Truth, goodness, and beauty.
All eternally exist in the self-giving, and self-existent God, whose life pours out as a gift to the other.
Truth, goodness, and beauty.
Knowable because truth, lovable because good, and delightful because beautiful.
Truth, goodness, and beauty exist because of the existence of the other; the Three Persons within the Godhead; others in unity, self-existent, and self-giving.
Being (God who is ultimate being) exists in relation to truth, goodness, and beauty because the being of the Godhead itself consists in these relations. Within the life of the Trinity, the persons know themselves, love themselves, and delight in themselves. God is a “community of being,” who exists in relation to himself. Truth, goodness, and beauty cannot not exist. They are necessary and eternal because God himself is necessary and eternal.
Because of this self-giving relationship, God pours himself out as a gift, creating the other (the universe and all that is within it). He creates the other who is other than himself- the other which owes its existence to, and depends on the existence of the other who made it. All things created are defined by this other- this Tri-Personal God.
Creation is an extension of the self-giving relationship of God. Creation is a gift, a gift that exists necessarily in relation to the one who made it, and therefore exists in relation to truth, goodness, and beauty. Creation partakes in the relations of truth, goodness, and beauty because creation is a reflection of these primordial relations. These relations existed within the Godhead, and now these relations have been poured out as a gift to something other than the Godhead. God created the heavens and the earth “and God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Truth- the self-disclosure of reality- being’s way of calling out and saying “I am here,” is an objective relation. If something is true, then it is the way reality really is. God created something other than himself and said “it is real, it exist, and it is good.” It is truth. Not only that, but that it is beautiful. When God said that what he had made was good, he was making an aesthetic judgement. Thus we see that truth, goodness, and beauty are inseparably bound to each other, and are real relations that creation is objectively ordered to. Creation is true, good, and beautiful, because the one who made it is true, good, and beautiful.
Creation is defined by the character and self-giving existence of the one who fashioned it. Existence derives its meaning in relation to God. It could be no other way. Therefore, to sin is to ultimately lose one’s meaning. To sin is to commit and absurdity, and to strive toward absurdity. To sin is to revolt against the other, and to the necessary relations that inhere to reality. To sin is to create what is not God and to call it truth, goodness and beauty. To sin is to redefine reality.
Because we have redefined reality, we have necessarily redefined what truth, goodness, and beauty are. In redefining the truth of reality, we have embraced falsehood, therefore making what was good bad, and ultimately making what was beautiful ugly. We have lost our sense of taste. In redefining reality, we have come to delight in the false, the bad, and the ugly. We have distorted everything that once made us human, and we are ultimately going to lose ourselves unless someone comes and finds us.
To sin is to deny the other his immanency, and to assert one’s autonomy. Only, one can never truly be autonomous. Autonomy cannot exists due to reality’s necessary relations. One can no more deny God’s sovereignty than he can make a square circle. To deny God’s sovereignty is to collapse in on the self. Consequently, to revolt against the other is to lose the other, and therefore to lose truth, goodness, and beauty. With the loss of the other, we lose what inherently made us who we are. For to exists is to be in relation to the other. Salvation consists in being rightly related to the other- to the God who is there.
And now we come to Christ’ paradoxical statement: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). Christ, the incarnation of the other, the God-man, gives his life for us, so that we may give our life to him. As I spelled out above, existence is defined by this self-giving relationship. It can be no other way. Turn back to the one through whom we move and have our very being, or lose that which gave us meaning. That is why Christ is and must be the only way. Life has no other meaning.