Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

November 19, 2004

Morning This and That

In yesterday's comments Jared shares a thought from N. T. Wright regarding the Gospel of Mark: "N.T. Wright says that Mark, compared to the other Gospels, reads like a revolutionary tract. Mark is the Gospel you read with your co-conspirators in the secrecy of a cave by torchlight." I like that, too, Jared.

A couple of days ago I mentioned a CD I've been listening to, Chris Thile's Deceiver. Thile was a child prodigy on the mandolin and put out his first album back when he was 12 or 13 years old, I think. It was a traditional bluegrass project with renditions of several Gospel songs. My son once went to a Nickel Creek concert (Thile's band) and some time after the show happened to be passing the band bus on his way home. This was well after midnight, I suppose, and Thile (who would have been about 20 years old then) was standing outside the bus talking with a crowd of mostly teenage kids. They were peppering him with questions, and one of these questions had something to do with sex. Thile's answer was that he was engaged to be married and was keeping himself pure for his wife.

This answer may have come as a bit of a shock to some of these young fans, and may even have seemed like utter foolishness to others, but my son was impressed by his demeanour, the ease with which he seemed to wear his faith. Unfortunately, though, this new project, Deceiver, does seem to contain a loss-of-faith subtext. Or at least Thile is giving vent to some hard questions. One of the songs includes this rather biting commentary on Christian moralism:

"The neighbor's gay / he shouldn't be that way / I'm gonna treat him like a person but not today / when I'm old and gray / and he's dying of AIDS / I'm gonna stop by his bed and remind him to pray."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Locking Doors' is a spot on rendering of the bigoted paranoia of Jack Nicholson's character, Melvin, in 'As Good As It Gets.'

I'm pretty sure that Melvin's morality is not intended to be Christian, but it's very interesting that you would interpret it that way. Guilty collective conscience?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I didn't realize that. But the Christian angle is not groundless. A couple of reasons. Thile has a Christian background, mentions matters of faith (or losing faith) in several songs on Deceiver, and mentions "praying" in the last line of the quotation above, something I'm pretty sure that the bigoted Nicholson character would not have contemplated. As far as "guilty collective conscience," well, yeah . . .

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Wiley said...

Ouch, indeed. I'm sure that God thanks you for that ... it's definitely gonna bring more people to Him. God bless you.

3:16 PM  

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