If Jonathan Edwards is most known
for the vivid spider imagery of his "Sinners" sermon, a look at the rest of his writings will show how much more he was captivated by God's sensuous beauty. He argued that "knowing" God wasn't so much a matter of being terrorized by the divine power, as of tasting, relishing and delighting in God's loveliness. To know God is to enjoy God, he said. Indeed, he looked on creation as a school of desire, teaching human beings an intimate sensory apprehension of God's glory mirrored in the beauty of nature. Our highest human responsibility, as he saw it, isn't to exercise dominion, but to practice delight, extolling beauty and nurturing relationships throughout creation. One of his great insights was that "God governs the world, not by the application of force or coercive determination, but by the creative and attractive power of God's own beauty."
There might be some common ground between Calvinism and Orthodoxy after all.