THE KIND OF FAITH THAT WILL SURVIVE A POST-CHRISTIAN CULTURE by Nicholas Davis for Core Christianity
Christianity is true, and it may even be good, but rarely is it known as beautiful.
In the classical philosophical and theological tradition, Christianity was to express and reflect “the good, the true, and the beautiful.” Goodness, truth, and beauty all held a place in the vision of the Christian life.
In our day, Christians are mostly known for what we’re against. Rarely (if ever) are we a people known for what we are for. We are a people quick to assert what is true and right, pointing out what is wrong with Game of Thrones or 50 Shades of Gray, but the way we present our views is not always done in ways that are appealing or compelling. Don’t do it is not a compelling enough vision for those who are swept up into different versions of the good life.
If Christianity is going to survive in a post-Christian environment, then Christianity should not only be asserted as true, or even good for the world, but it should be beautiful in itself. It is a beautiful thing to be a Christian because the one who made beauty has made all things that are beautiful.
With that said, though, Christianity is beautiful in all the ways we wouldn’t expect. Instead of a picturesque image of life in a fancy hotel, with a generous donation being gifted to some charity organization, we’re confronted with a Jewish man who was hung bare naked on a cross, bleeding out, suffering and dying for the forgiveness of sins. God sent his beloved Son to die not so that he could love us, but because he loved us.
Christianity is beautiful when it is most hideous. In the gospel, our conception of beauty has been redefined. It is not a joyful sight to behold, but that dreadful event of Jesus on a cross has produced the most joyful sound ever heard for those who follow the way of the cross.