I am going through this weeks Christian Carnival and I am reading the posts more carefuly. Some I really like and I want to highlight them here.
Diane at BorgardBlog wrote a very interesting bit of fiction "The More Things Change" compairing the arguments that supported slavery to the current day arguments that support abortion. Diane, you are a very good writer and this story really hit me. You are like C. S. Lewis using the tools of fiction to build a very strong argument. Well done.
Missionary Joe hit it out of the park with "The Christian Apprentice: Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts"!
I am tempted to say that it is better to have street smarts over book smarts. But then I know I’ll get rained down upon by people who are concerned about doctrinal purity, etc. So I will admit that we cannot neglect book smarts. We are, after all, called to love God not just with all of our heart, soul and strength, but with our minds as well (Mk 12:30). At the same time, however, I think that it is too easy for people like me (bookish, introverted) to major on theology and minor on ministry.
I must say I am getting sick to death of all those nice Bible studies that result in no action! Yes people, "faith without works is dead". So either we are not learning a darn thing in all these Bible Studies. When are we going to get to work doing the real ministry. Loving our neighbors, yes even the ugly and difficult ones?
Peter was not an educated man but when the Holy Spirit came upon him he was a very different man that took action. Lets’ stop the hoity toity intellecualism and get our hands dirty!
Eric Wiliams at Ales Rarus in his post "Proper Christian Behavior" is a discussion on reading and knowing the Church fathers. I just had a conversation with a friend from church about this. My assesment is that 90 – 95% of protestants know almost nothing of the church fathers. Most Evangelicals think anything written before Luther is anathema (humor intended here, it is ok to laugh). The sense is that it is ok for a dead puritan to quote them once in awhile, but we dare not read them. Hogwash. Read them and realish in their wisdom! Excelant job Eric.
Laura at A Practice in Belief (or uncreative laura) has an interesting post on the power of music for affecting our will. I think maybe she is also discussing art in general, and the concept of intrinsic beauty and good. Does beautiful and good art/music affect us in a good and positive way and bad and ugly art affect us in a bad way? Or maybe is there such a thing as intrinsic beauty?
Francis Schaffer has much to say about art and beauty and would be an interesting addition to this conversation. Here is a great link to some of his writings.
I have interest in this topic because I am a member of the worship team at church. (I sing up front and hopefully point others to worship God) . The issues of real beauty in music and the power of music come up on a regular basis. It is very difficult to make the correct selection of melodically pleasing music with lyrics that are well written, meaningful and theologically correct, and connect with the sermon. But when all this comes together, it is really like we are in Heaven in the presence of God.
Yes, music has incredible power.