Guest / Limited Access /

The saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," suggests that attempting to say anything concrete about the nature of beauty is a futile task. As soon as one person deems something beautiful, ten others will show up deeming it ugly. But theologians of the early and medieval church did not assume beauty was subjective. Borrowing from neo-Platonic philosophy, they believed that for something to be beautiful, it must also be good and true, with God reigning as the ultimate source of beauty. Today's church can be thankful for people like David Taylor, who connect such esoteric reflections to the church's mission. As the arts pastor for 12 years at Hope Chapel, a vibrant congregation in Austin, Texas, Taylor helped believer artists make the connection between worship, creativity, and community. Here, Taylor makes a similar connection between beauty and gospel proclamation to answer this year's cvp question, "Is our gospel too small?"

What more, you may ask, do we want? … We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. —C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory"

Many of the houses on my block in north-central Austin, Texas, are architecturally ugly. Built in the late 1950s, they are one-story, squat structures. Slapped-on metal porches hang out from exceedingly flat roofs. The asbestos siding is faded. The construction is cheap, the brick dingy and dull. Collectively they perform the duties of houseness fine. But I can't say that I walk down my block and feel awe. I feel glum. I'm grateful for my house, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedJames MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders
James MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders
Megachurch pastor confesses board slandered three elders as 'false messengers' last year.
TrendingDeconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Deconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Bart Campolo's departure from Christianity–some reflections about faith and (our) families.
Editor's PickThe Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
The Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
Michael Horton's message to restless believers: Stay put, and build the church.
Comments
Christianity Today
A Holy Longing
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.