A Question I Was Asked:

You Are Obviously Passionate About Theology, Do You Have Any Other Passions in Your Life?

You are obviously passionate about Theology, do you have any other passions in your life?

Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989)

Possibly the greatest pianist of all time, and certainly the greatest interpreter of Chopin, this music 'great' can be seen and heard on YouTube! If you want a really rare treat, listen to the young Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova playing the sumptuous and sublime Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 here.

I am, and always have been, a music lover. If the right doors had opened at the right time, I would certainly have become a professional musician but none of the "right" doors ever did open. Maybe that was the Lord's will...

UK Apologetics Reply:

Yes, several but perhaps especially music. I am a music lover, coming from a music-loving family. My mother played piano, violin and cello, my father was a double bassist (they met whilst playing in a symphony orchestra), my oldest brother was a fine violinist, one of my daughters played violin, my son is a good pianist and keyboard player. I played trumpet for a few years; I was especially keen on jazz at that time but my musical tastes later broadened. I now listen to music a lot, much of it on YouTube. I was recently delighted to find that the great classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz (considered by many - including myself - to be the finest pianist of them all) can actually be found on YouTube! (Look up Horowitz playing Chopin's Sonata No 2 in B Flat Minor on YouTube if you want a real and rare treat!)

I suppose it was inevitable that I would grow up a music lover. As a child, there was always music in our house, whether records, or somebody practising their own instrument. If I had not ended up as a theologian what else would I have done? That's easy - ideally I would have been a professional musician!

But God has His own plans for all of us; if I had gone very seriously into music that might have been very bad for me spiritually. As a small child I seemed to have a sort of spiritual awareness which I cannot explain. I knew that God existed from a very early age. When I actually heard the Gospel expounded (aged about 8 or 9), I knew that this was the truth, and was the meaning of life. I have never doubted that in all my 71 years - not even for one moment. I was finally baptized by immersion in 1981, my wife three years later.

We all have disappointments, we all have regrets in life, that is inevitable but - as Christian believers - we should be grateful to our God for bringing us to the present moment, a moment in which we have not only heard, but also accepted the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Does that make us perfect? Of course not but like Peter the Apostle, we hold a key to the Kingdom of Heaven! Maybe on our 'bad days' (don't we all get them?) we should just stop and think that we are in a better position than the men and women of faith in the Old Testament who had not yet even heard the Name of Jesus Christ! Oh yes, people like David, Samson, Gideon, and all the others are indeed saved - and they are saved in Christ - because God has His Elect who will not be confounded and God makes the events in the Holy Land of around AD30-33 (salvation and justification completed and concluded upon the cross of Jesus) applicable to His people of all ages, whenever such people might have lived.

Let's just briefly rehearse the promises which are given to us:

"No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me," declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17).

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8: 31b-37).

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19).

Are there any things on this earth of such value? No, there are not.

Robin A. Brace. November 7th, 2015.