Monday, 25 May 2009

Why all peoples?

"...the fame and greatness and worth of an object of beauty increases in proportion to the diversity of those who recognise its beauty. If a work of art is regarded as great among a small and likeminded group of people but not by anyone else, the art is probably not truly great. Its qualities are such that it does not appeal to the deep universals in out hearts but only to provincial biases. But if a work of art continues to win more and more admirers not only across cultures but also across decaeds and centuries, then its greatness is irresistibly manifested." ("Let the Nations be Glad!" John Piper)

Why are there so many different cultures and people groups in the world? And why is God's plan to save people from every single one? Reading "Let the Nations be Glad!" I was really struck by God's plan of redemption, which is not limited simply to large numbers of individuals, but specifically people from every single tribe and tongue and nation. God's plan is that around his throne will be people from every culture, people representing every age in history, people from every walk of life. Why? This is going to glorify him more than if only some, or even only most, people groups were there.

But why is this more glorifying? One of the reasons Piper highlights, explained in the quote above, is that the more consensus on something being beautiful, the more beautiful that something really is. This world is full of of people from hugely different and wonderfully diverse backgrounds, different ethnicities and cultures, all having varying tastes, preferences and concepts of beauty. But where people from everywhere can agree that something is great then we know something is truly great. And this will be the case for Jesus, he'll be shown to be of infinite worth when those from every single cultural group in this world, not just find him attractive, but rate him absolute first in their hearts! His beauty and worth and "greatness is irresistibly manifested" as he "wins more and more admirers not only across cultures but also across decades and centuries"!

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