Imagine yourself in a large house in which those who are deaf and those who can hear are living together. In one of the rooms, you see a guy sitting in a chair, listening to music on his iPod. Rhythmically, he's tapping his foot, drumming his thighs, jutting out his chin, and swaying to the beat. His entire body moves in response to what his ears are hearing. It’s obvious that he's enjoying himself and listening to a pretty good song.HT: Justin Taylor
A few minutes later, one of the deaf persons enters the room. Seeing the guy listening to the music and rocking out, he thinks, that looks like fun! I think I'll try that. So he sits down next to him and begins to imitate him. Awkwardly at first, he tries drumming his thighs, jutting his chin out, and swaying to the music just like the guy with the iPod. With a little practice, he begins to catch onto it. By watching and trying, he begins to mirror the others guys actions pretty closely. But although he eventually gets better at keeping time, he concludes that it’s not as much fun or as easy as it initially seemed (especially the chin jut--very difficult to do when you’re not actually hearing the music)
After a while, a third person enters the room and watches this scene. What does he see? Two people apparently doing the same thing, apparently listening to the same thing. Is there a difference? Absolutely, the first guy hears the music and his actions are a natural response to the music's rhythm and melody. The second guy is merely imitating the outward actions. Being deaf, he's not listening to anything.
There's an important spiritual parallel here. The dance (outward actions) represents the Christian life, while the music represents the grace of the gospel.
16 September 2011
Hearing the Music of the Gospel
Here's how Keith Johnson, director of theological education for Cru, opens his outstanding essay on Christ-centered Bible study:
Posted by Dane Ortlund at Friday, September 16, 2011