Thursday, April 27, 2006

Praying thru guitar tongues this time

RevKev, dreamer of LifeBridge, just turned me on to amamzing resource, Earl Creps., PhD and director of a DMin program

Several items on his site of note and value.

But in light of my recent post, "Praying Through Guitar," I couldn't help notice this blog post
(emphais mine) below...connects many levels of research I am doing...including on synesthesia and linearlity (or not) in the brain..

Sunday, March 12, 2006
the guitar solo

This morning in an Alliance church in Pittsburgh I heard a guitar solo between verses of a worship song. It was a
sort of jazz/rock fusion riff, and I found it both appropriate to the song and
moving, almost as if the guitarist was speaking to God through the

The experience made me thing about the analogy to speaking/praying in
tongues, if we think of human language as an "instrument." (The 1 Corinthians 14
reference to the muted trumpet might be intriguing here.)

Glossolalia involves linguistic signs related to vernacular speech but not representing it (at least
directly) as jazz guitar notes are related to the song within which they occur
(i.e., being in the same key--mostly) without precisely mirroring that song.

So, if I play out the analogy (calm down, this is just a thought experiment), I have
some questions:

1. Would my emotional/spiritual reaction to the solo be something
parallel to an "interpretation" of a tongues utterance?

2. Is an outpouring of
glossolalia touched off by Spirit baptism something like a "solo" drawn from the
original song, but expressing it in more elastic forms?

3. Is one value of
inchoate prayer/singing to add the "jazz" element to corporate (and individual)
worship experience?

Recently I saw a documentary (I think it was on PBS!) about
jazz. Someone explained that, in other genres, people show up to hear the
musicians replicate the musical score with exactitude. In jazz, people show up
to experience how the musicians change the melody, the song being mainly the
vehicle for their extended solos.

In Fire from Heaven, Harvey Cox draws the
Pentecost/jazz analogy. So maybe I'm not altogether crazy here.I just know what
I heard this morning.


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