Friday 3 December 2010

Seeing is Not Believing

Second Lecture to be Broadcast!

As many of the readers of this blog know Professor Jeremy Begbie presented a series of talks and performances in September for the 2010 New College Lectures at the University of New South Wales (Sydney). The series had the theme ‘Music, Modernity and God’ and addressed three sub themes – ‘Creativity’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Language’. Below you will find references and links to a variety of resources on his work.

His second lecture in the series will be broadcast this Sunday evening (5th December) at 6.00pm Sydney AEST time and again at 1.00pm Tuesday. The lecture will be broadcast on Rachael Kohn's program 'The Spirit of Things' on ABC Radio National.   International readers should be able to listen to the broadcast HERE. Please note that this second lecture will be posted on the New College website as a podcast once the program has aired.

On night two of the Lectures Prof Begbie began by posing the proposition ‘Can we be free with God in our space?’ He challenged the notion that having a creator God in our space can only lead inevitably to a battle between the two. He also suggested that music can help us to understand deep biblical concepts such as the Trinity and the concept of freedom as spoken of in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

With wonderful clarity he suggested that at times our use of words and even images has offered almost sub-Christian explanations of deep truths like the Trinity. Music he suggested can help us to understand biblical metaphor and biblical truth in new ways. Not as a replacement for word and image but in addition to it.

I will never forget how he demonstrated ‘sympathetic resonance’ to show how two sounds do not need to be in opposition, and can indeed work together - the upper note helping the lower note to resonate – one enhancing the other, not constraining it but helping to make it the unique sound the composer meant it to be.

So too, the biblical explanation of freedom in Christ suggests that rather than taking away our freedom, God frees us from enslavement to sin and rebellion and enables us to be free to become the people he meant us to be (John 8:36). A profound truth demonstrated in the simplest of ways.

Other resources

1. Two great interviews

a) Jeremy Begbie was interviewed (at the keyboard) on Hope 103.2 radio station during the lectures and this was broadcast on the 19th September on the 'Open House' program.  You can listen to the program by downloading an MP3 file or listening online HERE.

b) ABC Radio National's Rachael Kohn interviewed Jeremy on 'The Spirit of Things' during the Lectures. This program was aired on the 26th September and can be downloaded or listened to HERE.

2. Jeremy's Case article

If you would like to read some of Jeremy Begbie’s work, the recent article he wrote for CASE is a great place to start – ‘Polyphony of life: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’. The whole issue of Case #23 in which it appears is devoted to the theme ‘Music and Theology’ and I have reviewed it HERE. The magazine can be purchased HERE.

3. My summary of the Lectures

You can read the post in which I summarised the Lectures HERE.

4. Jeremy's latest book

Jeremy Begbie’s most recent book ‘Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music’ (2007) also covers some of the content of the lectures. He also has a new book in preparation but this won’t be available for 18-24 months.

5. Other related posts

'Music, Life & Worship' (here)

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