Thursday, November 19, 2009


Last night I went to the contemporary classical music festival at Indiana State University, Terre Haute. After the program I shook hands with the composer, Steve Reich. (I don’t imagine he went home and wrote in his diary that he shook hands with me.) I had heard of his work, but never heard any of it before. He’s taken the string quartet way beyond Haydn. I won’t give up Haydn, but I’ve made some room for another voice. Hearing this music has prompted me to some thoughts on modern classical music.

Modern music is engaging. You can’t listen to it in the background, you have to hear it with your entire attention. To listen is to observe its passing. To hear it is to acquire it. Listening to something is a matter of orientation for a time. Hearing it is acquiring a thing for all time.

It’s the same with Jesus. We can’t just listen to Him. We have to hear Him. (Even God said that!)


  1. Is it the same with spouses? ahahahhaaha!

  2. Yes, it is. They need to hear one another.