Darrow Miller and Friends

The Universe is Ultimately Beautiful

The Aesthetic

That God is the first and perfect artist is attested by the beauty of creation. The fact that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” establishes the metaphysical foundation for all of the arts (painting, writing, composition, sculpting, dance, etc.) and  for human creativity. Beauty enriches our lives and brings a sense of wonder to the human soul.

Beauty is the revelation of radiance, splendor and glory at all levels. It is part of what might be called the cultural trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty.  Professors George Stanciu and Robert Augros attest to this when they write that “All of the most eminent physicists of the twentieth century agree that beauty is the primary standard for scientific truth” (Robert Augros and George Stanciu, The New Story of Science, Lake Bluff, Ill. : Regnery Gateway, 1984, pg. 39).

Every normal human being is drawn to beauty wither in deepest space – seeing the star filled night sky or the pictures from the Hubble Telescope to the incredible Horsehead nebula in the constellation Orion; on the human level the timeless beauty of seeing a sunset, smelling the fragrance of spring flowers, tasting an exquisite meal, watching a baby at her mother’s breast or listening to the sound of a rushing mountain stream; on the microscopic level one sees the beauty and reality of a DNA strand or the wonder of the atom.

In the culture of poverty, life is seen as ultimately dark, hideous and repulsive. There is no objective or transcendent beauty; like her counterparts, truth and good, beauty is relative, seen as in the “eyes of the beholder.”

We see ugliness  manifest in the drabness of the buildings and cities built in the Soviet empire and in the decaying buildings, graffiti walls and streets of America’s inner cities.  We see it in the dark, sometimes morbid, eroticized gothic fashion, in the lyrics of punk-rock  and rap music, and the drug subculture of modern and postmodern youth. The culture of poverty crushes the human spirit, coarsens and degrades society and leads to hedonism, opulence, cruelty, addictions and eventually to a culture of death.  It brings a sense of purposelessness, hopelessness, misery, despair, poverty, gloom, sorrow and death.

On the other hand, the biblical worldview sees the universe as ultimately beautiful and elevates the heart, the mind, and the human spirit. When people recognize beauty, they experience joy, pleasure, and perfect delight pleasure; they exalt the creator of the beauty. They are encouraged to mimic the First Artist by creating beautiful music, poetry, dance and rhythm, cloth, paintings and lyrics.

The founder of Food for the Hungry, an international relief and development organization, used to say that relief workers should take flower seeds into refugee camps. Why would he say that? Flowers bring beauty, life and hope into a situation that needs all three thing. They can stir the heart and imagination to want to live.

-Darrow L. Miller

This Development Principle #4 is excerpted from a larger group of principles that we believe are necessary for the development of healthy cultures and societies.

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).