Friday, June 24, 2011

Heart to Heart

Benny Goodman played the Philadelphia Academy of Music around 1973. A bunch of us impoverished jazz fans took seats in the nosebleed section. He was fifteen minutes late and we mortified the rich furred and fluffed front seaters by stomping our feet and chanting, "We want Goodman, we want Goodman". An old man came on, eyeglasses glinting in the stage lights. As he played, his bones unstiffened, the music pulsed up, golden, fluid honey. Then poof, too soon, it was over. We pounded for encore after encore. The rich folk had drifted out way before the final, "Sweet Georgia Brown". The die-hards craved more. By jingo we wanted our seven bucks worth! Goodman moved off stage as music’s afterglow still lingered in the air. We got up without speaking and left.

Friends consider me a bit of a Luddite. Raised with classical music and jazz at home, I never got into contemporary rock, blinking before it like a bewildered cave dweller in the sunlight. As a kid, I’d sit for hours listening to Tchaikovsky’s stretched and mournful Pathetique. By bits and pieces though, it came. The Beatle’s hauntingly beautiful Norwegian Wood. That tight a capella riff in the Beach Boy’s Sloop John B, so lovely you could cry. There was music in there. Good stuff that reached in and grabbed you by the tonsils.

Listen for it in today's music. Every once and a while they get it too. From their heart to your heart.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pearls Before Swine

There was this blog see, and I really liked the writers on it... I entered into what at first seemed an online, thoughtful debate on a theological issue I was reevaluating. Tithing. The “other side” seemed intelligent enough and willing to talk. I was fairly certain of the truth of a particular practice, but a chance comment by someone I highly respect, made me realize they held to the other perspective.

Well if I was wrong, I wanted to repent.

So after holding back from the discussion I entered in, sketching out possible biblical lines of reasoning from both sides. There were two men on this forum, (not the writers), playing tag team with all comers. At first there was some interaction with modest respect on the other side. I waited. One was rather emotional and used Paul’s suggestion to the Judaizers rather freely. So I addressed the other man who sought to reason from the scriptures. His thinking did not hold up under scrutiny though. There were gaps, and when he used a source outside of scripture to make a point, (some historical item from a fellow I was unfamiliar with), I suggested the bible was sufficient, at least we both have our bibles to look at.

Taking the same scriptures the Bible Guy used, I diligently took them apart and could not come to his conclusions. They were interesting enough, but not as clear to me as they were to him. The Yelling Guy entered the discussion, basically calling down God’s judgement, misquoting my previous posts, and accusing me of the very things he was guilty of. So I told him he was wrong. Then BG zipped in and ripped me personally to shreds. Point weak. Talk louder. So I told BG he was contentious, and the discussion was over. The sad thing is, there has to be some solid thinking on the other side.

But I still don’t know what it is.