Beauty in church

Says Peter Kreeft:

“If you had the choice of going to a church where true orthodox doctrine was taught and true morality was preached but everything was ugly and unattractive or going to one where only some true orthodox doctrine was taught and only some true morality was preached but was irresistibly attractive I think you would choose the second. I think you would rightly choose the second. To fall in love with at least half of God’s package deal is better than to have it all but not to fall in love with it.” — Peter Kreeft, Lord of the Rings: Beauty and Language, 25 minutes in

During the questions at the end of the lecture (56 minutes in), Kreeft says by “attractive” he means not just visual beauty, but also musical and, I guess, liturgical beauty, and fitness all together. A listener takes exception to this view, and contrasts high and rising attendance at Redeemer Presbyterian in New York with low and falling attendance at less “utilitarian” churches.

Having written and rewritten a couple of paragraphs about this, I’m presenting it without comment for now.


2 Replies to “Beauty in church”

  1. Church is a funny thing. We used to go, and I didn’t much enjoy it, it was usually long and boring. Sometimes we would have a good speaker with a good sermon, but not often. However, on weeks when I did go, I think I was calmer. Regardless of the ecumenicalness of church service, I think the social benefits to society are enormous.
    Back to the bell curve. Different people respond differently to different aspects. Some people really like stained glass windows, some people really like clean carpets, some people really like choral singing. Me, I like donuts.

    1. Methodist churches typically score real high in the donut area, but sometimes this costs them points in clean carpets.

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