SWNID was unable to connect to the FHU server for streaming audio, but we understand from water-cooler conversation (metaphor alert: this conversation was not actually held in the proximity of a water cooler) that (a) aspects of discussion felt more than a little hostile to Dr. Faust, the most gentle of gentlemen, prompting him to voice his disappointment with the tone of certain remarks, including the introduction to the entire discussion; (b) email to Dr. Faust since the discussion has been markedly positive.
This accords with our SWNIDish reading of the Chronicle story. We note several remarks that suggest less than full willingness to engage the logic of Dr. Faust's observations and analogies. We leave it to our insightful and gentle readers to note these for themselves. We will note that citing Ephesians 5:19, specifying singing and making melody in the heart, to support a no-instruments position both illogically identifies the worshiper's internal state with one expression (singing with the voice) while excluding all others.
But we note as well that per the article at least one FHU student found his heart strangely warmed to consider alternative points of view.
We note further what is at stake in the kind of hermeneutics and ecclesiology that spawns the instrumental debate, specifically citing another story on the Chronicle web site. To wit: noninstrumental churches of Christ in developing countries are being split over such issues as whether singing during the observance of the Lord's supper is acceptable or whether congregations can send money to other organizations.
We cite with enthusiastic SWNIDish approval this remark, quoted in the article, from Dick Stephens, an a capella brother ministering in Malawi, one country hit by such controversies, who provides what we think is decisive perspective:
All of this is going on while people are starving to death, babies are dying of malnutrition . . . villages are not hearing the gospel and Muslims are trying to make deep inroads in Africa.We fail to believe that the Lord Jesus died for the sake of establishing a church that would even consider debating such matters as whether to use instruments or send money from a congregation to an organization.
It is, of course, sharply ironic that some who strive to uphold the heritage of Thomas and Alexander Campbell should perpetuate the very thing that spawned their rethinking of established ecclesiologies, i.e. the exportation (from Scotland to Northern Ireland and then to America, in the Campbells' experience) of unspeakably minor church controversies and the demand that exclusionary positions be taken by all on said controversies..