Beauty in Continuity

Beauty in continuity is the biblical vision of God’s design for us. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:1-2). Our God, who creates out of nothing, orders his work into beauty that reflects his glory. At each stage of the ordering process, more goodness is revealed. More truth about God’s nature and his loving plan for creation is known. And in the rightly ordered creatures called human beings, the very image of God is visible. Beauty is of the essence of reality, and our first ancestors were made its stewards. The Fall introduced disorder and ugliness to reality. God’s victory in Jesus (and us) is renewing, reordering, rehabilitating: beautifying and defeating chaos. Just think of the precise details of the descent of the heavenly city in Revelation 21. Imagine then an eternal destiny of singing with the angels — taking our part, touching up the cave painting, if you like. We live in the timeless tableau of the Good News of God. We add to it, and yet never change it.

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Andrew Petiprin is a Catholic writer and former Episcopal priest. He is the author of Truth Matters: Knowing God and Yourself.