All the Ologies, and Letting Your Reasonableness Be Known to Everyone – The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show
How should Christians relate to beauty and ugliness? For that matter, how should followers of Jesus relate to truth and falsehood?
To begin to answer these questions, I look to Philippians 4:5-9 where the Apostle Paul writes about what we think about and how we feel, as well as what our expectation of benefit should be when our hearts and our minds are oriented and calibrated correctly.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone,” he says. And I take this as a mandate to reasoning and logic out loud and in the open.
Next Paul reminds the church at Philippi that “The Lord is at hand,” and to not be anxious. Instead, we are to present our requests to God “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.”
Then Paul says to think on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. And what if we made the study of all these things a systematic and logical thing within the broader context of love for and devotion to the Almighty?
As it turns out, I think this is precisely what historically happened, and that the same explains the rise of advanced sciences in the West in a way those pursuits and their codification did not happen outside the influence of Theology being “the queen of the sciences.”
Moreover, given such an origin story for the scientific method, the advanced sciences cannot long be sustained in a practically beneficial way except in the context in which they arose – love for God and love for our neighbor.
But we must believe that truth, honor, justice, purity, and loveliness – also alternatively known as beauty – are real things that exist in order to think on them, much less make an orderly and productive study of them.
This is just another way of saying that this presumption to God’s glory is the root of scientific research. So also, what follows in Paul’s letter to Philippian Christians about practicing what we have learned, received, and heard, plus the promise of the God of peace being with us, is the basis for practical sciences to the end of developing technology useful to craftsmanship and human flourishing.
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