Aesthetics

Cheapening the Western Musical Tradition: Some Thoughts Inspired by Theodore Gioia and Andy Crouch

"Andy Crouch, in his excellent book, Culture Making, ties the Western classical tradition to the creation blessing/mandate of Genesis 1. I think he is right: the tradition we have been handed is the result of God’s blessing humanity with the impulse to take the raw elements of creation and make them into something refined, something that makes life better for humanity." - Mark Ward

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Good Heavens: Apprehending Nature's Beauty

Minnesotans joke about nature’s two seasons in these parts: winter and road construction. Fair enough; but head off road during repair season and you discover a state rich in natural treasures. Not the least of these is what we affectionately call the “North Shore” of Lake Superior. The beauty of this haunting, ever-changing body of water, with its rugged shoreline and untamed hinterland, is spellbinding.

A recent family trip located me on a secluded balcony high above the waves that lashed the rocky, Superior shoreline below. The evening air was warm and fresh—the kind of air so satisfying you seem to drink it as much as breathe it.

Looking out over the lake just after sunset, darkness shrouded the distinction between water and sky and between water and land. That period of gloom, just before the rising moon and starry hosts illumine the night, veiled the natural wonders before me like a curtain—a dramatic pause anticipating the show that was about to begin.

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