“If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.”
If Christians ignored the good in this fallen world, we would have no basis of commonality with those who need the truth. We would also ourselves be diminished.
Clive Staples Lewis, an atheist, shared with John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, a Catholic, a passionate love for Norse Myth.
Out of that bond grew friendship, and Tolkien’s witness played a crucial role in Lewis’s later conversion.
Without Tolkien’s immense lore - he was one of the greatest scholars of Beowulf - there would have been no Middle Earth, no Valinor, no Numenor, no Gondor, no Shire. There would have been no trilogy called The Lord of the Rings.
Some of the greatest music, writing, painting, and sculpting in human history were done by pagans. The beauty in them is real in its own right.
“If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.... <— I did not think of that verse as applying this way in this context. Thank you for that! You’re so right. It’s also better that we evangelize from a place of humility and respect for how God is already at work in the lives of all people...in their use of innate gifts, in the positive attributes of their cultures etc...
...Rather than merely viewing everyone as hopelessly lost by default.
And Amen. Beauty is Beauty. Goodness is Goodness. and Truth is Truth, even when the fullness of it has not been revealed or embraced yet.