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Artists, Authors Discuss ‘Making Music to the Glory of God’

it was good making music 003Music plays an important role in worshiping God, according to the authors of It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God, who visited Belmont on Friday and spoke during chapel.

“Why sing to the Lord as opposed to throwing bowling pins or spinning dishes on a stick for Him? At every place and every time Christians gather, they make a proclamation of Scripture, prayer and song. Music is a universal feature of human worship and a universal characteristic of human beings,” said School of Religion Associate Professor Steve Guthrie.

The eight-member panel included Guthrie, a music industry executive, pastors and noted musicians who each wrote chapters of the book. Among them were recording artists Sandra McCracken, a Belmont alumna, and Sarah Masen, classical pianist Bethany Brooks, EMI Vice President of Artists and Repertoire Brad O’Donnell and singer-songwriter Joy Ike.

“In my chapter, I used the Garden of Gethsemane and the blues that Jesus cried. He gives us the gift of transparency … when he struggles to drink the cup of our burdens,” said jazz vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd.

The chapters also relate vocation, delight and suffering to music.

“Children are created in the image of God, and they experience the same things as us in a unique way because they are little people,” said singer/songwriter and Belmont alumna Katy Bowser, a mother who focused on children and music in her chapter.

Later, during the audience question-and-answer session, she urged people to be open with children instead of hiding certain truths from them.

it was good making music 006“If you shield any group of people from volatility and the fall, then you are keeping them from experiencing the greatness of God’s love,” Bowser said.

The panelists expressed varying opinions on whether certain subjects should be off-limits in music.

“There are different opinions in 33 essays. We’re having a dialogue about how to bring glory to God and that is an important topic,” said Publisher Ned Bustard.

Chapel began with a reading of Psalm 33 and ended with a unison singing of “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!”

Belmont’s book release party for It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God continues at 7 p.m. Friday with several authors performing their musical selections in the Massey Performing Arts Center.