Early Christian writers recognized music's emotional power. Just as often, however, they commended it for its powers of harmony--in both the musical and extramusical sense.
Life of Faith
Benin. Some rights reserved by Ferdinand Reus.
We could not get to Jesus without going through the origins of the two faiths that share him. Christianity and Islam disagree, but they disagree about the same Jesus.
Unlike justice or courage, happiness is perceived as subjective, even inscrutable. So what does it mean to say that a person who claims to be happy is not?
There's an interesting variation between the New International and New Revised Standard versions of Isaiah 63:9. The NIV expresses quite beautifully that "the angel of his presence saved them," while the NRSV contends that "it was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them." Both convey Isaiah's revelation that God does not plan to redeem creation by force, by tinkering with free will, or from afar. God redeems creation by becoming one of us, by drawing near to us and being with us.