Why Defending the Faith Requires Imagination

Trevin Wax reviews Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle’s book, Erasing Hell, which itself is a response to Rob Bell’s universalist manifesto, Love Wins. He recommends the book, but notes that Christians need to defend the faith using both the propositional and the aesthetic:

Erasing Hell is functional, but not beautiful. From a functional point of view, I recommend it. But I think we need to be pushed on the beautiful side of this equation as well. The gospel shouldn’t shut down our imagination, but rather fuel it and direct it toward the beauty that is inherent to the truth. We need more than analysis; we need artistry.

Wax’s main point is that last line: we don’t just need to understand truth, but see its beauty. In this, Wax earlier quotes Tim Keller talking about the vision of Jonathan Edwards:

Reason tells me about the truth, but I really cannot grasp what it means; I can’t understand it without art. Edwards said that unless you use imagination, unless you take a truth and you image it – which of course is art – you don’t know what it means. If you cannot visualize it, you don’t have a sense of it on your heart.

Here is a beautiful, God-centered vision of art: it helps the individual and the church understand the written truth of God’s Word so we can together see and enjoy His beauty with all of our God-given abilities.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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