The Symphony represents for me my escape from the rather bitter type of modern musical realism which occupies so large a place in contemporary thought.
I read that quote, from the late composer Howard Hanson, while listening recently to a performance of his “Elegy in Memory of My Friend.” It reminded me of Beautiful Orthodoxy—a term you have no doubt seen in this magazine.
To refresh memories: Beautiful Orthodoxy, the cause of Christianity Today ministry, speaks of a community-shaping faith anchored on the gospel of God. It is expressed not with screams of self-righteousness, but in a language and with lives that model the unconditional love and blood-stained beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is contrary to the “bitter type” of realism that “occupies so large a place in contemporary thought” and action.
We live in an angry and confused world. The tone of our rhetoric, across most media and even behind some closed church doors, is more rage than redemption, more disgrace than grace.
You’ve seen it and heard it yourselves! On websites where attacking individuals and movements is second nature; and on social media where shameless epithets leave helpless targets scarred. Making matters worse, the truth of our convictions—the truth of God’s Truth—seems increasingly worn down by attractive heresy on one side and ugly orthodoxy on the other. In the end, both options are destined to leave more of God’s creation without hope.
Fewer people, including those raised in the church, consider biblical Christianity a viable worldview that causes individuals and cultures to flourish. But in the deserts of our times, God still fashions rivers that make our hearts glad (Ps. 46:4). And in a world under assault by the Evil One, he plants his church, and leads ministries like CT, and inspires causes like Beautiful Orthodoxy.
We believe that when it is lived faithfully and fearlessly, Beautiful Orthodoxy can and will boldly demonstrate for all that the Truth results in freedom and flourishing for the church and all the communities and cultures the church intersects. And those are the stories we want to tell more and more in the days ahead. In this magazine. In all of our magazines. Across our many websites. To encourage individual believers. To strengthen Christ’s church. And yes, to effect change across communities in Jesus’ name. And with that, to attest to the plausibility of the Christian faith in a skeptical culture.
To paraphrase the Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor: We want to help those who dare to believe, to believe. And we can help those who believe to live life more abundantly.
Or, to quote Jesus: “I came so that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10, MSG). A Beautiful Orthodoxy, indeed.
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