Eternity in Our Hearts: The God of Beauty, the Beauty of God


Sargent - Madame Errazuriz-smallThis message was seven months in the making, and this past Friday I finally delivered it.  So, as promised, I’m posting both the audio and the manuscript here.  You can also find a general outline on my Sermon site, and you can also find it at my Podcast.

Click here for sermon audio

Click for Audio

Click for Manuscript Pdf

Click for FULL Manuscript

This is the message I gave at Epiphany Fellowship. The topic was Beauty. The attached manuscript is the full manuscript. It is 43 pages long and contains far more information than I was able to give in a 40 minute message. It includes an appendix where every form of every word in the Greek and Hebrew translated as “Beauty” or “Beautiful” in the English Standard Version of the Bible is ordered by frequency and includes the literal meanings and lexical range of each word.

I really cannot stress how much more is in the manuscript than was preached.  Every section has huge amounts of thought and prayer in it that was not able to be included in the final message.  That’s why throughout the next week or more, I’ll be blogging about every section of this manuscript.  Each post will focus and discuss the fuller version of each section.  If it gets to be too much I’ll spread it out as need be, but we’ll see.  This is where your thoughts and insights will be so helpful and needed, but if you have a question now, don’t feel like you have to wait for that blog post to come to ask.  Engage with any and everything now.

I hope this blesses all of you as much as it did me.  The feedback that evening was more than I knew how to handle and perhaps I’m still processing it.  Thank you all for your grace and affirmation.  For those that came out, I thank you. I very much enjoyed both preparing and delivering this message, and I look forward to further chances to do so.  If you’re interested in giving me such a chance, feel free to use the contact email on the sidebar to the right (or just click here).

Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think, and please at least look through some of the manuscript.  Until next time . . .

One small final note: on most every site and post I’ve used to discuss this message I’ve used the attached piece of art.  It is a piece called “Madame Erraruriz” and it is by my favorite American painter John Singer Sargent.  I got to see this painting in an exhibit of his at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and ever since seeing the brushstrokes in this simple painting and seeing the nuances and the subtleties that don’t quite come across from this digital shot, I have long found it to be one of the most beautiful paintings I’ve ever seen.  It is for that reason I have chosen it as the picture that has constantly been up for all these posts.  A few years back I even wrote a poem based on the piece called “Extended Engagement”.  I ended up writing two versions, one less structured than the other to better mirror the feel of the piece, but on this blog you can read both Version 1 and Version 2.  Let me know which you prefer.

I’m preaching in Philadelphia.


As the title clearly says, I will be giving the message tomorrow at Epiphany Fellowship‘s monthly event called “First Friday Fundamentals“.  Each month we take a topic and see how the culture, media, and world at large views this topic.  We look at various forms of media, art, film clips, and music to observe the predominant worldviews.  Then someone gives a message on a Biblical perspective on that topic.

This month’s topic is Beauty.

If you can make it, should be a great evening.  The info is below.  If you can’t make it, please pray for me (I’m not very experienced at this stuff).  And also know that I’ll be posting the audio, full manuscript (almost 40 pages long!) and other resources on the topic on this very blog you’re reading, my sermon site, and my podcast.  I’ll also be blogging about it all next week to let people discuss it further.  Here’s the info for the night:

First Friday Fundamentals @ Epiphany Fellowship

Friday, August 6, 2009

17th & Diamond, Philadelphia, PA

8-10:30pm, Free

I hope to see many of you there.  Below is the trailer for the evening:

Speak your mind: What is Beauty? (A Survey)


Sargent - Madame Errazuriz-small

For those that might run across this post in the future, the message mentioned in this post was written, given, and walked through part-by-part on this blog.  You can see all these posts by clicking here.

So . . . I’m giving a talk in a few weeks on the topic of Beauty.  The first section of the talk will be a discussion attempting to answer the question “What is Beauty?”  To aid me in this I’d like to extend this question to the world at large.  So, I’m asking all of you out there: what do you think beauty is?

Feel free to take your time or just give me the first thing that pops into your head, or even give me more than one idea if you want. This is totally open.  Leave a comment.  Email me.  Facebook me.  Whatever you want.

Or, leave a joke if you want – but only if it’s a good one.  Here’s the dictionary definition for “Beauty” to get you started thinking:

the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

So, that’s what Dictionary.com thinks.  What do you think Beauty is?

(art: “Madame Errazuriz” by John Singer Sargent)