38. Bach and the Navajo — A Conversation with Samuel Metzger

In my first month in Japan, I was helping to lead worship on a pipe organ, when an older missionary came up and started to berate me. “You can’t play that kind of music here. It’s completely against everything we’re trying to do for the Japanese church.” I was a bit shocked, but I could see his point. As Christians, we want to see the nations of the world worship God in their heart languages…their spoken language, but also their musical language and their cultural language. The music of Messiaen, Vierne, Widor, and all the other Western composers who’ve written for the organ are not part of their heart language…so, doesn’t that mean I shouldn’t play that music while church planting in Japan? I mean, what role do I have, someone trained in distinctly Western styles of music, in bringing the gospel to the people of Japan?

37. Imaginative Expression Specialists — A Conversation with Byron Spradlin

In the photograph, “How Beautiful are the Feet,” we see a circle showing only the feet of the dancers. On one foot, they wear a point shoe. On the other, the foot is completely bare. One foot is dressed for being on stage, beautifully presentable. The other, not so much. It shows evidence of the blood, sweat, and tears—the bruises, pain, and injury. Feet are the means by which the Minato City Ballet Company brings the good news of the gospel to people. …


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