Oct 04 2009

Even non-skeptics are complaining

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 11:43 am

Even climate scientists who AREN’T “climate skeptics” are complaining about politics producing bad science.

when later generations learn about climate science, they will classify the beginning of 21st century as an embarrassing chapter in history of science. They will wonder our time, and use it as a warning of how the core values and criteria of science were allowed little by little to be forgotten as the actual research topic — climate change — turned into a political and social playground.

Read it all at the link… it is a translation from a prominent Finnish scientist.

Oct 04 2009

Louder is better?!?

Category: church,music,theologyharmonicminer @ 11:26 am

The following is a prime example of taking a phrase in scripture and making too much of it… while also suggesting that God is impressed with the volume of our music

You are familiar with the exhortation that music in worship is summoned to be skilful music (Ps. 33:3). We are not permitted to just throw anything together and call it good. But skill is not the only characteristic we are told to cultivate. “Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise” (Ps. 33:3).

There is a temptation when churches pursue excellence in music, and that is the temptation of becoming music snobs. And when that happens, a party spirit sets in and we start feeling superior to those who praise God with three chords maximum. But holding on to what we know about musical excellence, what do these brothers and sisters do that is better than how we do it? Well, frequently, contemporary worship music is louder than what we do. This is a clear and identifiable superiority. The Bible says that we are to worship God with shouts, with cymbals, with percussion, with noise. This is as much a biblical standard as that of playing skillfully—all the earth is to make a loud noise and rejoice (Ps. 98: 4); the cymbals are to be loud (Ps. 150:5); those who trust in God are to shout for joy (Ps. 5: 11); God ascends with a shout (Ps. 47:5).

God does not just want quality in music; He wants quantity. And to take pride in the quality if it is mumbled is just as wrong headed as to take pride in the noise apart from excellence in execution. We don’t get to pick and choose, and lord it over those who pick and choose a different deficiency. Adulterers on Mondays and Wednesdays do not get to feel superior to adulterers who sin on Tuesdays and Fridays.

So clap your hands, all you peoples, shout unto God with a voice of triumph.

OK, gimme a break here.  Equating the importance of musical taste to the choice of day to commit adultery is so far over the top that it would be an understatement to call it hyperbole.

But louder is better? More Godly?

NIV renders Psalm 33:3 this way:

“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

A better approach to this is to acknowledge that part of playing skillfully is to play softly when required… and that, in context, “shouting for joy” in musical performance most likely means playing or singing it like you mean it, and not just going through the motions. Playing and singing like it matters. Like you’re doing something important, not merely reciting musically by rote, but being personally, completely involved in what you’re doing, namely worshipping God with music.

But simple, sheer volume? So, if one Marshall stack represents salvation, does a double stack represent sanctification?

I don’t see any amps in this picture.