In reading for my thesis over the last year I have noticed that many systematic theology texts do not deal with the beauty of God sufficiently – usually as a sub category of another attribute. In fact, some do not treat it at all. I think Patrick Sherry has given one good reason for this in his book Spirit and Beauty.

“The question becomes even more difficult when it is said not only that God is beautiful but that he is beauty itself, the source of beauty in all other things. Of course similar problems arise with other divine attributes, like wisdom, power, and love. But the ordinary believer gets some handle on these other attributes by trying to discern the relevant divine actions, for instance God’s wise governance of the universe, His power manifested in natural phenomena or holiness, and his love shown in providence and especially, Christians say, in the life of Christ. In the case of beauty, however, it is difficult to find any corresponding actions other than God’s creation of beauty in the world.”[1]

Perhaps he is on to something. Nonetheless, (as he later argues) it seems that Christian scripture teaches that God is the ultimate source of perfection and beauty and that He values and offers himself as a beautiful gift to humanity.

[1] Patrick Sherry, Spirit and Beauty (Wales: SCM Press, 2002), 53.

One thought on “Why Systematic Theology Texts Do Not Explore the Beauty of God…?

  1. When I pray and worship, I’m keenly aware of my inability to adequately express my feelings toward God’s nature. My worship is small in its expression of His greatness. I appreciate people who can descriptively praise God’s attributes (like a John Piper), because it helps me better proclaim my own love and devotion. However, all of it pales to reality which none of us here will ever comprehend. I mean, His presence scorches the mountain where He rests, causes people to fall at his feet as if dead and negates the need for sunlight. And thousands upon thousands worship Him in His shining city. I’m enjoying your content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s