Friday, February 20, 2015
Fighting Cultural Aesthetic Relativism
"The world may believe there’s no standard for beauty, but the Word says otherwise."
"My view is this, that there are, however difficult they might be to define and to wield, that there are objective standards for quality and beauty, including quality and beauty in music. I do not buy the lie that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But rather, there are standards of excellence, standards of beauty. That is why the Scripture calls us in the Psalms to play excellently, to play beautifully before the Lord. And I think that we have done the world a disservice when we have rolled over on this issue, when we have embraced aesthetic relativism.
Isn’t it odd that Christians are rightly, jealously fighting against epistemological relativism, the idea that there is no true or false, and fighting that same good fight against ethical relativism, arguing that there is no good and bad. We are arguing that in fact there is, and that God is the standard. And yet when it comes to beauty, the third great virtue, which is an end in and of itself along with goodness and truth, beauty we are willing to concede is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I am willing to concede that—as long as we understand that the beholder is God. When He says to bring our best, when he calls us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness, we had better not say “beautiful to whom?”
Friends, let’s be careful about the cultural bromides that we find ourselves swallowing. We Christians, of all people, who worship a God who is three-in-one, complexity harmonized in the ultimate beauty, should be defenders of the objectivity of beauty."
Dr. RC Sproul Jr
I receive a podcast most days from RC Sproul Jr, and since this blog is dedicated to God's beauty in the world around us I decided his quote this morning was worth a repeat here. As a piano teacher and lover of music, I have wrestled with this issue for several years in the field of music. However, it is repeated in all aspects of the Arts in our culture. Hope you will join me in the fight against cultural aesthetic relativism.