Our discussion on this subject is drawing to a close. I argued, in my previous post, that I suspect that much of the enthusiasm for the worship diversity argument is in no way distinctively Christian, but is, rather, an attempt to re-purpose the idealogical pluralism that pervades our society. In this post, I wish to begin to address the most theologically significant of Kauflin’s arguments: that the manifold perfections of God cannot be expressed in a single style of worship.
In order to make this conversation profitable, we should have some reference points. Let’s consider a number of settings of Luther’s “Ein’ feste Burg.” I’ve selected these not entirely at random; several I’m familiar with because they’re part of my own music collection. I have attempted to pick legitimate representative samples of various styles; it would have been quite easy (and quite unfair) to highlight many abysmal recordings of this piece of both conservative and modern style.
- Choir of King’s College, Cambridge (Track 5)
- The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (Tracks 1–8)
- Himlische Cantorey (Tracks 5–7, preview only)
- Concordia University Wind Symphony (Track 5)
- Indelible Grace
- Crossroads Live Worship (Track 2)
We can now consider how these artists imagine God as our fortress; what does each portray that the other lacks? In what way do they help us understand the manifold glories of God?