J. S. Bach - How faith shaped his life and music - John Van Sloten

December 03, 2006

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryToday we begin a series on the life and works of J. S. Bach. What does this greatest of classical composers teach us about the nature and being of God?

"The aim and final end of all music should be the glory of God; if heed is not paid to this it is nothing but a
diabolical bawling and twanging."
- J.S.Bach-

“All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of rank or assignment; and all the Levites who were musicians were there—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God: Yes! God is good! His loyal love goes on forever! Then a billowing cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn't even carry out their duties because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of God.
2 Chronicles 5:11-14

“Bach’s attitude towards his work… bespeaks the conviction of Luther and the Reformers that the performance of any God-pleasing vocation was the service of God, even if it did not lead to the performance of chorales (cantata’s written for the church). The Bach of the Peasant Cantata, the partitas, and the concertos was not ‘too secular.’ These were, rather, the expression of a unitary world view, in which all beauty, including “secular” beauty, was sacred because God was one, both Creator and Redeemer.”
Theologian Jaroslav Pelikan, in My Only Comfort, Calvin R Stapert

“no one as compellingly demonstrates that the infinite is beauty and that beauty is infinite…”
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite, 282-285






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December 03, 2006
Dear Pastor Sloten,

I just read the article in the Calgary Herald dated December 2, 2006 about "going to let Johann Sebastian Bach do the preaching".

It is Gods word alone that was preserved for those who are sincerely seeking Gods grace and salvation, not worldly music. Even if the worldly principles are the highest, Gods word alone is sufficient and should be taught to the exclusion of any man made teachings or man made standards. For it is man made standards that fall short of the Glory of God and what He requires us to understand and believe. To mix man made standards with Gods word is to say Gods word was not sufficient and not good enough on its own. I would love to hear your explanation to God when you have to explain why you felt the need to add to his word and improve upon his finished work - and possibly where you are also implying by your actions that your congregation needs more than what God had to offer through his word.

Since you are a teacher I probably don't have to point out the numerous clear scriptures that supports the foregoing.

Roger
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Copyright Info:

Music used in this series is from recordings by the Monteverdi Choir with the English Baroque Soloists
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Keywords:

2Chronicles 5:11-14,music

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