Wednesday, May 10, 2006

“nice” God

Just a thought - am I the only one who didn’t grow up thinking of my parents as “nice” people? I certainly didn’t think of them as mean, either, but they, like my teachers, were ministers of discipline and enforcers of teachings that I didn’t necessarily want to accept (i.e. you really do need to brush your teeth).

Does anyone else get the sense that “nice” isn’t necessarily the right way to portray God?

7 Comments:

At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 10:18:00 AM, Anonymous Klaus der Große said...

Well, I've never applied the adjective "nice" to my parents, but mostly because I had plenty of more descriptive adjectives I could use to describe their goodness.

If by "nice" one means "inoffensively pleasant," which seems to be the popular meaning, then yes, God is certainly not "nice," nor ought one's parents be.

 
At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Ephrem said...

We don't have Psalms that say, "My parents are kind and merciful."

God's "niceness" is revealed. Provided one thinks of "nice" as equivalent to "kind" and not as just a pushover.

 
At Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:37:00 PM, Anonymous brandon field said...

Okay, this isn't the right thread to ask this question, and it also probably is a poor forum to discuss it, but where do "Praise and Worship" masses fit into the liturgical structure? As in, there's a priest at the Newman center here who apparently wants to take over the 5pm Sunday mass slot with "Praise and Worship" masses. It affects me personally, since no one apparently discussed with the current student choir or the student director that had been selected for next year, that this is a possibility.

So, Cantor, what do you think of "Praise and Worship" masses?

 
At Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:42:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

I suppose what I think of it depends on what a P&W Mass actually means.

I mean, as long as the integrity of the texts of the Liturgy of the Word are respected, I suppose I don’t have a big problem with it liturgically. I can’t really think of any P&W tunes that pack a doctrinal punch, so to speak, the way (for example) “Let All Mortal Flesh” or “At That First Eucharist” do; that inclines me against it, but that’s not an issue with the genre itself so much as the texts one usually finds associated with it.

Musically is the issue. For its own merit I don’t have a problem with it, but most of the people I’ve seen really get into P&W take a very emotional approach to their faith. They become “Jesus freaks”, but in the pejorative sense of the term, meaning someone who no longer relates well to “non-freaks”, be they Christian or no.

For me, I have too much of myself tied in with artistically minded people and academics who look down on that kind of music - and they see the faith and its practice as something correspondingly trendy/cheap/McDonald’s.

At the end of the day, I really think people look for something to take seriously. I guess, musically, P&W doesn’t prevent itself to me as something that a normal person in our society associates with seriousness. I think people find joy - real, inner joy that lasts - when they *do* find that thing in their lives to take seriously and when they recognize it as such.

 
At Friday, May 12, 2006 7:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The root of the english word "nice" is the latin word "nesciri", which means "to be stupid". My parents were anything but stupid. And, I think, we can presume the same about God!

 
At Monday, May 15, 2006 2:00:00 PM, Anonymous ScholarChanter said...

There are some scripture based and Catholic P&W repertoire from Steubenville known as "Holy is the Lord" songs from Jim Cowan and such, but I am not sure how good they are nowadays.

 
At Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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