Ravished by Beauty – Reformed Spirituality and Nature

Thanks to my good friend Cameron West, I’ve been reading through Belden C. Lane’s book Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed SpiritualityThe book deals with a neglected theme in Reformed spirituality, the awakening of a desire for a God of ravishing beauty mirrored so generously in the world of nature, a beauty that evokes a fervent desire for God. He writes: “The genius of the Reformed tradition, in fact, is its ability to combine these seemingly contradictory themes [awe at God’s majesty and delight in God’s beauty]. It knows that God’s raw power (apart from God’s beauty) can be cruelly destructive and that God’s self-absorbed beauty (without the power to communicate it) becomes irrelevant and ineffectual. Calvin and Edwards joined the two in a way that few others in the tradition were able to do. The Genevan Reformer was intrigued by predestination, of course, but was just as fascinated by the world as a theatre of God’s glory.Edwards was famous for his Enfield sermon on ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,’ but he wrote with equal passion (and far greater frequency) about the wonders of creation … the warm-hearted, creation-centered strain is important in developing the ecological consciousness we need today. Yet the more austere, transcendent strain is helpful in reminding us of God’s wildness – the fact that creation is not solely focused on our anthropocentric needs” (p. 28).

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  • http://twitter.com/OldHippy47 Herman Morgan

    Dude, I don’t think You understand anything about this Book, or if you even read it ? Also, You seem to have forgotten everything you ever were taught in High School English class, or Freshman Journalism ? God’s Beauty lies both in the Natural Beauty that lifts our Spirits on a Spring Day, and in the Awesome Force of a Tropical Storm.