A Gift from My Daughters

I grew up on what is now called “classic rock.” Kansas, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, I saw them all in concert. After thirty years, though, how many times can you “Shoot to Thrill“? So I moved on to various incarnations of what is now generically labeled “alternative” rock. My last three downloads from iTunes are Flobots “White Flag Warrior,” AFI “Beautiful Thieves,” and Cold War Kids “Audience.” “Classical music” was something that was on the FM dial just a slight twist of the knob away from 97.9 “The Loop” in Chicago – yes, kids, this is before the invention of digital tuning. My parents didn’t listen to classical music, my grandparents didn’t listen to it. I made it to seminary – and through seminary – without being exposed in any meaningful way to Bach or Mozart apart from the movie Amadeus. Given the choice I would prefer that the instruments accompanying our hearing of God and singing back to him include more than just an organ – drum, bass guitar, brass, woodwind, whatever.

My daughters live in another world. As young parents we felt that blasting Pearl Jam into our little babies’ precious ears would not be a good idea. So we left the car radio tuned to a classical station, in Cleveland and then in St. Louis. For the parents it was just background music, the volume kept low enough so it didn’t interfere with driving or conversation. But the kids safely strapped into the backseat must have been paying attention to the radio, not to us. When fifth grade came along, our daughters’ school (Christ Community Lutheran) offered beginning band in conjunction with Lutheran High South. Our oldest picked up a flute and progressed from beginning band to “junior winds.” Then in high school (at Clayton High) we were referred to the former principal flautist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) for lessons, and she hasn’t looked back. She’s been through local and state competitions, football and basketball games, school musicals, and now as a sophomore is first chair in her school symphonic band. Her high school band received top marks in a recent competition for a piece in which she played a piccolo solo. The youngest took a slightly different route. She started with piano at a young age, picked up trumpet in fifth grade beginner band, and in sixth grade switched over to French horn (which has a much more pleasant sound than a trumpet – trust me). Again, we lucked into a referral to a horn player with the SLSO, who actually wasn’t taking students but agreed to take on our daughter. (Yes, I am boasting in my daughters—forgive me). We’ll see where all this goes with both.

Trying to be good parents, and having invested a fair amount into instruments and lessons, we decided that we should encourage our daughters’ interest by taking them to performances of the SLSO. Have you seen the price of symphony tickets? But the symphony offers what they call a “family series“: four short performances spread over the season, lasting about an hour, of important and familiar pieces at a reasonable price. They even threw in a pair of “real” performance tickets at no cost for the adults to enjoy. So, we dutifully took the kids, fully expecting to get in my normal Sunday afternoon naps. The first performance was Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. It wasn’t really that exciting for me; the girls had a great time picking out their instruments from the orchestra, watching the warm-up, etc. I nearly slept. The second performance in the series took place near Christmas, featuring familiar selections from the Nutcracker Suite along with a few members of a ballet company. The music was familiar and the visual element kept me awake, but I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to see it again. A few weeks ago, however, in the midst of the SLSO’s “Beethoven Festival” the family concert featured the music of Beethoven, including, of course the overture to Symphony no. 5 and piece that I recognized by ear but had never identified, his Eroica.

I felt life. It was as if it were the first warm, Spring-like morning. The kind of morning where you walk out the door and you smell and taste and feel life in the air. When you remember again that you are alive. Sitting at that performance was like the first time I tasted a 1996 Lynch-Bages. I stopped, paralyzed, dazzled, charmed by what my senses were encountering. I had wine before, but not like that. And I heard music before, but not like that. Music that I felt, and tasted, and reminded me that I was alive.

Two weeks later we got to use our “free tickets” at a Valentine’s Day weekend performance of “romantic music.” When we picked out that show from the list of options back in September, it seemed like a good way to “celebrate” Valentine’s Day without being ridiculous. But I knew none of the music going in, and had no expectations then of actually enjoying it. The first piece was Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. From the opening note I sat motionless, transfixed, for twenty minutes. One of the high school band teachers told the students that all music is either a “love song” or a “pirate song.” My daughter told me this, and now after her performances we discuss which pieces fall into which category. I’ll fully admit to preferring pirate songs, which is why I preferred Tchaikovsky (with its depiction of the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio) to Berlioz’ Love Scene from Romeo et Juliette, which focused on the balcony scene. But I had received a gift, through my daughter, a basic lens with which to see what I was hearing. It also explains why I liked the background music from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Now what? I’ll admit to feeling like some kind of addict. Checking the remaining SLSO concert schedule, looking at pricing plans for a subscription to next year’s season, bidding on symphony tickets at the youth group silent auction fundraiser, googling Washington University’s music department web site for concerts – most of them free, and only two blocks from Concordia Seminary. The next performance on the calendar of the SLSO featured Holst’s Planets. I had no idea what that was (though my daughters did, of course) so I checked out a CD from the library. Next I was trying to figure out whether I could scrape together enough money out of the family budget to buy four tickets or if I’d have to sell myself on the street. That Pirates of the Caribbean music? It is a crib of the first and fourth movements of Planets. Pirate music. I have to be there.

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This term I am teaching again one of my favorite courses: E-109 Biblical Theology. It is a fun class, designed specifically to help fourth-year students put all the pieces back together. After dissecting Hebrew verbs and Greco-Roman contexts they step back and remind themselves again of the sweep of the biblical narrative: God restoring his broken creation through the work of his Son, Jesus Christ, in his crucifixion, resurrection, and appearing. I have the students read and reflect on some challenging material in order to help them do this, and one book I added to the reading list a couple years ago is N. T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope. It is not perfect, of course (is any theological work perfect?). One of his emphases is that on the last day creation will not be annihilated, but restored (a perfectly creedal, Lutheran view, incidentally). He goes on, perhaps perilously, to imagine what from this present creation will endure into the New Creation. Among other things, he opines that he expects to hear Bach in the New Creation. Whatever one thinks of such speculation, I puzzled over the choice of Bach. Yes, we have Bach’s personal Bible, with his own annotations, in our seminary library. I fully expect to meet J. S. Bach in the New Creation, but I never wondered if I’d hear his music there. My own personal music tastes at the time of first reading that book led me to conclude differently. According to my reasoning, most AC/DC stuff wouldn’t make it (“Highway to Hell” pretty much cuts them out), and Arctic Monkeys is too new to have a proven track record. “Kashmir”? “More Than a Feeling”? I chalked up Wright’s preferences to just that, his preference. He has his tastes, and I have mine. You listen to your music with your perfectly restored ears in the life to come, and I’ll listen to mine with my new ears. Those Brits are all a bit elitist and Old World anyway. What is their contribution to music since The Clash – Coldplay? No wonder he’s stuck on Bach.

Wright’s version of the New Creation has left in me one of those impressions that are not fleeting but embedding. It left a question that I could not answer. Why Bach? Wright also said something about art and architecture, but those didn’t stick with me because I neither know nor care much for the visual arts and architecture. Maybe I should, but music has always been a big interest for me. Perhaps it stuck  because he was shaking the last vestiges of Americanized gnosticism out of my system by forcing me consider what “real things” would be there in the New Creation. To think in concrete, physical terms about what it would look like when God restores creation itself – when he releases creation from its slavery to decay (Rom 8:21) and transforms it into his perfect creation. The New Creation will not made up of Platonized essences of things in this world — just as the resurrected Jesus was not a mere essence or thought or spirit, but a glorified, transformed piece of the old creation.

This restoration of all creation has already started in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus did surprisingly physical things after his resurrection. Pointing to scars in his body, breaking bread, and in an unmistakeably physical action, eating dinner. In doing so he signalled that his glorified body was capable of eating, digesting, perhaps even enjoying roasted fish (Luke 24:42-43). It is evident that he could also see, hear, and reason. He could recognize his disciples, his mind had not been wiped clean of Aramaic. And while there is no specific mention in the text, presumably he could taste what he ate and could feel the fish’s bony flesh crunching between his resurrected teeth. That covers all the senses. He has the same body after his resurrection as the one that had hung on a cross and been placed in a tomb, dead. Same, but glorified and about to return to the Father. He was not some mere idea or thought or essence or soul. What he could eat before he could eat also as the resurrected Son of God. What he could hear before he could still hear. The act of restoring the sin-corrupted creation started already in the resurrection of the body of Jesus, the first-fruits of the New Creation (1 Cor 15:20, 23). Might it be that when Jesus digested his breakfast that morning and it became part of his glorified body that a tiny, oily, flame-broiled piece of creation was already becoming transformed, ahead of time, into his New Creation – a very real downpayment on the restoration of all things on the last day?

Now I think I understand Wright’s expectation of hearing Bach in the New Creation. Bach will not be raised as a reformatted hard drive, as a shell of a body with a blank slate where his mind used to be. He will be resurrected as J. S. Bach, the composer, the musician. The music he made while living in this creation, broken and imperfect as it is, will not be scrubbed from his brain. But it will endure, restored, perfected. The music that helped us understand ourselves and our world, helped us praise our Creator will help us to celebrate new life and bring glory to our Lord in the new creation.

Are there not some things in this creation worth holding on to? Since we will not become cherubs floating on wisps of clouds, nor will our “souls” be reabsorbed into The One, are there not some things in this creation that we should encourage in our children, in ourselves, in our church? After all, he has given me eyes, ears and all my senses, a body – and still preserves them. And he is taking all those parts with him through the cross and out of my own burial into his resurrection, making our doomed-to-death bodies like his glorious body on that great and terrible day (Phil 3:21). If he is taking you and me with him – my hands, and reason and senses into his New Creation, why would he not also take what those hands have made, what that mind has thought, what those senses have felt – transormed, cleansed, purified – but nonetheless real?

We did make it to the performace of Planets. Only three tickets, my wife stayed home, but we made it. The first part of the performance was a Ligeti violin concerto. I didn’t get it, though my daughters did (naturally). During the intermission the younger daughter picked out her horn instructor as she was warming up on stage. When the cacophony of the orchestra tuning was completed and the rhythm of the strings and percussion began their slow boil in the first movement, “Mars,” the air filled with life. You could feel and taste the sound. For fifty minutes I was carried along, the journey interrupted only by the spontaneous (and apparently unusual) applause after most of the movements, and by the shaved head of the hulking, professional wrestler-type sitting two rows in front of us, who was shaking the entire section while he rocked along to “Uranus.” Real, flesh-in-the-blood life, through music.

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When we settled into our seats in Powell Hall, my oldest daughter noticed a small plaque fixed to hers. She was tickled to see that it was a quote attributed to Martin Luther: “Music is a fair and glorious gift of God.” Did he actually say it? Is it one of those apocryphal utterances, such as “If I knew the world were to end tomorrow I would plant a tree”? I don’t know. Luther could have said both, and both remind us that God, the Father, the creator of the heavens and the earth has blessed his creation with beauty, a beauty that reflects his creation and, even in a small way, his own glory. Last week I heard, from an upstairs bedroom, the sound of the horns in “Jupiter,” the fourth movement of Planets. At first I thought that my daughter had turned the CD up too loud. Then I realized, after a few halting notes, that she was teaching herself, by ear, to play the parts of that movement. I stood at the bottom of the stairs, receiving a gift from my daughter.

Unfortunately, this generation of parents in St. Louis will no longer be able tune their car radios to classical music. This seminary’s church body, in the name of “saving souls” for Jesus, is selling off the St. Louis station that my daughters listened to – still listen to as teenagers – to an organization whose mission statement reads: “Desiring obedience above all, we will use Christian Music as a means of encouraging believers, uniting the body of Christ and sharing the clear, life-changing message of Jesus with the world” (yes, “Christian Music” is capitalized). Some laudable goals – some. You can use your Lutheran lenses to figure out if this music genuinely brings “the” life-changing message of the Gospel. Some “contemporary Christian music” no doubt brings glory to God. Some of it may even endure into the New Creation. Perhaps. What little I’ve heard of it seems trite and sacharine to me. But we are losing a birthright, something passed down to us by our parents and grandparents, in what looks like a “reverse-mortgage” strategy — hold on to your standard of living today by mortgaging what you have inherited. And we are getting in return a mess of pottage. I received a gift from my daughters. Perhaps we should give it back.





22 responses to “A Gift from My Daughters”

  1. Will Schumacher Avatar
    Will Schumacher

    Coldplay: “the sonic equivalent of wilted spinach” — I wish I’d said that.
    But seriously, this is a thought-provoking, hope-kindling piece. We need such reminders of the reality of the resurrection: not just that Jesus really rose from the dead (which nobody in our circles denies), but especially what that means for the flesh-and-blood existence we have already begun, and which does not end when our “souls go to heaven.”
    C. S. Lewis tried to capture this imaginatively in his fantasy The Great Divorce. “Heaven” is pictured as infinitely more real (not less, or more “spiritual”) than earth or hell. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Ben Haupt Avatar
    Ben Haupt

    I think we have reverse-mortgaged a lot of old world stuff for the sole purpose of becoming contemporary, modern, 21st century, etc. Not only have we traded Mozart for Metallica, we’ve also traded Lynch Bages for Yellow Tail and Prosciutto for Spam. Whatever was cheap, fast, and able to be shipped over thousands of miles using lots of cheap oil became the hot commodity for the modern world. Let’s get back to instruments that take a long time to learn, to wineries that did not start in the 80’s, and to food that was not made in a factory but rather took a long time and a lot of care to grow and age. Maybe when we start enjoying the old world ways of enjoying God’s creation will we really begin to grasp how this world in some ways really is a foretaste of the feast to come! There’s no way Jesus is serving Wonderbread and Yellow Tail in the age to come and there’s no way that Jesus will ask ACDC to play the background music during distribution of the Feast of the Lamb in the age to come, maybe we shouldn’t in this age either. Thanks for the reflections Kloha!

    1. Jeff Kloha Avatar
      Jeff Kloha

      Lynch Bages for Yellow Tail? Obviously can’t happen. Don’t you remember, Ben? It breaks the Concordia Wine Tasting Club rule about no wines with animals on the label. Seriously, though, fast, “cheap” (though it really isn’t) and easy seems to be our present — will it be our future?

  3. Ryan Tinetti Avatar
    Ryan Tinetti

    Thanks for your heartening thoughts–and the encouragement to get my 18-month-old hooked on Bach now. I’d just as soon jam to Sufjan, though.

    1. Ben Haupt Avatar
      Ben Haupt

      Long live Sufjan! We have to get Kloha listening to this guy. Sufjan, in my book, does not fall into the category of boring, bland, bastardized rock. They’ll be talking about him in history books some day!

  4. Steve Newton Avatar
    Steve Newton

    Nice post – it also distracted me from work I need to be about, but that is my problem:)

    I wonder about the near term usefulness of trying to preserve the old in our culture, at least as local church project. To me, trying to undo Yellow Tail (which I drink because it’s cheap)is trying to undo the impact of declining average income in America (ref: Robert Riech (sp?) op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal dated 4/12/10). Or, it is like trying to reach body pierced and tattooed twenty-somethings with music they have never even heard before. Such an effort, it seems to me, requires that we speak in a language that the culture doesn’t speak. Am I wrong here?

    That said, it would be tragic to lose the good Western culture has achieved over the centuries. But as I write, I wonder if this recovery is a very long term project done at the university, and maybe, highshcool level.


    BTW – I kind ‘a like ColdPlay 🙂

    1. Steve Newton Avatar
      Steve Newton

      Hello again.

      You are right, I reread your post and see, if am interpreting you correctly, that you are trying to communicate the wonder that we will, in some fashion that we can only now see dimly, be “us”, physically as well, in the new creation. Really, I am not trying to be trite or pius, this is great news! But I guess I was reacting to your last paragraph were you were, I thought, knocking contemporary Christian music. (I’m not a huge fan of CCM but as my post above notes, I am very engaged in trying to reach our culture, decrepit as it is.)

      Well, as I reflect again upon the post it occurs to me to ask the question: how does your thesis apply to CCM? What of it will make it into the kingdom? If Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, or some other who have written dozens of these songs and made money off of them too, make it into the kingdom, won’t the music they wrote do so as well? Assuming that it is part of them, anyway. (I spose if it is really chaff then it will like straw be burnt up on the last day, though they themselves enter the kingdom.) So what’s the point – perhaps those of us who dislike CCM and those of us who dislike classical need humility regarding the value of such created stuff. Unless maybe it has an objective worth apart from it’s human creator. Perhaps, and I wouldn’t be surprised by this, I still misunderstand.


  5. Aredee Avatar

    A line from “Inheret the Wind” comes to mind: “In a child’s power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted ‘amens’ and ‘holy holies’ and ‘hosannas.’”

    1. Jeff Kloha Avatar
      Jeff Kloha

      Thanks. Is it something like this? “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

    2. Jeff Kloha Avatar
      Jeff Kloha

      You lost me at Coldplay, Steve. This post really isn’t about “worship music” or “reaching out” strategies — given the way things are in Detroit right now I’d guess that hiring a string quartet to lead worship every week wouldn’t be a budget priority. Still, some things are worth spending our time, money, and efforts on, and some are not. Personally, what few brain cells I have left are worth more to me than a bottle of Yellow Tail. Rather than always racing to the bottom, I hope we can make room in ourselves and our families and, yes, even our church to words, music, and images that raise our heads above the ordinary and remind us of the gifts we’ve received — and make us hungry for the even greater ones to come.

  6. Karen Haak Avatar
    Karen Haak

    Thanks for the well-written, thoughtful and thought-provoking article, Dr. Kloha. My musical tastes are quite eclectic – I like just about any genre except country-western. Rock and roll was my music of choice until I ran across the classical music radio station when we lived in Chicago. KFUO-FM helped make a difficult move a little more palatable for me. I will miss it greatly! I do have to say that it doesn’t bother me so much that KFUO-FM has been sold, but that the powers-that-be were not more discerning about to whom they sold it. (BTW – is the sale a “done deal?”)

  7. patty Avatar

    I love reading about experiences like yours. As a classical musician it makes my heart happy. As a Christian I am very sad about our lack of interest in the majority of the arts. It seems “we” (generally speaking) are fearful of them, just as so many seem to have become fearful of intellectualism. (I’m no intellectual … don’t think that! But there seems to be a disdain for thinking by so many.)

    I don’t mind pop music. Shoot, I don’t even mind Coldplay (uh-oh, I’m in trouble now!). I just think that we are losing something amazing when we nix the older arts and especially, since this is what I do, classical music. I remember when classical music was used during church services … it was a norm. It’s now a rare thing indeed.

    Anyhoo … ramble ramble … just wanted to say I enjoyed reading about your journey!

  8. John Mark Hopmann Avatar
    John Mark Hopmann

    I pointed out in an article written for Concordia’s student newspaper,”Spectrum”, some forty years past, that J.S. Bach earned the nickname “The Fifth Evangelist” by virtue of his prolific output of music dedicated to illuminating the thematic heart of biblical theology, Jesus, the Living Word. But his work would have been for naught had he not been blessed with good training to focus his innate musicality which he developed with disciplined industry, enabling him to push the envelope of music theory and harmonic “language”, and allowing his music to reach new heights of expressiveness and complexity, leading to world acclaim . Popular music of today would not exist had not Bach and other giants of “real=classical” music contributed to the development of Western tonality and harmony. (Classical training today still depends on Bach’s works to teach the inner workings of music to musicians and composers of all western music today, classical or not.) Technical issues aside, it was the synthesis of Bach’s world-leading artistry with his strong spirituality and commitment to orthodox confessional theology that breathed a virtual soul into his works that cannot help but resonate with believers and which reach out with powerful evangelistic zeal to unbelievers who are blessed to be confronted with the Gospel in so far as it is communicated within his masterful musical portraits. Bach appreciated and used music for its created purpose– to give glory to God. Witness the initials he wrote at the top of most of his musical scores, “J.J.”=jesu jiva and at the end, “S.D.G.”= soli Deo gloria. Among his works, He wrote musical settings, “Cantatas” to illuminate the pericope readings themselves or commentary, including Luther’s writings, for every Sunday of the church year. Many are masterpieces that remain incredibly moving to any who are blessed to have had an elementary music education or exposure through frequent listening, such as on the radio. The tremendous gifts bequeathed to the world by J.S. Bach are significant, appreciated by Christianity at large, and should be treasured within confessional Lutheran circles, not allowed to be swept away in the vapors of a dissolving culture through benign neglect, and, unconscionably, heaped with disdain in favor of the trappings of cultural hedonism. Once one reaches the eureka moment of being touched to the soul with “real” music of the past, there is little chance of dismissing it since it remains alive when performed, giving us a connection with all who have come before, and connecting us to the natural harmonies of the creation (note the science of music). Music used to illuminate the Word of God as in the extraordinary works of J.S Bach and few others, goes even further to lift us up to experiential highs, perhaps giving us an ethereal preview of Creation restored. The proof is in the listening to the popular and lesser known Cantatas, available on recordings; the Passions According to Matthew, John, and much more. A Lutheran church in New York by Central Park holds Bach Vespers every Sunday evening and has since I first attended forty years ago. KFUO and other stations around the world play Bach’s works regularly, leading many secularists to venerate or even idolize Bach on the basis of the music alone. But many have been led to the Word and knowledge of the truth as well through hearing and studying Bach’s settings of biblical texts, commentaries. Why would Lutherans not want to hang on to, even promote such treasures to the world at large? KFUO was a tool, perhaps not used to its potential. Now sold down the river, don’t mourn long. Internet, portable electronics and the like more than make up for the loss and can be used to listen to uplifting and character building music of Bach and others who composed music worth the precious time to listen to and appreciate. Get busy and put programs together! For a real high for theologians and laymen alike, study and listen to Bach’s Cantata for Trinity II, “Ah God, from Heaven Look Down” (Ach Gott, vom Himmel Sieh Darein)(BVW2), featuring Luther’s paraphrase of Psalm 12, comforts and promises to preserve the faithful to the end in the midst of an increasingly heretical world. I commend this beautiful study of the work to you by a certain Paul Hofreiter, at http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissboo5.htm
    (Ach Gott, vom Himmel Sieh Darein)
    Sorry for the length of this response.

    1. John Mark Hopmann Avatar
      John Mark Hopmann

      Please pardon the typo/error in referencing Bach’s Cantata in the previous post. It should be “BWV 2”. Using the incorrect one would make finding it somewhat difficult for many. Nonetheless, newby Bach listeners may find this particular Cantata difficult to listen to at first. Bach’s music is after all from an earlier age and the music can be an acquired taste, like with vintage wine, that grows with experience and perhaps some education. As far as Bach’s church music is concerned, listening while reading the texts in German or your native tongue is a given when you are first listening to a cantata or other vocal works and want to appreciate how words and music go together to amplify the meaning.
      Not everyone will like Bach, and there are other worthy composers works, which is not a reason to throw it away. Bach was a confessional Lutheran and a virtuoso performing musician himself and composed for skilled and in some cases world-class musicians. While lesser trained amateurs can play much of Bach’s music with a listenable result, much of it does require great skill to perform, at least well enough to satisfy most listeners. It is a worthwhile pursuit to produce regular performances of Bach’s works with the world’s greatest musicians and soloists as part of keeping them alive for this and future generations, until such time that this culture is totally replaced and musicians no longer learn to play the instruments required to perform Bach and singers are no longer trained. Those days may come, but until there are enough playable works by other composers of comparable worth in terms of confessional content and artistry, we will be vastly poorer if we leave Bach’s music to decay. Back to Bach! music festivals anyone?

  9. Robert A. Overn Avatar
    Robert A. Overn

    I was intrigued by Dr. Kloha’s description of the “New Creation”. Few people have his insight to the “Spiritual Reality” that includes the new Heaven and Earth. Its hard to imagine that the new creation (our home after the second coming) will be “more perfect” than the original which was declared perfect when it was created. Clearly it is because sin will be completely abolished.

  10. Jeff Kloha Avatar
    Jeff Kloha

    Thanks, all of you, for the thoughtful and perceptive comments. I appreciate the observations and discussion. I’m at a conference right now, so can’t reply to everything here in detail right now (sorry, Steve). I am struck by the “SDG” notation at the end of Bach’s pieces. Bach viewed himself as carrying out his vocation by glorifying God through his work. Would we all viewed our task as doing the same, whatever our calling (and taste in music).

  11. Marc Avatar

    Seems to me that the common thread here is that things can be better than we ever thought. It isn’t necessarily the genre of music, it’s the fact that what we really appreciate now and see as a blessing could be present and unfathomably improved in the restoration of our broken world. I don’t like carrots now, but I bet I’ll like a sinless carrot!

    I think we can easily confuse a blessing with an entitlement, and our preferences for what God prefers. I’ll try to let Jesus decided what makes it into the renewed Kingdom, my tastes change too often. That, and it’s his Kingdom, not mine.

    I don’t know much about the sale of KFUO, but it sounds like a shuffling of money in order to keep something else running a bit longer, because some people prefer the something else.

    I’m praying that I can prefer the idea that nothing lasts forever until Christ fully restores our world.

    Then again, I could be way off on the article. That tends to happen.

    1. Jeff Kloha Avatar
      Jeff Kloha

      You got it right, Marc. Things can be/will be better than we ever thought. Like Steve said up there, some stuff will endure, some stuff will be burned up like chaff. It’s not our call which will end up where. But we shouldn’t close ourselves off from something just because we don’t like it — yet.

      So I’ve tried Sufjan a few times, Ryan and Ben. Still not clicking with me, though.

  12. Kyle Mietzner Avatar
    Kyle Mietzner

    I am also the child of classic rock parents. For some reason, both my sister and I began playing in orchestra. I play string bass, and my sister took up the cello. Our parents were converted in a similar manner.

    Not only is it disappointing that we are selling our birthright via KFUO, but I also routinely wonder how exactly it is that such a small percentage of the student population attends Bach at the Sem. You are right in pointing out the extravagant price of symphony tickets. No matter what city, it is generally only for a certain class of people. I like to think that Bach at the Sem is breaking the aristocratic image of classical music and bringing it to the poor huddled masses. It really is a unique opportunity for everyone in St. Louis.

    See you all at the next Bach at the Sem!

  13. Concordia Theology » The Day the Music Died Avatar

    […] of passing interest to me, despite the fact that I can see the radio tower from my bedroom window. I chronicled that path a few months ago on this site. But now the passing of this radio station, today, fills me and all listeners of KFUO-FM with […]

  14. Mark Thompson Avatar
    Mark Thompson

    Technology must be resisted but it seems that resistance is futile. In looking for a completely differert topic I stumbled upon this one and found myself fascinated. Thinking theologically about the new creation and that Bach’s music will be perfect. I begin to feel the pressing need to steal that example for a sermon some day. Now I am being sucked into the blogosphere. Please may the power go out and I may be left with my books and an old Victrola. Thank you for your thoughts I will find my little pianiast and violinist some concert tickets and get to work on that sermon.

  15. Concordia Theology » “The Royal Banners Forward Go” Avatar

    […] the issue at hand is primarily one of aesthetics and preferences, readers may wish to compare a previous post which discusses these […]

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