A couple of summers ago in Athens I sometimes took the chance after our editorial meetings for the New International Version to sneak off to the Herod Atticus theater to listen to some of the world’s great orchestras. On one occasion I went with the delightful septuagenarian Frank Gaebelein, former headmaster of the Stony Brook School and coeditor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. He is one of the English stylists for the NIV.
I asked him recently, “Can heaven be better than those glorious nights in a two-thousand-year-old Roman theater with the moon rising above the ruins and the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony?”
He replied, “Yes, it will be even better in heaven than listening to the Royal Philharmonic do Beethoven in the Herod Atticus theater. The seats won’t be so hard—and just think what composers like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, et al will do with a chorus of ten thousand times ten thousand and myriads and myriads! And there will be no running after a bus when the concerts are over! So take heart; we have hardly begun to know what music can ultimately sound like.”
Well, I’m relieved to have such an authentic reply.1
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