A Hard, Difficult, and Terrible Beauty

Recently I wrote a post about how (transgressive) beauty will save the world.

The point I made in that post, reacting to the work of Brian Zahnd's How Beauty Will Save the World, is that, yes, in hindsight we find Jesus' actions in the gospels to be beautiful.

But Jesus' contemporaries found his actions ugly and transgressive. This is the key insight that guides Unclean.

My point is that we continue to find Jesus transgressive and ugly. We don't, for example, rush toward the homeless, addicted and incarcerated. We don't rush to embrace our enemies.

How many conservative Christians are rushing to embrace the LGBT community? How many progressive Christians are rushing to embrace Donald Trump supporters?


Jesus' beauty is a hard, difficult, and terrible beauty. It's not easy, attractive or alluring.

So the issue becomes, what sort of spiritual formation must we undergo to find Jesus beautiful?

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