Growth in Grace

GIG-2010Ukrainian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin won 4 Oscars in the
1950s for his film scores and songs. In 1955 upon receiving the award for “The
High and The Mighty” he thanked his collaborators “Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and
Richard Strauss.”  At first glance this seems absurd. Exactly
how do you get from Bach’s B-Minor Mass to Tiomkin’s “Do Not Forsake Me, O my
Darlin” ? But Tiomkin wasn’t claiming that his work and Bach’s were alike. He
was merely acknowledging a debt: that he and his music had been immeasurably
enriched by that of others.

On Friday evening, February 12th, All Saints will
host its annual  Growth in Grace Conference at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower
Center in south Austin. First we’ll gather for dinner, then
we’ll be taught by Ralph Wood, professor of literature and theology at Baylor
University on why and how to enjoy good literature. Were he writing this note, he might well refer to
his collaborators, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Flannery O’Connor, not
only because he has written books about them, but because his life and work have
been made richer by theirs, too.

Some of you won’t need any encouragement to attend this
conference. You already know Ralph’s work or that of his collaborators. But to
the rest of you, I make this appeal: enjoying good literature
isn’t the hallmark of an egghead, it’s part of what Paul had in mind when he
wrote, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is
any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”
(Phil 4:8).

One last word: Ralph isn’t like the prof that bored you
with lit back in college. He’s been teaching for nearly forty years, and his wit
and warmth are as deep as his wisdom. You will enjoy the time
you spend with him and through him with some of the great writers of our

Tickets are available for $10 at the book table on Sundays
and at the church office ( during the week. There are only 250
and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Grace and Peace,

Greg (