The Gospel Project: Valuing Life

Last year, I wrote a session for LifeWay’s The Gospel Project on “The Meaning of Life.”  That session is in the current issue for Winter 2013-2014: “A God-Centered Worldview.”  My contribution is about meaning and purpose in human lives in a world void of God. It reflects on the writings of King Solomon (Ecclesiastes), the apostle Paul, William Lane Craig, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, and others. It also looks at the value that Jesus’ resurrection gives to human life. Along with the study, I wrote some devotionals. LifeWay Christian Resources has made one devotional available online here: Valuing Life

God’s Love, Beauty, and the Dove Company

Last spring, the Dove company hired an experienced criminal sketch artist to draw women as they describe/perceive themselves and then to draw them as someone else perceives them. The result was a powerful video demonstrating to women the overly critical view they are carrying of themselves. At the end of the video, the Dove company chose to include this statement, “You are more beautiful than you think.”

After watching the video, I began to think through some possibilities. Maybe the criminal sketch artist had a biased view going into the drawings because he was informed as to the goal. Maybe the “strangers” caught onto the intentions of the producers who were filming this video. Maybe…and then I stopped. I remembered that this video initially caught my attention because of the concept: we have a different view of ourselves than others. We also have a different view of ourselves than God. It’s probably a less charitable view than the Lord’s view of us. To be sure, I am not saying that humans are perfectly good or that God doesn’t care about the evil found in individuals. However, watching the video was a reminder of the truth of God’s love of his beautiful creation (Genesis 1:31).

Our provost at Houston Baptist University, John Mark Reynolds, calls people, “beautiful souls.” I think the Dove company has found a way to convey a reflection of that beauty found in us that sometimes takes a stranger to see.

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