The Common Good
January 2006

Responsive Singing

by Matt Martson | January 2006

Julie Polter’s thoughtful piece (“Replacing Songs With Silence,” November 2005) is a helpful reminder of how influential music can be and how dangerous it is to overlook this art form as a vehicle for change. However, Polter seems to suggest that the power of music lies in its direct engagement with issues such as poverty and war and that music itself may be a “secondary concern.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us that seemingly small things, such as keeping our promises, are as important as big things, such as the refusal to kill. The way we handle our secondary concerns shapes how we respond to poverty and violence. As Christians, we can believe that our singing of songs can be as essential a response to war and hunger as anything else we do. Matt Marston

Durham, North Carolina

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