….from one of my early 2014 reads, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch It’s crunchy content, navigating often caricatured ideas. Power is a gift, and that’s the central and controversial idea unpacked. Here’s my favourite quote for now!
“The grand pattern of creation is good, to very good, to glory!
Nature is good. Culture – human beings acting with creativity and care upon the good gifts of the natural world – is very good.
Grain is good – but bread is very good.
This is the essential pattern of all culture at its best. Eggs are good, omelets are very good.
Trees are good, a beautifully wrought wooden chair is very good.
Sound is good, music is very good.
When human beings do what they were created to do, the latent possibilities in creation come to fruition, a flourishing reality that would never exist without the application of human intelligence and intentionality. This is what image bearing is for.
And from time to time human culture is so carefully tended and developed that the artifacts that emerge are something even more than very good. They approach something we could call glory. Glory is the magnificence of true being, the captivating beauty of something that is so rich in realisation that it leaves us in awe and close to worship.
So there is the goodness of sound, the whisper or roar of the wind, the chirps of crickets, and the babble of brooks – such sound is good. Then there is the very-goodness of music, the skilful tending and tuning of sound that is found in every human culture.
But from time to time, you hear music – whether Tuvan throat singing, a Beethoven symphony, a Bach chorale, a black gospel chorus – that shakes you to the core and leaves you both utterly satisfied and hungrier than you have ever been for true life. That is glorious music. The best of culture has this quality of transcendent excellence, the ability to be utterly itself and to speak of something far greater than itself.”
from Playing God, p104-105.