Biological beauty is challenging to explain in evolutionary theory. Organisms usually generate their beauty at some cost to the organism. Either complex chemical pigments are required or cleaver mechanisms are employed for the diffraction of light. Either way, energy is invariably expended by the organism to create and maintain its beauty. In evolutionary theory, anything that requires an investment of energy on the part of the organism should have come about only because it was necessary for the organism’s survival. But the beauty of organisms-even that which is utilized by the organism for mate choice, defense, and so on-does not seem to be necessary for organismal survival. It seems to fulfill a function beyond survival: to show the abundance and glory of God. (Kurt Wise, Faith, Form, and Time, p. 128-129)
John Stott’s little book The Preacher’s Portrait is an excellent overview of pastoral ministry, in particular the attitude pastors should have towards preaching and the congregation. Stott uses five Biblical words to describe our work: Steward, herald, witness, father, and servant. In the chapter on the pastor as father Stott carefully describes what it means for a pastor to be a father to his congregation. It was the chapter that cut me the deepest. He says love is the chief idea behind Paul describing himself as father in I Thessalonians 2:13
Love, then, is the chief quality of a father to which the Apostle refers when he uses the metaphor to illustrate his ministry; not a soft, sickly sentimentality, but a strong, unselfish love which cares and which is not incompatible with discipline.
Stott then goes on to give some fruit that comes when a pastor loves his congregation. Continue reading