Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reflections of Truth

Wow. It's already been 367 days since the historic evening on which I first published a blog post. Time does fly!
At least I have something to show for it... six followers (including me), nine comments (including mine),
and sixteen posts (including this one and those in the draft stage). Whoo-hoo! ;)

Well, guess it's about time I started churning out some worthwhile material to fill this corner of the internet... here goes!

Recently I was wondering, "what exactly is the value of music? of dancing? of any art form at all? Sure, they're highly enjoyable, and I certainly love them - but aren't they pretty pointless, except as a form of entertainment? Is there any real value to be found in either?"

This question may seem superfluous to some, viewing it as an unnecessary philosophical discussion without any real bearing on the subject at hand; however, I think it is an important question worthy of consideration, as the answer is essential to how we create, appreciate, and think about art of any kind. It is so essential, in fact, that since beginning to think about this subject, I have been unable to get any of my other posts out of draft without touching on this topic at least briefly.

In an attempt to answer the underlying question of "what is the value of art," I scribbled down a train of thought consisting of a series of statements, queries, and responses, shown in part as follows:

Art conveys emotion, thought, and meaning - it is an expression of a worldview.
The expression of a right worldview is a reflection of the truth.
Knowledge of the truth comes from and through God, who is the Author and Source of all truth.
Reflecting and spreading God's truth is glorifying to Him.
Therefore, art which expresses and shares God's truth is glorifying to Him.
Such art is indeed important!

Having convinced myself of the value of God-honoring art, I continued the train of thought into the specific field of music:
Is all music capable of reflecting truth? For example, can instrumentals present a given worldview, or do they require the addition of the written, the spoken, and/or the seen?

Songs are poetry and melody combined - two art forms together. Thus, it seems that music with words can convey meaning and reflect truth more directly, more pointedly, and more fully than that without.
However, music without words can still reflect truth by presenting order, design, intentionality, complexity, and beauty - in other words, by presenting reality from a right perspective.

Now, some pieces of music are written with a haphazard, disorganized style of sound - can these pieces accurately portray reality?
Others pieces are severely discordant in tone - can they reflect truth?
Many songs have magnificent melodies with excellently-orchestrated harmonies, yet the lyrics are expressive of worldviews that are in direct opposition to the truth of the Lord. Can a Christian gain anything from such songs?

While I do not claim to have the definitive authoritative answers to any of these questions, I do have many thoughts on them, and will be devoting the next several posts to more detailed investigations along these lines.

Have a joyous day!

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