Feb 28, 2011

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Miscellany 4: Words and Music

Words and music matter; through them, we (when at our best) incarnate truth and beauty in the world. And even when we fall short, art’s beauty points us in the direction of heaven.

Art and Christianity, and now my wish list on Amazon includes a gorgeous Gospel by Makoto Fujimura.

Malcolm Guite on Incarnation and Translation: “For Christ’s followers the sayings of Jesus, the stories of His life enshrined in the scripture, only have their meaning when they are translated into the realities of everyday life, into ordinary conversation and action.”

Is reading overrated? The answer is yes if we make reading into an idol to worship. Books are important, but not the most important thing.  I will add, though, that it might just be my quirky sense of humor, but I find it ironic that the author of this article calls C.S. Lewis arrogant and pompous for the claim that “We read to know that we are not alone.” Why ironic? Because, as far as I have been able to determine, C.S. Lewis never wrote that line. It was placed on the lips of actor Anthony Hopkins, playing Lewis in the film Shadowlands. (Anyone who can actually find a citation for the quote in Lewis’ writing, please let me know! I’m curious now.)

Why bookstores matter.

And now for a little music. I always like getting recommendations from friends, so here are some that were home runs:

Over the Rhine – The Long Surrender – an interesting NPR interview that lets you listen to the whole of “Infamous Love Song” from the album (at which point I hied myself over to iTunes and got the whole album.) Rich and achy and complicated and beautiful.

Arvo Pärt. Hauntingly beautiful modern classical music. Hey, an NPR interview with him as well, about In Principio. Here’s a segment from Te Deum, but really you have to listen to the whole thing.

And on a completely different note (pun not intended), here’s a video of Delta Spirit’s song “People, C’mon,” from Ode to Sunshine. (The video is definitely not what I would have imagined for this song… kind of trippy.) Delta Spirit is a San Diego-area band that I hope makes a splash on a wider scale – they’re very good, so go buy Ode to Sunshine.


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