

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