Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What the (theological) willy wonka?

"What the willy wonka was that all about?" So asked my friend and colleague, Jason Goroncy, in response to the Hillsong London version of Silent Night that's been doing the rounds on the web in recent days. Jason's question prompted a good conversation on his blog, and he himself has now responded with his own typically thoughtful comments. Jason encourages some searching questions about how to interpret this performance in a way that's theologically serious and fair. He also points out that the discomfort many of us (and I count myself in this number) experience watching this might properly be transferred to other Christian 'performances' and 'symbols' which don't cause the discomfort which they perhaps should. So, an extract:

Watching the performance of this single song, online, nearly 17,000 kilometres from where it was performed, I have the same kind of confusion I experience whenever I worship in a building with a national flag in it; or an Honour Roll commemorating those who gave their lives in ‘the service of freedom’ and ‘for God, King and Country’, some of whom, it is noted (sometimes with the sign of a little cross!), ‘paid the supreme sacrifice’; or whenever I see a reference, in my ecclesiological territory, to ‘senior pastor’; or when I hear that a qualification for being a bishop (in some other ecclesiological territories) is proof of a penis; or whenever I see an innocent bunch of carnations perched on a baptismal font;....

Check out Jason's first post and the ensuing conversation here.

Jason's own comments here.

And if you haven't seen what everyone's talking about, here's the video in question:

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