Serving an international readership with the Old Jerusalem Gospel via the Internet.
Home | Current Issue | Archives | Lauds | Links | churches of Christ
Plan of Salvation | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Contact Us

 Vol. 5, No. 6 

June 2003

~ Page 12 ~


By Hugo McCord

Hugo McCord Human beings are fascinated, not only by the existence and revolutions of the moon, but also by its beauty. The moon serves a utilitarian purpose in regulating the months and the tides, and it also serves an aesthetic purpose to earth dwellers. Up close, it is neither utilitarian nor beautiful, but from a quarter of a million miles, its yellow crescent or its white full-orbed splendor does something to everyone, especially to lovers. Did the moon's Maker have something in mind for earth dwellers both practically and aesthetically?

When one turns his eyes from the moon back to the earth, and examines a rose, several questions arise. How did it arrive? Why is it so symmetrically shaped, beautifully colored and delicately perfumed? If there is no practical value, did the rose's Maker have an appreciation for things of beauty? Did he put in humans a corresponding sense of appreciation of symmetry, of colors and of fragrance?

If one tries to make a list of beautiful things, he becomes exhausted. Long before the apples of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia become utilitarian nourishment, that valley in blossom season is more than any artist can imagine. Also, springtime in the Rocky Mountains has something more than mining and ranching.

Furthermore, sunrise at sea is more than another earth revolution. The scientific explanation of a sunrise at sea leaves something to be desired: "the earth revolves until its tangent plane coincides once more with the solar azimuth."

The songs of the nightingale, the fragrance of a violet, the smile of a friend, the sparkle in an eye, all have an attractiveness difficult to define, but lovely and real.

Both Plato (427-347 B.C.) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) engaged themselves in the discussion of beauty. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 A.D.) was gripped in deep admiration, reflecting on the beauty of "the starry heavens."

Life is real and beauty is real, and it appears that the Creator of both must be alive and aesthetic. Apparently, only humans have a contemplative faculty able to appreciate beauty. "Man is the only animal that decorates" (William H. Davis, professor of philosophy, Auburn University).

A theist has no trouble explaining either the existence of beauty or its appreciation. But an evolutionist, yoked with a survival of the fittest doctrine, finds himself with nothing to say. Evolutionist Thomas Huxley was very honest about his difficulty:

One thing which weighs with me against pessimism and tells for a benevolent author of the universe, is my enjoyment of scenery and music. I do not see how they can have helped in the struggle for existence. They are gratuitous gifts (DARWINISM, p. 478, further documentation not available).

The scholarly and eloquent philosopher F.R. Tennant, saying that "Some men enter His Temple by the Gate Beautiful," was not hesitant to list beauty as one of the solid pillars of theism, and that "if the theism contained in this statement is rejected, explanation does not seem to be forthcoming" (PHILOSOPHICAL THEOLOGY, Cambridge: University Press, I, 1928; II, 1930; reprint, 1956, II, 91f).

Dennis "the Menace," as he looked up at some beautiful clouds, said to his little friend, "If heaven is that beautiful on the bottom, how beautiful it must be on top."

Mrs. A.S. Bridgewater wrote "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be":

We read of a place that's called heaven,
It's made for the pure and free;
These truths in God's word He has given,
How beautiful heaven must be.
In heaven, no drooping, nor pining,
No wishing for else where to be,
God's light is forever there shining,
How beautiful heaven must be.
Pure waters of life there are flowing
And all who will drink may be free;
Rare jewels of splendor are glowing,
How beautiful heaven must be.
How beautiful heaven must be,
Sweet home of the happy and free;
Fair haven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be.Image

Go to Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Conditions of Use