Reflect or Reveal

A reply asked why couldn’t it be more that the creation reveals God rather than just reflects him. I really like something like this as it shows me the person who makes this statement is thinking, and I hope you all know by now that I like to see Christians thinking. It’s something we need to take up again.

I think my friend has an excellent point. I like to use the word reflect though because of thinking about how God looks at us and how he wants to look at us and when he sees us, he sees nothing that contradicts his holiness. There have been some scholars who speculate, and it could well be the case, that Christian was first an insulting title meaning the people were little Christs. Their lives were to show him so well walking around that they were his mirrors.

There is only one area I take issue with. That is in saying that God creates order and structure. I believe these are in God himself. God is not chaotic. God is a unity of diverse persons. There is an order in the Godhead as the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

I think my friend would agree that what is revealed is that which is in the nature of God though. This would include beauty. Now someone might say that beauty is physical. Many times, it is, but that physical aspect points to a concept beyond itself, just as the words of a poem point beyond them to what they describe.

As an example, suppose I take a lady. The skin of a lady is simply a combination of molecules which we would probably not consider beautiful in themselves. (Although they could be. I haven’t seen under a microscope yet.) However, there is a combination of unity and symmetry and proportion that comes together in the body of a lady that makes all of those molecules suddenly attractive to a guy.

In the same way, while we cannot see God, we can see him expressed in the physical world and the physical world points to a greater reality beyond itself. It points to the reality of the God who is there. God is the final cause of all that is here. All of it speaks of him. The Psalmist said that the Heavens declare his glory. (Psalm 19:1) I have no doubt that this would include the Earth as well.

I appreciate what my friend said. I would contend that the main reason I say reflect is because I think it does entail revealing as well and also, when it comes to me, it reminds me that when I look at my own life, that I am supposed to be one that reflects Christ. In so doing, hopefully I reveal him to a lost world.

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