The Plastic People . . . kill beauty

By Dave Henning / September 27, 2022

“The Plastic People see nature as a material reality, rather than a gift from God.  They view the world through a utilitarian lens; they want to know what it does for them rather than looking at it as an opportunity to participate with God through the created order.  It’s crucial shift.”- Timothy D. Willard

“I just want to say one word to you.  Just one word. . .  Are you listening?  Plastics.  There’s a great future in plastics.”- Mr. McGuire to Ben, The Graduate

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”- Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

In Chapter 5 (“Beware of The Plastic People: Why the World Hates Beauty”) of The Beauty Chasers, Timothy Willard asserts that Plastic People kill beauty.  And they kill beauty because they:

  • can’t hear the wind
  • don’t take time to watch the trees bend in the breeze
  • figure everything out with formulas and predetermined GPS coordinates for life
  • shape our world into a land of bottom-line thinking, pragmatic living, and market-driven achieving

Therefore, Timothy strongly counsels, we need to open our eyes to the world God created.  Above all, we need to see God’s created world again.  For the first time.  In addition, the author agrees with Reformed theologian Hans Boersma that:

“Our attitude toward creation should be as toward the Eucharist, to which we show much attention and care, so that no minuscule crumb will fall and be trampled upon.”

Hence, Timothy observes, to cultivate a eucharistic mindset invites enchantment.  As a result, we see a world touched by God and full of His glory.  And in response, we sing His praises.

In conclusion, the author notes that in Psalm 19 David connects the inaudible language of creation with the eternal language of Logos — the Law of God.  And this silent language speaks, as Timothy phrases it, wherever the tongues of men reside.  A language of God’s beauty visible to everyone.

Today’s question: Do you agree with Timothy’s assessment of people who kill beauty?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Set of directions on life browser?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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