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Even fallen humans compose beautiful symphonies, music that touches emotions as nothing else can. Resounding Truth shows Christians how to uncover the Gospel message found in the many melodies that surround us. Theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie believes our divinely-inspired imagination reveals opportunity for sincere, heartfelt praise. With practical examples, lucid ex Even fallen humans compose beautiful symphonies, music that touches emotions as nothing else can. Resounding Truth shows Christians how to uncover the Gospel message found in the many melodies that surround us. Theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie believes our divinely-inspired imagination reveals opportunity for sincere, heartfelt praise. With practical examples, lucid explanations, and an accessible bibliography, this book will help music lovers discover how God's diversity shines through sound. Begbie helps readers see the Master of Song and experience the harmony of heavenly hope.


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Even fallen humans compose beautiful symphonies, music that touches emotions as nothing else can. Resounding Truth shows Christians how to uncover the Gospel message found in the many melodies that surround us. Theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie believes our divinely-inspired imagination reveals opportunity for sincere, heartfelt praise. With practical examples, lucid ex Even fallen humans compose beautiful symphonies, music that touches emotions as nothing else can. Resounding Truth shows Christians how to uncover the Gospel message found in the many melodies that surround us. Theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie believes our divinely-inspired imagination reveals opportunity for sincere, heartfelt praise. With practical examples, lucid explanations, and an accessible bibliography, this book will help music lovers discover how God's diversity shines through sound. Begbie helps readers see the Master of Song and experience the harmony of heavenly hope.

30 review for Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Hawkes

    This is not an easy read and should really be approach from an educational standpoint, at least as far as how you're trying to digest the information. Because that's the thing - this is information, and a lot of it. It's far too easy to zone out and not really take it in, but there is a lot that is so worth it here. The connections Begbie makes between music and faith are really quite impressive and may even be worth a more in-depth study to properly understand. ----- "There have been cultures wit This is not an easy read and should really be approach from an educational standpoint, at least as far as how you're trying to digest the information. Because that's the thing - this is information, and a lot of it. It's far too easy to zone out and not really take it in, but there is a lot that is so worth it here. The connections Begbie makes between music and faith are really quite impressive and may even be worth a more in-depth study to properly understand. ----- "There have been cultures without counting, cultures without painting, cultures bereft of the wheel or written word, but never a culture without music." (quoting John D. Barrow) "Indeed, we can be more positive: it is just because we are oriented to this particular God who desires things and people to flourish in their own integrity (including musical sounds) that we will long to give "room" to activities of making and hearing music. We can dare to go further: ultimately, it is only as we are reconciled by the Spirit to this God - a God who makes possible the flourishing of the world in all its particularity and diversity - that we will be able to honor the integrity of music properly." "As Nicholas Cook expresses it, "Music doesn't just happen, it is what we make it, and what we make of it. People think through music, decide who they are through it, express themselves through it. ... It is less a 'something' than a way of knowing the world, a way of being ourselves."" "Art reminds us that in fact the world always exceeds our grasp and perception." "Before anything else, music pulls us into its own sound patterns, its enticing sonic games, its riffs and cadences, its polyphony and appoggiaturas. This is the secret of its power and the pleasure it affords." "Musical sound patterns get related to a whole range of things that make up the context of our hearing them. Music makes very quick and very close friends with whatever happens to be around." "..."belongs to the basic potential which the creator gave to his creatures and which they are oliged to advance and cultivate." (quoting Claus Westermann) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of you Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:16-17)" "We are like a chorus grouped around a conductor who allow their attention to be distracted by the audience. If, however, they were to turn toward their conductor, they would sing as they should and would really be with him. We are always around the One. If we were not, we would dissolve and cease to exist. Yet our gaze does not remain fixed upon the One. When we look at it, we then attain the end of our desires and find rest. Then it is that, all discord past, we dace an inspired dance around it." (quoting Plotinus) "When turned into song, Psalms take on a quality that greatly strengthens communical prayer and praise; the texts are grasped with a heightened intensity, the conjunction of word and music linking mind and emotion in an especially potent way. ... Calvin's overarching practical interest, we should not forget, is in building up the church: through saying, "the hearts of all my be aroused and stimulated to make similar prayers and to render similar praises and thanks to God with a common love."" "Why such a concentration on the Psalms? Because they are the words God gave us to praise him, and nothing can moderate music more effectively - nothing can better curb sin's power." "Hart points to the way in which we are made to hear diversity as intrinsic to unity." "Mozart heard the harmony of creation in which "the shadow is not darkness, deficiency is not defeat, sadness cannot become despair, trouble cannot degenerate into tragedy and infinite melancholy is not ultimately forced to claim undisputed sway." ... But Mozart heard even this negative only in and with the positive: in his music, creation praises God in its very limits, in its finitude, and in that way it demonstrates authentic praise." "Messiaen speaks of the "insuperable obstacle" he faced: how to experience the truth of eternity while still being bound by the world's time. He came to believe that music could indeed offer a taste of life with God in this world's time and thus prepare us for eternity." "By imagination here I am speaking of the ability to perceive connections between things that are not spelled out, not immediately apparent on the surface, as well as between what we see now in the present and what we could or will see in the future. First and foremost, imagination of this sort should be applied to our reading of Scripture. We need to live inside the world of these texts and inhabit them so deeply that we begin to recognize links, lines of association, and webs of meaning that may not always be laid our explicitly or at any length but that nevertheless give Scripture its coherence, contours, and overall directions." "Here we need only underline that the most basic response of the Christian toward music will be gratitude. This does not mean giving unqualified thanks for every bit of music we hear, but it will mean being thankful for the very possibility of music. It will mean regularly allowing a piece of music to stop us in our tracks and make us grateful that there is a world where music can occur, that there is a reality we call "matter" that oscillates and resonates, that there is sound, that there is rhythm built into the fabric of the world, that there is the miracle of the human body, which can receive and process sequences of tones. For from all this and through all this, the marvel of music if born. None of it had to come into being. But it has, for the glory of God and for our flourishing. Gaining a Christian mind on music means learning the glad habit of thanksgiving." "...there is always hope if we live on more than one level. The God of Jewish and Christian faith moves not just in mysterious ways but in mysterious waves. This God invites people to live on more than one level; that is how God keeps them hoping, keeps them in his story." "Paul urges his hearers to imagine a higher "wave," to have hope all the more, for more - for a final fulfillment of that first promise made to Abraham, when all the nations of the earth will be gathered into one multi-ethnic community of Jew and Gentile in the new creation. ... Tune into the upper waves of what God is doing, and you will see the grand multileveled sweep of God' purposes for both Jew and Gentile and get caught up in its life-changing momentum." "What could be more apt than to speak of the Trinity as a three-note chord, a resonance of life; Father, Son, and Spirit mutually indwelling, without mutual exclusion, and yet without merger, each occupying the same space, "sounding through" one another, yet irreducibly distinct, reciprocally enhancing, and establishing one another as other?"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I expected something a bit different, though I'm not sure I can quite articulate what I expected. The book was full of thought provoking ideas and beautiful insights and well worth the read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    [review published in Imaginatio et Ratio , volume 4, pp. 57-61] Eight years ago, Baker Academic’s “Engaging Culture” series, which included books on film, visual arts, popular culture, and leadership, added Resounding Truth, Jeremy Begbie’s development of a theology of music. A number of journals published reviews—including a somewhat infamous and dismissive review in Books & Culture. I read the book shortly after its publication, and I was glad for the opportunity to look at it again for this [review published in Imaginatio et Ratio , volume 4, pp. 57-61] Eight years ago, Baker Academic’s “Engaging Culture” series, which included books on film, visual arts, popular culture, and leadership, added Resounding Truth, Jeremy Begbie’s development of a theology of music. A number of journals published reviews—including a somewhat infamous and dismissive review in Books & Culture. I read the book shortly after its publication, and I was glad for the opportunity to look at it again for this review. It is the reviewer’s burden to justify a review of an 8-year-old book, and two primary reasons come to mind immediately as I think about developments in the intervening years. My first reason for looking again at Resounding Truth is the continuing trend of limited attention spans for thinking deeply about any kind of music. Begbie noted this in 2007, but it has grown in the years since. The ubiquitous presence of music through digital files, portable devices, and ambient soundscapes in public spaces seems to be leading people not toward deeper contemplation of and engagement with music, but rather to a perception of music as casual and disposable, primarily useful for matching or altering the listener’s mood. Consider, for example, Paul Lamere’s analysis of Spotify listener data. He found that there is a 48 percent chance that a listener will skip a streaming song before it ends; the likelihood that the listener will press “skip” in the first five seconds is 24 percent! This casual regard for music, along with the penchant for skipping when the appeal is not immediate, ought to alarm church musicians. Eight years after Resounding Truth, we clearly still need someone to “jolt our imaginations” (to borrow a phrase from Begbie) and guide us toward a more reflective, thoughtful engagement with music. Another reason I wanted to look at Resounding Truth again is the growing body of laboratory research into music perception that has accumulated in the past eight years: research including Aniruddh D. Patel’s Music, Language, and the Brain; David Huron’s Sweet Anticipation; and the work of all of the contributors to Patrick N. Juslin and John A. Sloboda’s Oxford Handbook of Music and Emotion. When I first read Resounding Truth, I chafed at Begbie’s insistence on what he calls the “integrities of the sonic order”: the physical and biological constraints that excellent music must respect. Having been socialized into the postmodern ethos of contemporary ethnomusicology, I was taught to believe that music is culturally conditioned: there are no universals, nor is music a universal language. In the years since my first read-though, I have been challenged and intrigued by the lab research that is showing that there may in fact be more universals in music perception—even across cultures—than we ethnomusicologists have cared to admit. With a mind more open to the possibilities of musical universals, therefore, I wanted to read Resounding Truth again and see if Begbie’s “integrities of the sonic order” still seem so jarring to me. I remembered from my first reading that there is much in Resounding Truth to celebrate, and I’m happy to find that this is still very much the case. Begbie is at his best when he is explaining the grand narrative of the Bible and the Christian life. Chapter 8, “A Christian Ecology,” is a fine example of Begbie at his most inspiring. In this chapter, he looks at three questions: What kind of Creator creates? What kind of cosmos does this Creator create and relate to? What kind of calling do we have in this cosmos? Though I will disagree with some of Begbie’s implications of “tuning into and respectfully developing” the given order of the universe, I enjoyed his foundation-building in this chapter. He establishes a case for humans enjoying and appropriately using the creation. His discussion of the kind of cosmos we inhabit builds to this fantastic climax: What kind of cosmos do we inhabit, then? A world crafted in freedom and love, good but not God, made to flourish toward its end, and of ordered openness and diverse unity. All this is known through, and to be understood supremely in the light of, Jesus Christ, in whom the Triune God's purposes for creation have found their fulfillment, who himself embodies the future of creation, a re-created world to which even now the Spirit is directing us. (201) What a beautifully thorough bit of liturgy that is! Begbie as teacher and proclaimer of the Gospel is truly wonderful. Another of Begbie’s strengths is his ability to read an enormous amount of material, synthesize it, and then present it as a concise summary of a large and complicated topic. In the first half of Resounding Truth this strength is on full display as Begbie gives an overview of what the Bible says about music (Chapter 2), and then moves on to a one-chapter summary of the “Great Tradition” of Western music, tracing ideas through Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Boethius, and the transition to modernism. The next chapters are biographical, giving brief but compelling sketches of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli (Chapter 4); J. S. Bach (Chapter 5); Schleiermacher, Barth, and Bonhoeffer (Chapter 6); and 20th century composer Olivier Messiaen and contemporary composer James MacMillan (Chapter 7). Covering all of that material in about 120 pages seems ludicrous—and certainly each chapter can only convey so much of the complexity of each topic—but Begbie handles it with the panache of an experienced and gifted teacher. Much of this content is, of course, standard fare for seminary or conservatory students; but it’s a gift to the “general reader” who hasn’t encountered these streams of history before. A disappointment in these biographical chapters is that they focus on nine white, European males. Of course in some cases Begbie had little choice—who else would you look at for major trends in Reformation thought if not Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli?—this panorama is indicative of a general tendency throughout Resounding Truth to look only at the West. From the beginning, Begbie is upfront about this narrow scope, stating in Chapter 1 that “we are restricting ourselves largely to the broad tradition known as Western ‘tonal music’” (30). Again and again as I read, I felt that this self-imposed limitation was an unfortunate hindrance. I do not agree with Begbie that “given our limited space, it seems sensible to focus on the tradition of music that will be best known to readers of this book” (30). On the contrary, I believe that this narrow focus deprives the reader of a great number of “imaginative jolts” to think about music in a different way. Near the end of the book, Begbie affirms that “It may well be that cross-cultural conversation has a crucial part to play here” (257). I wish Resounding Truth could have benefited from that conversation, and I’ll point out a few specific areas that would have been better if the door for cross-cultural dialogue had been left open. My biggest criticism of this Western-centric approach is that it limits the range of questions the reader is confronted with. The Western perspective, for example, repeatedly pulls Begbie back to the idea of music as an object: a separable, independent “thing” that can be taken off the shelf and observed on its own. Begbie says that “music is best construed first of all not as an object or objects but as something done” (39), and I completely agree; but I felt that the allure of music as an object, if not a “work,” was very strong, and Begbie is drawn to it even as he wants to see music as a social action. His chapter on Bach includes analyses of Jesus, der du meine Seele and Es ist Vollbracht, and the chapter on Messiaen looks at his Quartet for the End of Time. Occasionally Begbie shows us music “as something done,” as when he tells the story of the first performance of the Quartet for the End of Time: while Messiaen was a prisoner in Stalag 8A in 1941 (pp. 163ff.). In many other places throughout the book, however, we see that, for everything else it might also be, music is always primarily the sound, which can be observed apart from any other contextual elements. Okay, but what is the alternative? In the traditional musics of many non-Western cultures, the musical sound is inseparable from the surrounding contextual elements: dance, drama, story, costume, location, time of day, participants, ritual, and so forth. “Music” is not a category that can be contemplated apart from everything else that happens when the musical sound is happening. In my work in Papua New Guinea, encouraging people to worship God using their distinctive local musical traditions, I’ve observed resistance to indigenized Christian worship because of this concept of traditional musics as a total package: the musical sound, instruments, costuming, dancing, and so forth. My suggestion that they then use this music (“music” meaning, to me, the sound produced by the instruments, and the singing that goes along with it; easy to incorporate into the Sunday morning service, right?) seems ridiculous to them (“music” meaning, to them, all the work of preparing for a traditional music event, which they certainly don’t want to have to do every Sunday!). For people in these non-Western communities, music is not a “work” or an object on its own. Rather, it is—together with the other expressive arts—primarily a social phenomenon that brings people together, allows important rites to occur, aids effective communication, and helps maintain proper harmony, both among humans and between humans and the spiritual world. This is a perspective on music that can do two useful things for Westerners who are thinking about Christianity and music. First, it shows a value of music that we already, at least partially, understand—we know many ways that music brings us together socially—and expands this understanding through showing it from a different cultural perspective. Second, by taking the attention away from the musical sound as its own discrete object, it reduces the heavy burden that sound (the composition and performance of music) has to bear. The musical sound, allowed to be a part of the full context of the event in which it is heard, is now but one aspect of a total event; thus, it need not be weighed down by expectations that it somehow respect the given cosmic order. I tread very cautiously here, as I want to affirm that Christians ought to be thinking more deeply about music (holistically), while at the same time fearing that it may also be possible to place too much responsibility on musical sound. It’s a fine line, to be sure, but throughout Resounding Truth I felt that Begbie was leaning too far toward this overburdening of music. I believe that a cross-cultural conversation would have helped him stay grounded in music as an action, in which the sound itself is intimately interwoven with the many other elements of a performance. Allowing this cross-cultural voice can also include a conversation in which Western and non-Western Christians can teach each other. What might we Westerners learn about the Bible’s references to music, for example, from communities that are culturally much more similar to biblical Near Eastern cultures than we are (in the way that Kenneth Bailey’s Middle Eastern experience has brought such fascinating insights about the gospels, and especially Jesus’s parables)? As long as we limit our scope to only Western traditions, these opportunities for exchange and mutual benefit are lost. This conversation would challenge Western theologians and musicians to consider the questions that non-Western Christians are asking—which may be quite different from the questions Messiaen and MacMillan have wrestled with in their musical thinking. Now I return to the point that most troubled me on my first reading of Resounding Truth: Begbie’s ideas about the “integrities of the sonic order.” In order to push his readers beyond a typical postmodern perspective of music as merely an anthropocentric tool, he asks, “Might there not be something, so to speak, ‘in the notes’ and perhaps even in the makeup of all human beings that plays a key part in musical experience” (46). His response—“Indeed there is”—almost seems calculated to make ethnomusicologists bristle, as though he is about to veer into the “music is a universal language” trope. However, rather than affirm that music is a universal language, Begbie instead proposes that music is, in fact, a language of the universe. His historical overview guides the reader through the classical notion of the “music of the spheres,” and then into the modern era of music viewed as only a human creation; and now Begbie challenges his readers to consider that perhaps something valuable has been lost in that shift to modern and postmodern thought about music. Exactly what elements constitute “integrities of the sonic order” is slightly unclear in Resounding Truth. Begbie initially refers simply to the physical and biological constraints placed upon sound production and perception: the physical properties of a plucked string, for example. To me, this seems a bit of common sense that doesn’t contribute much to a discussion of “Christian wisdom in the world of music.” Of course sound is limited by the physical properties of the universe, but that is not much of a guide for thinking deeply about music. Later, in Chapter 9, the sonic order has come to refer primarily to the harmonic series, upon which the Western tuning system is (somewhat imprecisely) based. Begbie states that “music may be grounded in a given physical order,” but qualifies that by adding that “it still involves selecting from and shaping that order, which can take diverse forms” (227). When he concludes that “however much particular individual interests may play a part, by far the majority of music made and heard can be shown to be rooted in given verities that make up what I have called the ‘sonic order’” (233), I am not at all convinced that this is the correct conclusion. On the contrary, at that point in the book I saw much greater significance in the cultural choices that inform music. I was especially disappointed that just when he reaches what ought to be the climax of his argument, he backs down, saying that “We do not have space to examine how these harmonic dimensions are played out in time, the extension of music through melody, rhythm, and meter, and the way these also relate to the physical world’s givens” (233). Had Begbie drawn from scholars working on the laboratory research I mentioned earlier (though some important sources in this field were published after Resounding Truth, there was certainly relevant research available at the time Begbie was writing), his argument would have been stronger. Huron’s research, for example, goes beyond general notions of sonic order and investigates listeners’ expectations and predictions in hearing music—and he is careful to account for cross-cultural differences in order to isolate true universals in music perception. Without connection to this kind of research, Begbie’s integrities of the sonic order will remain imprecise, obstructing the conversation about Christian wisdom in music. My experience—as a performing musician and as an ethnomusicologist with experience in a variety of non-Western musical traditions—is that, although music is grounded in the physical nature of the universe, that nature allows a very wide latitude for exploration and celebration. It is easy to criticize the extreme ideas of composers such as Pierre Boulez and John Cage (as Begbie does in Chapter 10; though I find much more to enjoy in both than does Begbie), but, for me, much less easy to suggest that what was wrong with their experimentation was a lack of respect for the given sonic order of the universe. Looking at musicking as a social activity rather than as a sonic “work” seems to me much more productive in thinking about a Christian perspective on music—and, indeed, all the arts, interconnected as they are. Resounding Truth, then, contains much that is great, and some points about which I remain unconvinced. My challenge to Begbie is to co-author a follow-up to Resounding Truth with another author who represents a different cultural background, and with primary experience in a non-Western musical tradition. In that context, I would like to see Begbie continue to refine his ideas about the integrities of the sonic order (especially drawing from the empirical research on possible universals in music perception), but within the bigger picture of music as a social action, intimately interwoven with other arts and vital not for itself but for the ways that it creates and fosters community. May Begbie jolt us out of our headphones, away from our orchestral scores, and toward one another in love and celebration!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Hui

    This book requires its reader to be 'fluent' in Scripture/theology and music. It is a struggle for this musically obtuse reader, but it is well worth the effort. However, it also reminds this reader of watching the movie A Bridge Too Far -- taking near 3 hours before hearing those words spoken. To fully appreciate it, this reader may need to re-read, but probably not for a long, long time. Advice: Read chapter 11 first, then read the whole book (including chapter 11).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    A wonderful well-rounded book on the theology of music, that demonstrates originality and rigorous research. The author's imaginative engagement includes discussion of Scripture, music history (comments by theological giants on music as well as theologically-minded musicians), and contemporary culture.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kc

    The way this author writes about music is fascinating and inspiring. The last chapter was especially interesting, talking about the amazing singular (and mystic) properties of music. Lots of wonderful quotes from all sorts of sources and many different musical examples cited. Great book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sam Giddy

    Begbie is thoughtful, imaginative, and uncompromising as a musicologist and theologian. Strongly recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Kasiske

    lacked Biblical exegesis

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a very ambitious work from Professor Begbie and very broad in the topics it covers. The sections on historical theology and highlights of various Christian musicians from the past are strong. It was fun to see that I side more with Luther than Calvin when it comes to music (maybe the only area of theology where that would be the case). My frustration comes from the fact that most of the time Dr. Begbie is asking questions (many good ones) rather than giving answers. Like a lot of modern This is a very ambitious work from Professor Begbie and very broad in the topics it covers. The sections on historical theology and highlights of various Christian musicians from the past are strong. It was fun to see that I side more with Luther than Calvin when it comes to music (maybe the only area of theology where that would be the case). My frustration comes from the fact that most of the time Dr. Begbie is asking questions (many good ones) rather than giving answers. Like a lot of modern theology there are lots of "suggestions", "maybes", "possibilities", and "opportunities for further investigation" through the use of "imagination". I'd like less hedging and some more practical answers. I was very disappointed to get to the conclusion and find, "read my next book where I make application of the ideas presented." I'm not sure I trust the foundation enough to invest in the rest of the structure or in more musical terms, the opening exposition and development of his themes leave me too unsettled to wait for the recapitulation of his theo-philosophical sonata.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hodge

    For a long while, finding some good Christian thinking on music was difficult. It seemed like most books out there were written by people trying to find hard and fast rules for what was good music and what was bad. (e.g. Syncopated beat = bad, regular beat = good). Jeremy Begbie's book builds a much more interesting argument - what music might tell us about the God who made the world and the ways in which music can communicate. Begbie is a keen musician himself and it shows, in a book that combine For a long while, finding some good Christian thinking on music was difficult. It seemed like most books out there were written by people trying to find hard and fast rules for what was good music and what was bad. (e.g. Syncopated beat = bad, regular beat = good). Jeremy Begbie's book builds a much more interesting argument - what music might tell us about the God who made the world and the ways in which music can communicate. Begbie is a keen musician himself and it shows, in a book that combines chapters looking at theologians talking about music and musicians talking about theology. All in all, a fantastic reminder about the spiritual element of this thing called music which fills all of our lives to one degree or another. I should add that it might be a bit difficult in some places if you are new to music.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Syneva

    This is the most thought-provoking book I have read on the subject of "what Christians should think about music". Although suitable for anyone with an interest in faith and the arts, it should be especially exciting for musicians. Finally, a book that rises above Christian squabbles about church music and gives musicians something to chew on. The author takes music as a physical part of God's created order and seeks to understand how Christ's sovereignty over creation affects the way we hear and This is the most thought-provoking book I have read on the subject of "what Christians should think about music". Although suitable for anyone with an interest in faith and the arts, it should be especially exciting for musicians. Finally, a book that rises above Christian squabbles about church music and gives musicians something to chew on. The author takes music as a physical part of God's created order and seeks to understand how Christ's sovereignty over creation affects the way we hear and shape the world of sound. The writing has academic integrity in its treatment of history, theology, and music theory. When's the last time you heard someone explain the Trinity in terms of a harmonic triad? If your eyes light up at that, you might like this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike Barker

    Well, it took forever, but I finally finished. It was worth it. I encourage any and all of my musician colleagues to read this book.It explores how music re-sounds the message of the gospel. It's a lot of theology and a lot of musicology. The author discusses Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. He probes Schleiermacher, Barth and Bonhoffer. And he explores the music of Saint-Saens and James MacMillan. He couches a theology of music in the church within a larger theology of creation: the nature of God as Well, it took forever, but I finally finished. It was worth it. I encourage any and all of my musician colleagues to read this book.It explores how music re-sounds the message of the gospel. It's a lot of theology and a lot of musicology. The author discusses Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. He probes Schleiermacher, Barth and Bonhoffer. And he explores the music of Saint-Saens and James MacMillan. He couches a theology of music in the church within a larger theology of creation: the nature of God as Creator, the nature of God's creation and how music can participate in that ongoing theological expression. Heady stuff, but well worth it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Great thoughts on the theology of music. Piqued my interest in quite a few composers I had not listened to before. Begbie said he originally planned to include thoughts on how to evaluate music, and the absence of such a section is indeed felt.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't had to read it and write a 12 page paper on it for school.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Seeley

    Very deep and profound. An excellent interdisciplinary piece on music, theology and nature.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Very helpful overview of how to think about music.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a great work consisting of a careful reflection on the interface between theology and music.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Mcgregor

  20. 4 out of 5

    Blair and Ben

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annaliese

  23. 4 out of 5

    Louis Vigo

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jason Sebastian

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chip

  26. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Castillo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dumnonius

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lood

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike Stuart

  30. 4 out of 5

    Knox Merkle

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