Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Listening to JS Bach and Handel this Easter Sunday, I am inclined to call BS on the militant atheism that has found voice in Chris Hitchens' work, among others. Don't get me wrong. I like and respect Chris's pungent commentary on many levels. I admire his writing style. But I think he is wasting his breath pushing atheism as a solution to the world's problems.

Think about this for a second:

At the end of every cantata Bach composed (and there were hundreds of them, because for years he composed them weekly on the Lutheran lectionary, just as his pastors composed their sermons) he wrote the initials, "SDG". SDG stood for "soli gloria deo", meaning "for the glory of god alone".

There is no body of music in all creation at once so prolific and so uniformly technically perfect and sublime.

What other deity (or non deity) but the God of Isaac, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus has inspired such musical creativity?

I surely cannot think of any.

And Bach was born on the first day of spring.


Anonymous said...

Happy Easter to you, vnjagvet, said Skookumchuk, with the Bach B Minor Mass cranked and echoing through the house...

Anonymous said...

Dona nobis pacem at this exact moment. Good stuff.

loner said...

Happy Easter.

Today, I believe in the Davidson Wildcats (a 3 day belief), Oban (a 20 year belief) and I agree with our comrade in better blogosphere days, Dennis, that X should have been one of the biggest bands ever (a belief I'd forgotten about.)

This post didn't cause me to listen to any Bach—yet, but it did lead me to pull my William Blake: The Complete Poems from its place on the poetry shelf in the bookcase to my right. I enjoyed The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Lots to think about there.

I'm sure there is some Bach on the CD shelf along the top of the contrivance from which I work on this computer. A St. Matthew Passion conducted by Klemperer should be there. Maybe later. John Adams is on right now.

But some, perhaps, will say: Are we to have no word of God — no revelation? I answer, Yes; there is a word of God; there is a revelation.

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.

Human language is local and changeable, and is therefore incapable of being used as the means of unchangeable and universal information. The idea that God sent Jesus Christ to publish, as they say, the glad tidings to all nations, from one end of the earth to the other, is consistent only with the ignorance of those who knew nothing of the extent of the world, and who believed, as those world-saviours believed, and continued to believe for several centuries (and that in contradiction to the discoveries of philosophers and the experience of navigators), that the earth was flat like a trencher, and that man might walk to the end of it.

—Thomas Paine, Age of Reason

vnjagvet said...

Tom was a great patriot, Loner.

Obviously, faith was not one of his gifts.

But it is pretty amazing that those who said they saw, heard and lived with that poor Nazerine Carpenter were able to convince so many throughout more than twenty centuries of His divine gifts.

CS Lewis had it right for me.

Either the story of Christ's life, death and resurrection is truly the Word of God, or it is the biggest fraud perpetrated on mankind.

There is not much room for a middle ground.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Happy Easter Vnjagvet.

I would suggest you read the link I provided to the article called "The Atheist Delusion". I think you might like it

loner said...


I would never call Christianity a fraud just as I would never call any of the major religions in almost all of their varied incarnations frauds and there aren't all that many I'd call cults. I wouldn't even think it. People can, and obviously will, believe whatever they like and so long as they don't attempt by the threat or use of force to curtail my ability to do the same, I'm good.

I've been a deist for a very long time. It works for me.