The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian


Jazz Theology: Creative Tension

posted by Robert Gelinas

We walk with
Christ, embracing creative tension,
joining in the mystery of life in concert.

God is the most creative being in
the universe.  Yet, we so often
find ourselves in a rut in our relationship with him.  When the disciples walked with Jesus they weren’t
bored.  They experienced the
spectrum of emotions as they interacted with Christ.  We need creativity in our own walk with God and also in how
we help others to walk with God. 
In jazz creativity arises out of tension.  It is the result of not having to resolve everything.  Instead of either/or it is fine with
both and for the mystery is far more intriguing than the solution. 

Jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane, knew the value of creative tension professionally but had to learn it personally for he his life was a paradox:  He who could play anything except the sound he wanted–the sound of God.  After years of searching he eventually became satisfied with the journey.  Jesus called, “Follow me.”  Our response is to follow, that is, to walk with him.  

As we do, he tells parables and points out peculiar items in his creation.  We are called to the journey.  The resolution is in his hands.  When Coltrane realized this wrote A Love Supreme.  An album in which he expressed extreme creativity in his spirituality as he created four spiritual stages with each song:  Acknowledgement, Pursuance, Resolution & Psalm.  



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