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  • March 2007
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God’s style

a scandalous beauty.  that’s the name of a book i picked up the other day.  subtitle:  the artistry of God and the way of the cross.

the title struck me as ironic as there is a lot of scandal wrapped up in beauty these days.  or maybe there’s a lot of things that seem beautiful, but are really scandalous.  in either case, these are two words rarely associated with the cross.  trivialized as a trinket, or sensationalized on film, but rarely viewed with moral outrage or allowed to  stir our artistic souls.

anyways,  here’s a quote from page 8 on how God expresses himself, his style as it were:

Most of us are more familiar, and maybe more comfortable, with preachers and professors, and we’d like God to be like that.  Heaven forbid that God should turn  out to be an artist.

But there it is.  The ratio of poetry to pure doctrine in  the Bible is at least fifty to one, andmost of the rest – including the life and teaching of Jesus – consists of stories and parables.  Why isn’t it all spelled out for us more clearly?  At times it seems as if God is in another room, the voice is muffled or the language is foreign, and we aren’t  quite sure if we can hear our name beingspoken.  Artists can be so exasperating.  They can also touch us, invite us, entice us into discovering for ourselves whatno amount of preaching or explaining could.

hmmm . . . God as artist . . . the scandalous  beauty of the cross . . . i think this is just the  right book for me to read at this point in time.

Linguistic Note:

Wikipedia’s entry on scandal speaks of “a widely publicized incident involving allegations of wrong-doing, disgrace, or moral outrage”  and lists such common things as sex scandals, political scandals, televagelist scandals, and on and on.  the stuff that the tabloids and news  outlets seem to thrive on.

the origin of the word is somewhat less titillating and way more compelling.   The Online Etymology Dictionary defines the term this way, “discredit caused by irreligious conduct” originally from the  Greek skandalon “stumbling block,” or “trap with springing device.” 

a trap . . . irreligious conduct . . . stumbling block . . .

yup . . . we have a scandal on our hands.  but its  a far cry from the latest preacher gone bad, or hollywood break-up, or policital brouhaha

it is a scandal full of beauty and mystery . . .


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