Last night I had the chance to watch Genesis – The Video Show. The first album I ever bought was Duke on cassette, and I decided to learn to play keyboards after seeing the video for “Follow You, Follow Me”. (I even attended Bible college with the drummer in the band that eventually split to become, on the one hand Genesis, and on the other hand…nothing. Presumably the band members have met Kevin Bacon, so…you figure it out). I have tried listening to some contemporary progressive rock bands, but I can’t think of one that really impresses, much less moves, me the way Genesis does.
Is this just nostalgia, or is the old music really better? As I watched the videos, I found I even enjoyed the ones from Calling All Stations (which featured only two of the original members) more than much other music I’ve heard lately. I might also mention that Tony Banks has offered some classical compositions to his fans recently – his album Seven: A Suite for Orchestra was released on the Naxos music label.
I found myself wondering if nostalgia is also the reason why some Biblical authors found they couldn’t let go of earlier imagery of creation, like that of God fighting the sea monster, and why many people today feel they cannot let go of particular Biblical language even when it doesn’t seem to reflect our present experiences or understanding of the world. Like Jesus’ parable about the wineskins, when offered the new, we all have the tendency to say “the old is good”.
For those of us who used to (or still) play Dungeons and Dragons, there is a role playing game set in Biblical times called Testament, published by Green Ronin Press. Taking some Biblical statements such as “there were giants in the land in those days” completely seriously, this game allows adventurers to encounter 30 new monsters in advenstures set in the Biblical era. I wonder how this might be used as a teaching tool. I also wonder how a character who is a Levitical priest might talk his way out of an encounter with one of the Nephilim. I’ve never seen this particular game, much less played it, but I will try to do one if not both of those things in the near future.
Finally, not least in order to make up for failing to include the Higgaion blog in my blogroll, even though it is one I try to visit regularly, let me draw attention to a recent post about a novel that does to the Hebrew Bible what The Da Vinci Code did to the New Testament. Anything, it seems, can be “browned”.