This book by Jonathan King is part of Lexham Press’s Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology series. It’s the first volume in the series that I’ve encountered and I was impressed. It’s described as a “peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs” that cover a wide array of subjects. This volume on the beauty of the Lord sheds light on so many places for me. The advertising blurb on the back cover (“restores aesthetics as not merely a valid lens for theological reflection, but an essential one”) doesn’t really capture what this book has to offer. It’s not so much a book about aesthetics as much it is one that exalts the beauty of the Lord as an overarching pedestal to understand the big picture of God’s word.
The book is well-written, deeply researched, and successful at probing what has been believed. The author never fears to cogently argue his case either. If you’re like me, you may find him easy to agree with whether it’s a topic you’ve deeply studied in the past or not.
The introduction is successful in establishing the goals of this book. By the end of it, there’s a good synopsis of every chapter. The chapter on beauty Triune is especially helpful if you are like me and have not spent a lot of time on the subject before. You will see how this subject ties into the doctrine of God, including His attributes, as well as its connection to the Trinity. I’ve been studying the Trinity lately and found some good information here.
The next chapter approaches creation as beauty’s debut. There’s more excellent theology here, particularly as the glory of the image of God in humans is discussed. The chapter on the incarnation sees it as beauty condescending. Just like its subject, this book is beautiful as it discusses the cross as beauty redeeming. Our salvation comes into view in the chapter on re-creation as beauty’s dénouement. The conclusion ties all these wonderful aspects together and proves the author’s thesis of the importance of the beauty of the Lord and give something of a systematic theology with palpable aesthetic value. There’s a lengthy bibliography as well if you want to look into further study.
There are some quality theological works being written these days and this book is one of them. Mark it down as a great success!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.