We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Cheap Church or Glorious Cathedral?

In Ezra 3, we find the Jews celebrating the rebuilding of the temple after their captivity in Babylon. At least, most of them were celebrating.

Those who had seen the splendor of the former temple knew that the new temple was a big step down. They actually wept at the sight of the new temple’s foundation. Imagine . . . here’s this huge celebration; half the people are rejoicing and half are crying!

The problem was a matter of perspective. Those who had seen the previous temple were heartbroken over this new, watered-down version of the temple of God. But those who had never seen the original splendor were content to settle for the new design–they didn’t know what they were missing!

Likewise, when we look at the great architecture of the past, we realize that both Christians and society in general have settled for comparatively cheap, temporary, and non-aesthetically pleasing architecture today. One has only to compare our cityscapes of rectangular glass and steel to the great stone cathedrals, bridges, and castles that took man sometimes over 100 years to build. Though we possess technological advances and a myriad of discoveries, our tastes and standards of excellence have reached an all-time low. The question is, why?

It’s natural for us to copy and reflect what we see around us. In order to gain an appreciation for what is aesthetically pleasing, we must expose ourselves to what is worthy. Extreme beauty and excellence should overwhelm us; they’re a taste of the glory that we will experience when we see God for the very first time.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ezra 3: Cheap Church or Glorious Cathedral

Cheap Church, or Glorious Cathedral

In Ezra 3, we find the Jews celebrating the rebuilding of the temple after their captivity in Babylon. At least most of them were celebrating.

Those who had however, seen the splendor of the former temple, built by King Solomon, knew that the new temple was a big step down. They actually wept at the sight of the foundation for the new temple.  Can you imagine…here’s this huge celebration and half the people are rejoicing and half are crying!

The problem was a matter of perspective. Those who had seen the previous temple were heart broken over this new watered down version of the temple of God. But those who had never seen the original splendor were content to settle for the new design—they just didn’t know what they were missing!

Likewise, compared to the great architecture of the past, Christians and society in general have settled for comparatively cheap, temporary, and non-aesthetically pleasing architecture.  One has only to look at our cityscapes of rectangular glass and steel compared to the great stone cathedrals, bridges, and castles that took man sometimes over 100 years to build…which by the way…still exist hundreds of years later.  Though mankind is so much farther ahead with their technological advances and myriads of discoveries, our tastes and standard of excellence has reached an all time low. The question is why?

You see we tend to copy and reflect what we see around us and spend time with.  Gaining an appreciation to what is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing is a matter of exposure to what is worthy. I will never forget when I saw my wife standing with her back to the painting of the School of Athens when we visited Rome.  She’s an artist and this particularly painting meant a lot to her. But she couldn’t find it. Then I said that she should turn around. When she did, she was standing 10 inches away from the painting. She began to cry…why? Because she was so overwhelmed with its beauty. Extreme beauty and excellence should overwhelm us because it’s a taste of the glory that we will experience when we see God for the very first time.

Psa 29:2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment