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Aesthetics: A Theology of Beauty (Dr. Jo Ann Davidson)

This week on Advent Next’s Theological podcast, we are discussing the aesthetic nature of God with Dr. Jo Ann Davidson, Professor of Systematic Theology at Andrews University. Our topic today is inspired by her book “Toward A Theology of Beauty.”

“The uniqueness about the Bible is that everything God touched was beautiful.” We begin our journey of exploration in the Garden of Eden where God expresses His artistic tastes in the formation of man and animals. He is not only tasteful in his design, but shows care in His craftsmanship. In the formation of both Adam and Eve, “God created love, and romance, handsomeness, and beauty.”

The next artistic feat that God spends a substantial amount of time discussing in the Bible is the architectural design of the sanctuary. “There are more chapters about the sanctuary in the Pentateuch than any other topic.” The first person God imbued with the Holy Spirit is Bezalel, which is a wonderful revelation that God considers the artist just as much a minister as a teacher, evangelist or prophet. “Bezalel is the first person in the Bible, who is said to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Being an artist is a type of ministry.” “An artist can best express the beauty of truth and make it have the highest value.”

By understanding the way that God speaks, we see that He is more than just a systematic theologian. “The Bible is not a systematic theology. It is a system of truth. But God, when He reveals Himself, takes great pains to reveal His aesthetic nature.”

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