Bach in Black

To start, a little note in reply to some feedback that I got about my last post, Heavy, Man. I got some folks telling that I was maybe too heavy. I apologize if you found it to be that way. This blog exists for me to share my faith for your enjoyment, entertainment, excitement, and the cultivation and growth of your faith. I may have some off a little strict or harsh, and for that I apologize. That said, my opinions expressed in that piece remain. I will try to write in a manner more understanding and perhaps gentler next time. In addition, I am always open to clarifying anything I write, either publicly or privately. Just ask for it. Get it touch if you want to provide me feedback. Now on to the more fun stuff!

In the realm of Theology, thee exist these things called proofs of the existence of God. Now, when most people hear the word “proof,” they expect definitive evidence of something, like proof used to convict or exonerate [1] in a court room. Proofs in theology (and philosophy, and, to a certain extent, mathematics) work a little differently. These proofs aren’t truly definitive like we might expect other types of proof to be. They’re just really good logical arguments for the existence of God.

Personally, I’m fascinated by proofs for several reasons. Mostly, I love logic, and most of these are intensely logical. Even if he or she isn’t a fan of his conclusions, most theologians and philosophers agree that Thomas Aquinas was among the most consistently logical theologians and philosophers ever. And he churned out these proofs. They are incredibly varied and some of them are complex. They are strewn through his remarkable work the Summa Theologica. In an effort not to bore you, I’ll leave out these amazing proofs, and just share with you one of my favorite proofs.

I owe all credit for this proof, The Johann Sebastian Bach Argument, to the modern day philosopher Peter Kreeft. The proof goes like this:

The music of Bach exists, therefore, God exists.

Kreeft openly admits that this is a kind of argument that,”you either see… Or you don’t.” I think that it is Theologically weak, especially for someone who isn’t already reasonably convinced of the existence of God. But, for someone who already believes in God, it is quite striking.

There is some disagreement, I must admit, among adherents to this argument. Some disagree that Bach is the composer who truly demonstrates the magnificence of God. Some say it’s Mozart. Others Chopin. But I like Bach best. And I’m in good company! Even some ardent atheists like Nietzsche and E.M. Cioran have stated that Bach is the greatest argument for God.

Get in touch if you have any feedback or ideas.

I’ll leave you with a few examples of Bach’s great compositions.

One of my favorite words! It comes from the Latin roots “ex” which means “without, removing” and “onus” which means “burden or load.” Be ready for more word nerdy stuff like this!


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