Symphonic truth

Von Balthasar and Christian humanism
Many people believe that Christian piety entails narrow-mindedness and that the more one affirms Christ in his particularity the more one rejects the world in its plurality. If the true Christian is, as John Wesley said, a person of one book, then it might seem that the worlds of art, literature and music—indeed, the whole realm of human culture—are at best irrelevant and at worst dangerous.

Take, for instance, the case of one of my fellow Hispanic pastors who refuses to lend his guitar to anyone who would play popular songs on it. “It’s a consecrated guitar!” It doesn’t matter that the person who wants to borrow his guitar is also a brother or sister in Christ. It doesn’t matter that the popular music has wholesome lyrics. Once the guitar, like its owner, has been set apart for the service of God, it cannot again be played with or for the world.


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