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Beauty Is Your Destiny (Ryken)

SKU 9781433587726


An Examination of Beauty in the Christian Life from Philip Ryken 

The world is full of beautiful things—the vibrancy of trees in fall, the joy of sitting around a table with family—but in our fallen world, many beautiful things have been turned into ugly distortions. How should Christians think about beauty in a world that is often ugly? 

In Beauty Is Your Destiny, Philip Ryken provides readers with an introduction to the theology and practice of beauty, striving to awaken a longing for beauty that he explains “can only be satisfied in the face of Jesus Christ.” Adapted from chapel messages given at Wheaton College, Ryken considers key topics on Christian thought—including the Trinity, the incarnation, sexuality, and racial diversity—through the lens of beauty, showing how beauty illuminates each of these biblical principles in our world today. 

  • Introduction to the Theology of Beauty: Great for college students, pastors, and small groups
  • Biblically Based: Examines how beauty is seen in Christian doctrines such as eternity, the church, and the crucifixion 
  • Written by Philip Ryken: President of Wheaton College and author of Grace TransformingIs Jesus the Only Way?; and Loving the Way Jesus Loves


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Product Details

  • Cover Type: Paperback 
  • 200 Pages 
  • Publication Date: August 2023
  • ISBN:9781433587726


“It is clear to me as an artist that God has built beauty into our world as a testimony to his own loveliness and creativity. We are better people when we allow beauty to elevate us to more exalted things, and in Beauty Is Your Destiny, Philip Ryken explores this wonderful theme. It couldn’t be timelier. Our culture has embraced a fascination with ugliness. It’s evident in our museums, movies, popular music, and books. I applaud Ryken’s desire to help us see how beauty reminds us that there is more—far more—to life than a colorless, mundane ‘functioning.’ If your heart is hungry for vibrancy and joy, color and meaning, then I heartily recommend this volume.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“I have been studying beauty and teaching my students about it for years. Finally, Beauty Is Your Destiny is here, a lovely and compelling book that gathers up a treasure trove of insights on one of the most essential qualities of our Christian faith and our very humanity. I will return to these pages again and again and will encourage others to do the same.”
Karen Swallow Prior,  author, The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis

“Philip Ryken has made a career out of studying complex truths and delivering them to readers in accessible ways. This book about beauty stands apart from others on the subject by way of its theological heft, biblical precision, and topical range. Beauty Is Your Destiny is a gift to Christians everywhere, and I’m so glad it is in the world.”
Russ Ramsey, Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee; author, Rembrandt Is in the Wind: Learning to Love Art through the Eyes of Faith

“In a skeptical world of scarcity that doubts the necessity and value of biblical beauty, Philip Ryken’s work shines to illuminate ‘the substance of things hoped for’ and to help us ponder the extravagance of God. As an artist, I am grateful for this book, which affirms my path and calling to create the beautiful.”
Makoto Fujimura, artist; author, Silence and Beauty and Art and Faith: A Theology of Making

“The encouragement to ‘behold’ runs powerfully throughout Scripture, with some translations using the word over 1,200 times. It’s a clear exhortation to live with our eyes wide open, and this brilliant new book from Philip Ryken is more of the same. Every page reads like an invitation to recognize and respond to what is beautiful. We learn that beauty may be found everywhere, from a starry night sky to a science lab to an act of kindness—even an ancient crucifixion scene in the form of God’s self-giving love. Beauty Is Your Destiny is a wonderfully written book that ushers us before the glories of our God and his world—it will no doubt lead many into worship.”
Matt Redman, worship leader; songwriter

“We are made for beauty by our beautiful triune God. Therefore, we are compelled to look for beauty everywhere, even in a broken world with so much ugliness. Philip Ryken has given us a gift in Beauty Is Your Destiny. With masterful clarity and simplicity, he displays the variegated manifestations of beauty in this world and the sure triumph of eternal beauty through the cross of Jesus Christ.”
Irwyn Ince, Coordinator, Mission to North America; author, The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best

“We are painfully and achingly aware of the decay and fractures to the beauty that God designed. In Beauty Is Your Destiny, Philip Ryken stirs the longings for beauty not simply as a keen aesthetic but as an impetus for deeper connection to God and holiness in life. Ryken reminds us that in Christ and his ‘old, ugly cross,’ there is a transfixing beauty—a glory worth gazing on with fresh eyes of faith and wonder—and a transforming beauty that seeks to reconcile a broken world and a broken people. This book is an ode to redemptive beauty worth relishing.”
Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals

“In Beauty Is Your Destiny, Philip Ryken reminds us that beauty is found in God himself. Our glorious God created a world and a people to reflect his beauty. But the reality is that we live in a fallen world in which beauty is often redefined, distorted, and idolized. So God sent his beloved Son into the world as the incarnation of divine beauty. And he is transforming us into the image of his Son. One day, we will behold the Son and be like him—truly beautiful. Until then, we can make sense of the brokenness of our world and appreciate the Creator’s beauty as reflected in his creation. If you want to grow in your delight of the beautiful, beginning with our beautiful God, Ryken is a trusted guide.”
Juan R. Sanchez, Senior Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas; author, Seven Dangers Facing Your Church

“Some books on beauty are more bookish than beautiful—they engage the mind but not the heart. Ryken’s Beauty Is Your Destiny doesn’t fall into that trap. This is a book that simultaneously stimulates our minds and stirs our affections. It’s informative but also pleasurable to read, leading us not only to grasp a full-orbed theology of beauty but also to worship the source from which all beauty flows.”
Brett McCracken, Senior Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World

“Philip Ryken has written a masterpiece on the subject of beauty. He has immeasurably helped us see it. Beauty is something we know, but we often fail in our attempts to describe it. Ryken depicts beauty in all its contours, showing that beauty emerges even from ugly things, such as the cross of Christ. This book combines deep and extensive knowledge with a writing style that is, well, beautiful.”
William Edgar, Professor Emeritus of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: In the Eye of the Beholder—The Beauty of Eternity
Chapter 2: The King in His Beauty—The Beauty of the Trinity
Chapter 3: For the Beauty of the Earth—The Beauty of Creation
Chapter 4: You Are So Beautiful—The Beauty of God’s Image
Chapter 5: When Sex Is Beautiful—The Beauty of Purity
Chapter 6: Beautiful Savior—The Beauty of God Incarnate
Chapter 7: That Old, Ugly Cross—The Beauty of the Crucifixion
Chapter 8: Beautiful Community—The Beauty of Christ’s Bride
Chapter 9: It’s a Beautiful Life—The Beauty of Generous Living

General Index
Scripture Index


Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. He preached at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church from 1995 until his appointment at Wheaton in 2010. Ryken has published more than fifty books, including When Trouble Comes and expository commentaries on Exodus, Ecclesiastes, and Jeremiah. He serves as a board member for the Gospel Coalition and the Lausanne Movement.

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