Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
When Handel’s “Messiah”—possibly the greatest musical expression of the Christian faith ever composed, whose libretto is nothing but Scripture and whose score is often the most perfect acoustic commentary on that text imaginable—was premiered, there were Christians who boycotted and protested it because it was first performed in a “secular” auditorium and not in a church.
Yes, we were that stupid.
Yes, some of us still are.
Premiered, Dublin, 1742
The pious found a way to be offended:
God’s Word sung in a public Music Hall!
It truly was a venue to appall,
Incapable of being comprehended.
Why, vulgar entertainments there were vended,
With doors thrown open wide to one and all.
To mix the Gospel with such folderol?
An error that could hardly be amended!
And what would these blasphemers think of next,
So careless of the Church’s reputation?
Why not associate with sinners? Why,
You might as well proclaim the Sacred Text
Of God’s pure Kingdom and His great salvation
Out on a hillside underneath the sky.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.