Published on January 28, 2022 by Kristen Padilla  
Spring 22 Opening Convo

“God is beautiful. Satan is ugly,” said Allen Ross, professor of Old Testament at Beeson Divinity School, during the school’s Opening Convocation on Jan. 25.

Ross, who celebrates 20 years at Beeson Divinity this year, opened the school’s Spring 2022 chapel series on “Art and Beauty in the Bible” with a sermon on Isaiah 48 called, “The Beauty of God.”

“God is beautiful in the splendor of all his great acts,” Ross said. “Satan tries his best to unravel or disturb everything. … Yet God sets it right.”

With the incarnation, “Christ took all the ugliness of the world onto himself, or he became ugly, so that we would be beautiful with him in glory.”

Considering this reality of who God is for us in Jesus Christ, Ross encouraged a response of praise.

“If we spend more time praising God for his beauty in all the things he does, in the ways he revels himself,” he said, “the ugliness of the evil one and of the world loses its impact because we’re carried into the presence of God with our praise, acknowledging him and his beauty.”

Earlier in the service, Samford University President Beck A. Taylor recognized Joe Hopkins, dean of Samford’s School of the Arts, for his nearly 16 years of service and his upcoming transition to serve as president of Campbellsville University in Kentucky. Hopkins also provided leadership to Beeson Divinity’s worship services in fall 2021.

“Joe, we have marveled at your leadership, your talent, and your dedication to Samford,” Taylor said. “Although we lament you leaving us, we know this is God’s calling upon your life and so we celebrate with you. Congratulations and well done.”

Beeson Dean Douglas A. Sweeney added his word of thanks for Hopkins during the service saying, “He’s been a coach to me. He’s helped me get acclimated at Samford and among Southern Baptists in our region, and he’s been a good friend.”

After the sermon, Rachel Wood, president of the school’s Student Government Association, led in the renewal of the inaugural covenant.

Watch the sermon.

Join Beeson Divinity School each Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel for community worship in person or online.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.