Mike Matthews Editor in Chief
A while ago I was given a rare privilege to speak at my church on a Wednesday evening. I could cover any topic I wished. My mind ran through all the things I’ve learned over the years while working with creationists. In the end, I settled on Romans 1:18–20: “The Creator is clearly seen.”
I can’t say too much about this gem, which has transformed my life. Almost every magazine issue covers some new facet of this truth. This issue, for example, includes an article that highlights God’s beauty as it is “clearly seen” in creation (pp. 68–73).
The Inescapable Proof
Once you start to unpack this truth, it can change your thinking about everything, including how you deal with lost sinners, how you look at the world around you, and how you talk to fellow believers.
We often get the impression that people don’t know anything about God, and they desperately need our help to learn how to be sure He exists. But the Bible reveals something very different. God is always, everywhere, richly making His divine nature clear for all to see. The problem isn’t lack of evidence, but our sinful desire to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
That changes how we talk to people. We don’t have to prove anything from scratch—the evidence is all around them, and the Creator has already shone His light across the landscape of everyone’s life. “Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:2–3).
God wants to be known, and He makes sure that He is already known by all people—even before we say one word to them. Our job is to share biblical truths that the Holy Spirit can use to convict souls about their failure to honor the God they already know exists.
That’s where beauty comes into play. The word beauty, used in reference to God, is closely associated with His glory—the combined perfections of His being (Psalm 96:9). When we talk to people, they can all relate to moments when they were overwhelmed by a sense of divine glory, whether a sunset, a thunderstorm, or a quiet reflection at Walden Pond.
This world’s pervasive beauty has only one reasonable explanation: the original creation and sustaining power of the Creator. This is something we recognize intuitively, and it doesn’t even need proof. God has ensured that the smallest child can recognize His presence (Luke 10:21).
We miss the point if we equate beauty with “prettiness,” however. It’s an all-encompassing concept that includes God’s majesty in judgment—He is a burning bush and a consuming fire. We live in a groaning cosmos, and we can sense God’s divine hand of judgment on a fallen world (Romans 8:22).
General revelation in nature is sufficient to condemn us, so that we’re “without excuse,” but it doesn’t tell the good news of Jesus. That’s our job. We need to share God’s special revelation—the Bible’s history from Adam to Christ’s work on the Cross.
This truth has changed my life. God’s creation is clearly beautiful (even though tainted by the Fall), but the best gems come from God’s Word!
The eruption of Mount Saint Helens in the 1980s changed how we view catastrophe; on its twenty-fifth anniversary, we examine what we’ve learned since then. Also in the next issue, learn how Mars once experienced global catastrophe, just one more potential clue to the forces at work on Earth during Noah’s day. Other topics: reconciling the resurrection accounts, and how the Flood produced diamonds.