#14 – The Beauty of the Infinite by David Bentley Hart (My 100 Favorite Books)

When I read this book, I described it to someone as a symphony where there is more going on then the average listener is getting.  I recall asking my friend who recommended it if he understood what Hart was saying in the first 150 pages.  In those pages, Hart is going deep into philosophy and I felt lost.  He encouraged me to stick with it.

Once Hart moves from philosophy to theology, the book truly takes off.  Its still quite heavy, but it is beautiful.  Hart describes God, creation, humanity and salvation in a way that leaves the reader speechless.  Essentially, Hart is contrasting a postmodern story with the Christian one.  In a postmodern world, when difference is encountered it leads to violence.  The other is a threat to be tamed, or destroyed.  Christianity, on the other hand, presents a view of God as eternally existing as a unity of love between three different persons.  Our view of God matters, and Hart challenges us to share the story of who God is which is more beautiful than the depressing story the postmodern world (flowing from Nietzsche’s will to power) gives us.

Perhaps like all the books near the top of my list, I’d love to read this one again someday.  I’ve read a few other books by Hart and have some of his books of essays on my list to-read.  I’m sure I’ll get back to this one someday.

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