by Harold M. Best
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
One of the most delightful aspects of Holy Name Cathedral is the choir – especially the two lead singers Kate and Steve. They sing from their faith, from the soul and heart of two very spiritual people.
While books are written for the benefit of communities, communities are necessary to the writing of books. To three communities in particular I we my gratitude for their help in bringing this book about. The first is a group of people who have been directly connected to the writing project itself: Karen Lonegman, vice president of the Christian College Coalition, along with the members of the project task force: Nicholas Woltentoff, Anton Armstrong, Karen DeMol, Charlotte Kroeker, Ken Medema and Beverly VanderMolen, who read every word of the book to Ken while Ken dictated his responses on cassette), Richard Stanislaw, Paul Westermeyer, and John Worst. Each of these good people spent many hours giving preliminary advice, planning a very successful national conference, reading the manuscript, and artfully combining critique with support. Once a passable first draft was competed, Beth weber at Harper San Francisco led me carefully and candidly through rewrites, which not only improved the original but also taught me much about becoming a better writer Without generous funding from the Murdock Trust, it would be difficult to see how the national conference or the book would have been so easily expedited.
The second community is that of higher education and its scholarship, particularly the Christian part of it. remember the first time, some thirty years ago, when I first heard the words “Christian worldviews” and “the integration of faith and learning. “I remember the intellectual freshening that broke in on me then as I began to understand how powerfully unifying God’s truth is. The freshening continues to this day thanks to the colleagues who grace the laborites of Christian thought. Many of these colleagues are well known and widely read. Others are no. But beyond the books and lectureships, the richer joy of the community of higher education lies in an ongoing collective wisdom that, in the higher sense is “public domain” uncopyrighted. This kind of wisdom in a term paper, picked up in prayer meetings and Christmas parties. It nurtures gently, unprecedented, and gradually, the way legumes, whole grain bread, and hearty porridge do. The third community is that of my family—my wife, children and grandchildren. This is the community where faith and living—gently, familial and lovingly anoint the rigors of faith and learning. I have no adequate way of showing my thanksgiving for these nearby images of God except to dedicate this book to them. To endeavor to love them all the more, and to ask you, the reader, to rejoice in your loved ones and to live the Christian life to the fullest in their presence. Christian musicians know of the obligation to make music as agents of G0’s grace. They make music graciously, whatever its kind or style, as ambassadors of Christ, showing love, humility servanthood, meekness, victory, and good example…Music is freely made, by faith as n act of worship, in direct response to the overflowing grace of God in Christ Jesus.
“Christian music makers have to risk new ways of praising God. Their faith must convince them that however strange a new offering may be, it cannot out-reach, out imagine, or overwhelm God. God remains God, ready to swoop down in the most wonderful way, amidst all of the flurry and mystery of newness and repetition, to touch souls and hearts, all because faith, has been exercised and Christ’s ways have been imitated. Meanwhile a thousand tongues will never be enough.