The Whole Christ

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17)

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Transcendental men

If you’ve never visited Peter Leithart’s blog before, I warmly commend it to you. I recently read an old post by him on beauty and its relation to apologetics, which can be found here. In it, he argues that the beauty inherent in nature points to the existence of an ultimate beauty – Christ. The argument from beauty is the most neglected of the three transcendental arguments and yet it is probably the most important.

Here are the three transcendental arguments for the existence of God.

1) The argument from morality – the existence of objective morality cannot be adequately accounted for without presupposing a Christian worldview.

2) The argument from logic – the existence of logical laws, of objective truth, cannot be adequately accounted for without presupposing a Christian worldview.

3) The argument from beauty – the existence of beauty cannot be adequately accounted for without presupposing a Christian worldview.

As Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).

One of the main reasons why the argument from beauty is neglected is because it is less objective than the other two. I think though, that suspicion of it is probably rooted in modernism, rather than in Christianity. Let us not forget that postmodernism acted as a useful counterbalance against the liberal thinking of modernistic enlightenment-era Christianity. We need to see the Christ of Christianity as Isaiah did, as a God of Glory and Beauty (Isaiah 6).

Consider this – most Christians in the UK are women. A Tearfund report from around ten years ago suggested that 2 in every 3 Christians are female. I don’t know if that figure is still accurate, but I think it says something about British men. It suggests that they don’t get the beauty of the gospel like women do.

Many have suggested that the Church is too feminine and needs to become more ‘manly’ to appeal to men. Whilst that may be partially true, I think there is an inherent danger in labelling the dullness of British liberal evangelicalism as “feminine”. It carries the implication that women are dull and lifeless, whereas men are fun and exciting, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Let us not forget that the Holy Spirit is the feminine person of the Godhead, the glorifier, and that it is through the Spirit that we come to know Jesus.

I think that there is a much simpler reason why the men left the Church: sex. One of the main reasons why men refuse to accept Jesus is because they don’t want anyone to have control over their sex lives. Many non-Christian men I have spoken with have even been very open about this as the reason why! The apologetic answer to the problem is not to concentrate solely on the more logic-orientated arguments for Christianity, which will only evade the deeper issues. Rather, we must unashamedly set forth the beauty of Christ first and foremost, displaying it in our words and actions, so that the word of the gospel of Christ might be made flesh in us.