Symphonies and the Trinity

The Trinity — the fact that God exists as three persons in one — is the most mysterious and glorious truth about God.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same in their deity, attributes, and being, yet different in their function, office, and purpose.  I love that our God is a Trinitarian God.  It illustrates unity and diversity functioning together in perfect union, harmony, peace, love, respect, and a thousand other things.

In music, especially symphonies, we see a small reflection of this truth. I am not the musician in our house: Carly get’s that title.  She is gifted with a number of instruments and can sing beautifully.  What I do know is that a a full-size orchestra consists of about 100 people, and that they are all unique in their talents, functions, and purposes. In order for an orchestra to master a symphony, the musicians must not all be playing the flute.  They all have their own instruments; they fulfill their role and responsibility and trust that the others will do the same.

As one person plays, he is one part of a greater whole. As one person plays, there are a hundred other musicians who are playing their own notes, with their own sheet music, with their own purpose. Yet as each musician performs, the music comes together in perfect harmony, and art and beauty is created.

This is true of all music, not just the orchestra. When we listen to music, we must embrace the reality, and appreciate the harmony, of unity and diversity functioning together. Whether it is Coldplay or Skillet or the Boston Symphony Orchestra , music performed skillfully should lead us to worship the God who is diverse, yet unified and three, yet one.

Private Practice and Total Depravity

A television show or film does not need to be redemptive in order for it to be good or enjoyable. Furthermore, I would contend that if a show or film is to quickly or easily redeemed, it will not appeal to the masses.

You can call it a guilty pleasure, but I enjoy Private Practice on ABC. Now, I’m not religious about watching it, but I appreciate that most episodes are not redemptive.  In other words, everything isn’t always peaches and cream when the credits roll.  (By the way, Carly introduced me to the show, because it’s a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, one of her favorite series.)

Paul Adelstein plays Dr. Cooper Freedman, the pediatrician. He’s a straight shooter and a bold guy, but he has more issues than Rolling Stone. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s angry and proud. He’s impulsive.  He had childhood troubles.  He can’t hold a steady relationship.  He’s broke: he couldn’t afford to pay $50,000 to be a partner in the practice, even on a doctor’s salary because, as he said, “I like porn too much.”

That’s not what you see when you take your kid to the doctor for his sore throat. If you knew that your child’s doctor was that screwed up, would you still take him? Something to think about.

Some people might think that their doctor is a model citizen, a good family man whose relationships, emotions, and finances are in order.  Cooper Freedman, and the other characters of Private Practice tell us otherwise.

What does Private Practice and every other television show depict? It depicts a particular reality. The producers and directors know that humanity as a whole has problems. Reality tells us that there are relational, social, sexual, financial, emotional, and professional problems in our lives and in the lives around us.

These problems are caused by sin. Our sin. Even if Hollywood doesn’t use that word, I will. These problems need a solution. These people need to be redeemed.  These sins need to be forgiven.

To be continued.