Essays Toward a Theology of Beauty Part III: The Beautiful Christian Life -- By: F. Duane Lindsey

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 131:524 (Oct 1974)
Article: Essays Toward a Theology of Beauty Part III: The Beautiful Christian Life
Author: F. Duane Lindsey

Essays Toward a Theology of Beauty
Part III:
The Beautiful Christian Life

F. Duane Lindsey

[F. Duane Lindsey, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

In the previous articles in this series, attention was directed to the contrasting realities of the beauty of God and the ugliness of Satan. The practical significance of these truths in relation to the Christian life would seem to define the Christian life in terms of the beautiful life-a human life in which the beauty of God is displayed and in which the ugliness of Satan is destroyed. Positive response to God’s beautiful person, purpose, and performances-a response involving negative reaction to Satan’s person, purpose, and performances-leads to the reproduction of the beauty of God in the life of the Christian. This beautiful Christian life will be examined in relation to its design, its development, and its destination.

The Design of the Beautiful Christian Life

If God were going to design the ideal human life, what features would He incorporate into that design? What kind of a person would be sketched on the divine Architect’s drawing board to preserve the distinct integrity of man’s creaturehood and yet give opportunity to display the beauty of the Creator? A partial answer to this question will be found in the biblical doctrine of the imago Dei-the image of God in which man was created. A fuller answer-and one that is at the center of the present investigation-is discovered by viewing the sinless human life of the incarnate Son of God and relating this both to the ruined image of God in Adam, and also to the restored image of God in the believer.

The Original Imago Dei

Coming from the hand of the divine Artisan, human nature was very good” (Gen 1:31). Man’s original character as created by God is indicated in the phrase, “in the image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26, 27; cf. 5:1, 3; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Col 3:10; James 3:9). Although some have attempted to distinguish between the “image” and the “likeness” (so that the image remained while the likeness was lost through the fall of Adam), it is preferable to recognize that these two terms are merely parallel expressions indicating that “by creation man bears an image actually correspond...

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