Too many Christians are afraid of beauty. This fear disconnects these Christians from their larger culture, a culture that is increasingly visual, increasingly aware of the presence and power of images, and more commonly fascinated by the power of beauty and form. This historical-theological overview presents the thought of ten theologians and one philosopher in an attempt to give Christians helpful vocabulary concerning beauty and aesthetics. It is time to use beauty and aesthetics for the mission of Christ! And yet rather than simply parrot the larger post-Christian culture, Christians and churches need to employ beauty and aesthetics in a manner that echoes God's own revelation: creation and redemption through Jesus Christ. We need to develop a sensitivity that can perceive beauties ignored. We need theological framing that both respects the glory of God's handiwork and keeps it from becoming idolatrous. We need to live with wonder for the bounty that routinely surrounds us. In short, we need eyes to see. ""This is a marvelous book and long overdue. The secular/sacred divide has long crippled our appreciation for the deep and compelling mystery of divine beauty in our world. How do we encounter it? How can we describe it? Rybarczyk clearly and penetratingly moves the reader through the entire history of this topic among towering theological figures in search of an answer. You will find his discussion downright fascinating."" --Frank D. Macchia, Associate Director, Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, Bangor University, Wales, UK; Professor of Christian Theology, Vanguard University Edmund J. Rybarczyk is Professor of Historical Theology at Vanguard University in Southern California. He is married to Tawnya, his beautiful wife of thirty years. Together they have three children--John, Kareese, and Lucy; one daughter-in-law, Lauren; and one granddaughter, Wesley. Rybarczyk won the Pneuma Annual Book of the Year Award for his work Beyond Salvation: Christian Transformation in Eastern Orthodoxy and Classical Pentecostalism (2004).
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