A Conservative Christian Declaration: Article 6: On Beauty

We strongly affirm that that beauty is transcendent and absolute for at least four reasons

In summary, we should take aesthetic pleasure only in those things that are truly beautiful–truly worthy of delight–as compared to the absolute standard of God’s beauty and glory. To do otherwise is sin, and to regularly pursue pleasure in what is ugly hinders ordinate worship and praise to God.

This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.”

We affirm that beauty exists in reality and is to be the pursuit of every believer (Phil 1:9-11). We also affirm that the recognition of beauty is fundamental to worship and devotion, and a right response to God entails both recognizing and rightly responding to God’s beauty (Ps 29:2).

We deny that beauty is imposed upon an object by the beholder and is nothing more than the beholder’s pleasure. We also deny that one twisted in his judgments and perceptions can rightly know and love God.

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Most conservative evangelicals affirm the reality of transcendent, absolute truth and goodness, yet most are likely to deny absolute beauty. Instead, beauty is only “in the eye of the beholder” and purely relative.

On the contrary, we strongly affirm that that beauty is transcendent and absolute for at least four reasons:

First, the self-existence of God demands absolute beauty (John 17:5, 24Rev 4:11). Just as truth and morality find their source in the nature and character of God, so objects may be rightly called beautiful, not if someone simply delights in them, but if they likewise reflect Supreme Beauty.

Second, Scripture calls God beautiful (2 Chron 20:21; Job 40:9-10; Ps 9:8, 27:4, 45:2-4, 104:1, 145:10-12, Isa 42:14, Zech 9:17), further confirming that God is the ultimate standard of beauty. God’s glory is his beauty.

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