I haven’t blogged much of late because I am working rather furiously on my comprehensive paper for my master’s program at Regent College. The assignment is an exploration of different ways Christians have thought about music over the centuries. It occurred to me today that I could at least share some of the juiciest bits with you. So here’s something to savor, from John Terpstra, quoted in Jamie Howison’s very fine book: God’s Mind in That Music: Theological Explorations through the Music of John Coltrane.
A visiting friend and I were listening to a jazz trio one Sunday morning in an Anglican church. The trio led off with a prelude by John Coltrane, and then accompanied the singing of hymns and responses. For the offering they played a piece by Thelonious Monk. While the ushers passed the plates between the rows the bass tromped out the vintage, the piano danced on the head of a pin, and the saxophone reached deep into the invisible joinery of mortise and tenon in the high-raftered interior of the building. As the notes slowly resolved again into three musicians stationed below the altar with their instruments, my friend leaned over and said, Today I believe in God. – John Terpstra, Skin Boat
Photo by Tony Fischer Photography, Creative Commons