Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doubting Beauty

An old friend recently posted a short piece on his blog about the all too frequent lack of good apologetic answers on the part of Christians who encounter someone with doubts. His prejudice, I know from experience, is that arguments will save the soul of the doubter.

The problem is more likely a case of inadequate, stunted apologetics. Reformed and conservative Protestant Christians may know Lee Strobel or Josh McDowell by heart. They know how to deal with intellectual doubt and answer questions logically and rationally. But do they know Beauty? They believe they have a handle on Truth - but are utterly ignorant of her sisters, Goodness and Beauty.

I have long been convinced that one of the reasons Evangelicalism fell so spectacularly fast and so very thoroughly to the heresy that likes to call itself Egalitarianism is that their theology is inadequate. They are so afraid of anything with a whiff of incense, the least taint of Rome, that they run headlong away from anything but their Bibles and a few acceptable authors. They have even trimmed the cardinal Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura into just me and my Bible, also known as solo scriptura.

There is no room in their universe for an argument from Beauty - beauty isn't so easily contained in their tight little logic boxes. Beauty is a wild card, she is dangerous. Beauty unleashes, in the words of a friend, titanic realities. Beauty opens the door to the past, to a time when we weren't so, ahem, enlightened. And she opens the door to her nature, to transcendence. She can be terrifying and comforting, wild and yet as tame as a purring cat curled up on your lap. Beauty can be found in a ray of sunshine falling across your shoulder, in the laugh of a child, in the almost imperceptible first strains of the violins opening On the Beautiful Blue Danube, in the eyes of a friend, or in the simple and accidental touch of your beloved.

Will philosophy, logic, rational arguments win the soul of a doubter? Perhaps. But I think it more likely that Dostoyevsky was right. Beauty will save world.

1 comment:

Beth Impson said...

Hey, Kamilla, read the "about" page at Christendom Review for a great quote on beauty --