Listen to this Sermon: 11252012GodExistsBecauseBeautyExistsDonRuhl
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God Exists Because Beauty Exists!
The beauty of creation confirms the existence of God
Matthew 6.28, 29
By Don Ruhl
Is it science or poetry, or both? I want to capture an idea from the song, “Ride the Tiger” by Jefferson Starship (Dragonfly, 1974, Lyrics: Byong Yu, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner. Music: Paul Kantner),
It’s like a tear in the hands of a western man
Tell you about salt, carbon and water
But a tear to an oriental man
He’ll tell you about sadness and sorrow or the love of a man and a woman
We can view a tear with a scientific eye, but if that is all we do, we miss something.
Tears also flow for spiritual and emotional reasons, for sadness, for sorrow, or for love.
How does the evolutionist explain the spiritual and emotional? He merely says that it was necessary for evolution. He still sees it as a mechanical response.
When contemplating a tear, or anything in creation, and how it relates to God, especially His existence, generally we use science and logic to say that the existence of that creation demonstrates that God exists, because are powerful allies with Scripture.
Consider the existence of God from the approach of poetry and beauty.
We use the science and logic route because that is our culture and we view them as objective.
However, we tend to think of the beautiful as something subjective. Therefore, proving that nature is a creation and that there must be a beautiful God who created all things, does not seem as solid to many people. Consider how we use the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”What I admire as beautiful may not be the same as you.
Yet, there are two things to contemplate here: We both acknowledge that beauty exists. There are things that we can agree upon as being beautiful.
Accepting these two ideas will lead us to: The fact that we are here by creation, not evolution, and that there is a God.
The Ugly Versus The Beautiful
Atheists often argue that the presence of evil and suffering speak against God’s existence. They see no place for the existence of the ugly, as they view ugliness, and a God of love and power.
However, the world is not all evil and suffering, the world is not totally ugly. Goodness, pleasure, and beauty fill nature. If the ugly can argue against His existence, the beautiful can argue for His existence!
It is true that there is a place where God does not exist, hell, a place of total suffering, total ugliness.
Whereas, there is a place where God dwells without competition from evil, heaven, a place of pure beauty.
Beauty (some of this information is from Hugo McCord)
Consider the moon that fulfills practical (scientific and logical) purposes and that fulfills aesthetic (poetic and beautiful) purposes.
Or picture the rose, as Hugo McCord so brilliantly questioned,
“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, colors, and fragrances?”
The rose has all three qualities! What good is beauty, if no one can admire it? What good is the ability to admire beauty, if there is no beauty?
Are there only scientific and practical explanations for: A flower-covered meadow in spring? A sunrise and a sunset?
One or two things of beauty in nature we could classify as accidents, but there is no end to the beauties of creation. Beauty does not happen by accident. Try to paint something beautiful. Try to write a song. You will discover that each requires a designer and a poet.
The sound of a song, the aroma of perfume, the sparkle of the eye, the words of the poet, beg for a definition of beauty beyond mere science and logic.
Look at a flower. The evolutionist may explain the shape, color, and perfume scientifically, but how can he explain the urge of man to admire those three things, and the desire of the painter to paint the flower, or the desire of the photographer to photograph the flower? What is the scientific, practical and logical explanation for man’s desire to capture the beauty of the flower? We do not need it for “the survival of the fittest.” We do not need it for “natural selection.” Name another creature on this planet that contemplates, admires, and duplicates beauty the way man does? that decorates simply for the sake of beauty?
We appreciate beauty because we are made in the image of God. After God created each day, Moses wrote, “And God saw that it was good.” On the sixth day, Genesis 1 says, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Gen 1.31). The goodness He observed would have included: How all creation works perfectly, the harmony between all things, and the pure beauty of it all. How is it, for example, that our planet just happens to have the food we need and an abundance of it? Therefore, we likewise have an appreciation for the beautiful.
The evolutionist strains to explain how beauty fits into everything,
“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” (Thomas H. Huxley).
Think of Life’s Extras (Ideas from: Life’s Extras by Archibald Rutledge; Creation Illustrated; Creation Ex Nihilo)
Moonlight, sweet aromas, and songbirds defy a mere scientific explanation. They do something to us. How does evolution explain what they do to us?
Yes, we need sunlight, air, water, food, and other things to survive. However, the sunsets that sunlight creates, the music that the air going through the trees creates, the symphony that the water pouring over rocks makes, and the pleasures of eating that food creates, we do not need for survival, but those things come as life’s extras. Who put them here, and for what purpose? Beauty touches the heart. Beauty renews the spirit. Beauty reclaims the life.
“The blossoms blend in a riot of color that seems to shout the praises of their Creator” (Evelyn Sayler, “Color in the Shadows,” Creation Illustrated).
Everything we do for beauty, admiring it, duplicating it, speaking of it, all set us apart from the rest of natural creation, and testify to the fact that we are made in God’s image, which means there is a God, for how do we explain the explosion of beauty in creation without God?
We derive pleasure from beauty, even if something beautiful has no functional purpose, but such pleasure from beauty comes from what our Creator put in us! Therefore, there is a God in heaven who wants us to see things as He does.
Evolution cannot explain these things; creation does. How do you explain our appreciation for a good deed? What evolutionary purpose does our appreciation of such beauty fulfill?
Here is my point: Design requires a Designer; art requires an Artist. Nature exhibits design and art. Therefore, nature has a Designer who is an Artist. The Bible identifies the Designer/Artist as God. We accept the Bible’s declaration because we see that the Bible harmonizes perfectly with nature. Therefore, the Bible speaks the truth on nature and on nature’s God.
Things of Beauty
While some things are beautiful only in the eye of the beholder, making them subjective, yet, everyone acknowledges many things as beautiful, showing that some things transcend all tastes, that God made us to appreciate the beautiful, and that makes us see the beautiful God.
The Bible shows us these beautiful things, because the Bible comes from God, and He wants us to know His love of beauty and He wants us to join in that admiration. He ultimately wants us to see that we are like Him and that we can live in another place of unsurpassed beauty.
Most people will agree with what the Bible says of
trees, whose beauty pleases the eye,
And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food (Gen 2.9a),
works of men, whose beauty amazes us,
And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty (Exo 28.2),
cities, whose beauty allures us,
So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build (Deu 6.10),
children, whose beauty touches us,
Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.
words, whose beauty transforms us,
The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd (Ecc 12.10, 11).
mankind’s construction, whose beauty craftsmen seek to duplicate,
…according the beauty of a man (Isa 44.13),
women, whose beauty tops creation,
…the desire of your eyes… (Eze 24.16, 18),
homes, whose beauty we covet,
when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them (Deu 8.12),
holiness, whose beauty we desire,
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! (1Ch 16.29),
Zion, Jerusalem, literal and spiritual, whose beauty we adorn,
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. (Psa 50.2),
praise of God, whose beauty we love,
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. (Psa 147.1),
Christ, whose beauty we seek,
In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious… (Isa 4.2),
God’s people, whose beauty we enjoy,
Your beautiful sheep (Jer 13.20),
So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him. (Psa 45.11),
nations, such as Egypt, whose beauty we still study,
Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches, Because its roots reached to abundant waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; The fir trees were not like its boughs, And the chestnut trees were not like its branches; No tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty. I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches, So that all the trees of Eden envied it, That were in the garden of God.” (Eze 31.7–9),
and, I had to get this one in, preachers, whose beauty we receive,
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom 10.15, quoting Isaiah 52.7).
Therefore, let us see that there is a God, and that He is a God of incomprehensible beauty, for the beauty we see in creation makes us speechless, and shows us that God’s own beauty surpasses His creation,
One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD… (Psa 27.4)
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psa 90.17)
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off. (Isa 33.17)