Monday, August 25, 2008

A musical metaphor

Have been thinking a little more about breaking the rules and also a comment that someone made about why Christians continue to look back at the Bible as the key reference point of our faith. I think that music provides a useful analogy. Most western music today continues to follow the same basic tonal frameworks that have been used for centuries - classical, pop, metal, reggae, country, even jazz has some essential rules. The rules can be stretched, even broken at times, but the essential tonality remains the same - chords and scales built around tones, semitones and combinations of the above.

Why do we do this? Because we know that it works - you can continue to reinvent the same three chord mix and come up with new musical arrangements that communicate your message in ways that suit your audience. Of course, country fans might not appreciate all the heavy metal expressions of music and eastern music doesn't play by exactly the same rules - but the goals are essentially the same.

Now all analogies are fundamentally flawed and this is no different, but it does carry the argument a certain distance. Why look at the Bible? Because it enables us to recognise and benefit from a tradition that has inspired people for millenia to join together for the common good.

2 comments:

David said...

That's a very weak justification. Why not appeal to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that renews your mind?

Of course, you don't believe in invisible spooks, no matter how holy they may be.

Your watered down version of Christian belief isn't going to bring revival, is it, Jason. You know perfectly well that liberal theology is just a slippery slide to atheism and eternal damnation.

More seriously, why do some Christians make belief more important than practice, particularly those beliefs that are nonsensical to a modern mind?

Where are these strange people, I'd like to meet them?

JDK said...

Hi David,

You may be right, I'm beginning to think I'm not a very gifted evangelist. However, I'm far from convinced that atheism is a better alternative. If I'm deluded then let it be so - at least I'm happy and feeling like life has some meaning.

And I'm sure you've met some of the strange people...

Regards, JDK