Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Creating stuff that will really last

In Making the Cut, Doug Wilson says that some of what we do now will last into eternity, citing 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have-- Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials-- gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. [New Living Translation, 2nd ed.

This is an intriguing thought. Doug applies it to our music-making.
What we do here matters. The work we do matters. This is not limited to ethical good works; it includes cultural good works.

In music, what we sing matters. The way we sing it matters. What we compose matters. In the resurrection, we will be given a new song, but this does not mean that the old songs will be taken away. Too often, evangelical Christians throw up their cultural achievements like makeshift scaffolding. We think, "It’s all gonna burn, man," and so what we do here does not matter. But as Paul teaches us in 1 Cor. 3, some of it is going to burn, but other aspects of what we do in ministry will be tested and purified. Some of our hymns will be with us in the resurrection. Rather than trying to guess which ones, we need to turn our attention to all of them, with an educated desire for all of them to glorify the Lamb as worthy, "the Lamb that was slain." We should sing as though we wanted all of them to make the cut.

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