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. ...

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