Eyes Wide Open not only opened my eyes. It also opened my mind and my heart. So enjoyably, that I’ve now read it three times in just over a month.
It also leaves me open-mouthed asking, “Why isn’t everyone talking about it? Why isn’t this book all over the Christian blogosphere?”
When I went to its Amazon page, I was stunned to discover only one review! It was a five star review, unsurprisingly. The surprise was only one review. Where are your friends when you need them!?
Marketing or Beauty Failure?
When I see the dozens of reviews and five stars attached to so many other Christian books of far less worth, I’m inclined to think that this is failure of marketing.
Or maybe it reflects a general lack of Christian interest in and passion for beauty in our world. Some Christians are perhaps too “spiritual” to see anything beautiful in the world. Others are possibly too “worldly” to appreciate beauty and see its spiritual dimensions. And the myriads of busy activists don’t want to pause and ponder: “Just give us something practical.”
A Transforming Book
So, how can I encourage you to read this book? Let me put it in one sentence: It will utterly transform the way you view, experience, and interact with the world and the God who made it. Yes, it’s one of the most spiritual, beautiful, and practical books I’ve read in a long time.
It’s good to see a growing number of Christian authors calling Christians to rediscover their biblical calling to be the greatest creators, connoisseurs, and communicators of beauty. But I’d recommend this book to thoughtful non-Christians too as it paints a picture of Gospel-centered Christianity in such a positively beautiful and inspiring light.
Top Ten Truths from the Book
1. God created beauty, is the Beauty behind every beauty, and is the measure of what is truly beautiful.
2. As God created beauty to lead our affections to Him, all created beauty should lead us to give thanks, honor, and worship to Him. The ultimate goal of all beauty is wonder and worship.
3. Nature is God’s self-portrait…God creates beauty so we can know what He is like. God made everything – every atom, every grain of sand, every bird, every water molecule, every person (including you) – as a reflection of His nature.
4. As should be expected of those made in the image of the Creator our passion for creating and the pleasure we experience from human creativity dominates our lives and culture: home décor, landscaping, photography, clothes, woodwork, bird-watching, scrapbooking, sports, mowing straight lines, fit bodies, etc.
5. Jesus is the Beautiful One. His beauty is a tapestry of all that is glorious in God intertwined with humanity’s capability to reflect the image of God.
6. Humanity’s blindness to Jesus’ beauty is spiritually devastating.
7. Until we see the beauty of Christ, we will never see the true beauty in anything else. If we love Him, we will love seeing Him in all the created wonders in this world. Once our heart is alive to God’s beauty in Christ, it is also alive to God’s beauty everywhere else.
8. Our five senses should become partners with the eyes of the heart in perceiving the glory of God…Everywhere I look, everything I feel, hear, smell, and taste transmits the beauty of God through the beauty of creation.
9. A Christian’s experience of wonder and joy in beauty should be far greater than that of a non-Christian. A Christian’s God-focused enjoyment of creation makes it taste better, look better, feel better, smell better, and sound better. Eternal beauty will remind us of this world’s wonders and pleasures, but only faintly. We won’t miss them or long for them.
10. Heaven will be a super-sensory, indescribable, and joyous experience of beauty that will turn seamlessly unite pleasure and worship.
Top Ten Quotes from the Book
1. Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.
2. Beauty boomerangs from God into created beauty, then through the senses and soul of the image-bearer, and finally back to God with praise and glory.
3. Alice must grow small if she is to be Alice in Wonderland. – G. K. Chesterton
4. Since everything God created is theology (God-knowledge) all creation is a treasure hunt in which God has left clues—essentially pictures of Himself.
5. Like a bread-crumb trail, earthly beauty chaperones us on a path to “see” the beauty of Christ, for His beauty to lead to wonder, and for wonder to lead us to a life of worship.
6. Each human person individually bears more of a reflection of God than the rest of the universe combined.
7. It’s only the serious theologians who are on the beach at sunset. I refer to us as “theologians” because, whether we realize it or not, we are all going to enjoy a theological experience.
8. Art has the mystical task of reminding us in its productions of the beautiful that was lost and of anticipating its perfect coming luster. – Abraham Kuyper
9. The Son of God was a carpenter. He created things. That says something, doesn’t it? God likes it when image-bearers reflect His character by creating beauty.
10. Beauty is beautiful no matter who makes it.