summer solstice!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Paul notes: Galatians

Lent 2001

During Lent 2001 I participated in a weekly Friday morning study of Paul's letters; now, during Lent 2006 I've finally typed my notes! Here they are.

Paul notes: Galatians

Circa 55
Roman province in Asia Minor
Galatia was largely an immigrant community and it hadn't been Jewish
Gaul: Gaelic; Welsh; Celtic
The freedom and bondage of the gospel
Where is this? Galatia had shifting boundaries!

Galatians 1

1:7 a "Travesty" of the gospel!
Judaizers argued you had to be Jewish before Christian, vs., Gnostics and secret knowledge

Christ: But I say to you...!

Law:

Order society
Drive us to grace

1:6 I am astonished
Gospel=Good News

The epistles started happening with missionary activity
Conversion: you get it!
1:15 set me apart and called me...
1:16 when – God's timing

Galatians 2

Jerusalem, Antioch
2:2 "by revelation"
2:4 pseudo-Christians=false brethren
2:4b bondage JBP, "rules and regulations" – dialogue or debate
there's an edge to Paul!

Muhlenberg was a circuit rider in Pennsylvania
What do I make of this circumstance???

Barnabas, a pastor at Antioch, was Jewish, one of the originals
2:10 right hand of fellowship
2:11 Cephas came from Antioch
"= walk together ="

Custom laws that make us right with God!
"Our collective history"
"JUSTIFY???!!!"

reckoned, accounted righteousness=everything works together in harmony, like a righteous engine!

Justified by...made right with God

Clarence Jordan, Cotton Patch Epistles
"Why OR meaning"

Galatians 3

2:19 giving up the law! In order truly to live
Paul's conversion

Last part of Galatians 2 is about the primacy of grace!!!
Trust/Belief
This is more ultimate trust???
We died with Christ

3:7 preached the gospel to Abraham!
Reckoned=considered (accounted, added up)
"nations"=people-groups

Commandments and promises
Law: order civil society
Drives us to grace

Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Galatians 3:13 ...hangs on a tree

3:24 law as tutor, temporary person – not so much teacher as walking alongside the child wherever they go
Put together by God and by Abraham

Cultural: Jew/Greek
Legal: slave/free
Gender: male/female

* the TRUST word *

Don't make belief a work or a law!

Galatians 4

Chapters 3 and 4 are connected? Paul's eyesight?

In chapter 2, Paul makes distinctions here
The age of 13 was adulthood; everyone was a minor until bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah in Christ

4:3, 9 elemental spirits—paganism was nature-oriented
hill-folk, non-city folk=pagan - people named Heather?!
"Those who are of the countryside";
Heathen=of the heather; of the heath; the natives!! Urban vs. country/rural

Galatians mostly had been non-Jewish
4:4 Kairos, fullness of time=when it was meant to be
4:4 "born of woman"
"born under the law=as a minor, in slavery to the world (see note supra on adulthood)

* Colossians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 8:3 *

4:8 beings that by nature are no gods
4:11 you stagger me! Philip's place-gods disappointed father here

4:17 "they" – who are they?
4:24 this is an allegory

Paul doesn't even mention Ishmael! But, still, born under the law: moving from blood relation to faith relation

In 7th century Arabia, Hagar became a wife—a blessed relationship with a child!

Qur'an: Hagar's story is more compelling!
Sarah's sending Hagar away was a sign of her unfaithfulness!

Born in the lap of the 1st wife—literally!

4:24-25 now Paul calls Jews children of Hagar

Mount Sinai, "mother of slavery"
4:26 the Jerusalem above is free—New Jerusalem

4:29 children of the flesh persecuting children of the Spirit

Genesis: Hagar the Egyptian

Listen to the Law! LEGAL argument!
Spirit looks like the law!

Galatians 5

5:4 outside of the range of his grace! (Philippians)
out of the domain
fallen away from grace

* this is current experience of God's presence or not, not our eternal salvation *

sarxos || pneumatos (ruach)

5:1 for freedom Christ has set us free
Spirit is more of who we are
* by the clan and by the tribe * power of the mob, power of culture

Sign of the covenant! Baptism is sign of the new covenant

5:16-25 Greek ethics – good person, bad person. Here, parties, orgies and hypersex
Paul is extremely dualist – compare Mark, Zoroastrianism
Tons of dualism in Paul

"Peace, assurance, gratitude, love" =meta-psychiatry, Thomas Hora

gratitude fuels, drives everything else

Galatians 6

Gentleness—5:22, 6:1 "A stick has 2 ends" knocking the china off the mantle
6:2, 5 bear on another's burden; bear one's own load—not untypical Pauline double-speak!

Without identity, calling, who they are...not just without job—"devastating"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:7 peace and mercy
6:11 Large Letters – emphasis or eyes? *geese fly south in winter!*
6:17 being whipped and beaten="marks of Jesus"

World=Flesh, for Paul
6:15 only a new creation counts: this sums it up!!!

"but the power of new birth" (Philippians)

until the Christ Event, and then there's a new creation
Paul believes we can live this life!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Paul notes: Thessalonians

Lent 2001

During Lent 2001 I participated in a weekly Friday morning study of Paul's letters; now, during Lent 2006 I've finally typed my notes! Here they are.

Paul notes: Thessalonians

Circa 51 from Athens or Corinth
Thessalonica is in Macedonia
1 Thessalonians is the earliest extant NT writing and the earliest undisputed Paul
1 Thessalonians was written in response to Timothy.
This is the young, zealous Paul.
Thessalonica was a trading center in Macedonia, in Roman Greece.
Although Thessalonica was the Roman capitol of Macedonia, it was a free Greek city, with its own coinage and council.
In Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch version of Paul's epistles, Macedonia=Mississippi
Vehicle: to transmit information, or ideas, or diseases
As usual, Paul traveled on trade routes and checked in at commercial points (points of commerce).
Gentile converts were a matter of urgency for Paul.

1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thess 2:7, 3:2 are variants
1 Thess 2:13-16 later interpolation into the letter? Maybe 20 or so years later...

Reading a Pauline letter is like listening to ½ of a conversation. No house churches yet? Well, probably the Christians first went to synagogue and then met in house churches, and after all, the temple system still was in place.

1:6-8 inspired by Holy Spirit—word sounded forth from you!
Thankful response compels us!
All ethics derive from love, grace, gift, and not from law; heart change from baptism
Another day is coming!

1 Thessalonians 2

2:7 nurse, not "mother" as in (NIV)
"philosophic preacher" — like a revivalist used images of nurse and father

2:10 holy and righteous and blameless—more of Paul's sometimes arrogance, "be imitators of me..."
Codes of conduct for church leaders, but don't get overzealous about it

2:13-16 later addition? Or Paul interrupts his own writing after destruction of temple? Possibly
2:16 reference to destruction of Temple

Romans 11:3 (compare 1 Kings)
Luther: visible and invisible church
Philippians 3:18-19

Paul thought all illnesses and imprisonments were from Satan to prevent him from preaching

2:17 "classic Pauline sentence"
2:20 "For you are our glory and joy." WOW!

Volatile times: huge decisions about life-orientation
"theological correctness" outreach

1 Thessalonians 3

compare Acts 18:5

"Therefore..." ask why

For Paul, everything was a spiritual battle
3:1, 5 "we could bear it no longer!" What's clear is that Paul is being persecuted; not so clear about Thessalonians
Most of Paul's persecution came from Jews
Aligned with promised people by believing in Jesus
House churches followed synagogue worship and communion
Human blood is the worst possible thing for a Jewish person!

Atheneum, Athenian church, to unknown god!
Was there a Pauline church established in Athens?

Lordship of Caesar, who also was "son of god"

3:6, "But"
3:8 for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord
"we" = Paul and gang, inner circle
for Paul the gospel is death and resurrection: hang on to this! And only this!

[Jerusalem has been sacked 37 times]

we read in Daniel, recorded in 200 BCE, Antiochus Epiphanes put up a statue of himself in the temple

Here, Paul just found out from Timothy that the Thessalonican church is doing great!
3:19 ...hope or joy or crown...
Paul does have an idea of the law!

1 Thessalonians 4

in 3 sections:

1-8 sexual purity and holiness
Fornication usually implies a prostitute, sometimes incest.
Adultery has to do with a married woman; if a married man has sex outside of marriage with an unmarried woman, that's fornication.
Woman was property.
FIDELITY is a key word here!

Luther considered sex a need, not a gift: it just was! Address the need in a proper way.

9-12 mutual love

4:13-5:11 rapture!
Hope for the dead
Jews: resurrection at the end of time
Paul: resurrection at the return of Jesus; here, "falling asleep"= dead

Aquinas: linear and eternal time
Eternity=all times as now! Tillich, The Eternal Now

—> original disciples were starting to die at this time. In another 100 years, another mindset about Jesus' return would develop.

The "push point" in Thessalonica is that people are dying

"Christ comes for you when you die, and for you, that's the end of history!"???
But there will be an end of human history.

1849 Darby and company, "Rapture Theology" came up!

This chapter is comfort for those who still are alive
Luther: Happy Exchange=my sins for God's goodness

1 Thessalonians 5

1849, Darby and Rapture
thief in the night—be ready
--> labor pangs—you don't know when, but it definitely will happen!
One "Us" and lots of "thems" here
5:8 helmet takes the impact of accidents
5:8 Gnostics misinterpreted it as children of the day know the secret, hidden truth
Fall asleep=die. A special kind of sleep in which night is the metaphor—a state of mind

Isaiah 59:17 faith, hope, love—philosophic virtues
5:10 awake or asleep—same verb in metaphor for dead as for asleep

apocalyptic utopia

Zoroastrian Fire Ceremony—fervor, fanaticism have cultic markers
5:16, 17, 18 one single idea — consider the power of God and the nature of God and then give thanks!

evil: a call for the shedding of innocent blood
the enemy is me! not the sinful world


2 Thessalonians

circa 51
Not by Paul but somewhat Pauline in affect and style
Worthy of the kingdom, though!
Suffering: not exclusively Christian!

2 Thessalonians 2

2:7-9 secular law; this definitely is not Paul!
2:11 God sending a powerful delusion; 2:13 chosen for salvation—tribalism

What is genuinely evil?? It's sometimes a hard call.

2 Thessalonians 3

Waiting for Jesus' return

3:11 undisciplined life, doing no work whatsoever
3:17 this is the way I write.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Matthew Class notes

These notes are from a weekly class I participated in during winter-spring 2001. We used the series The Present Word, which I believe was (is?) a Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ publication.

IMMANUEL: GOD WITH US

Unit I. Beginnings: Birth and Ministry

January 22 – Time of Preparing

Introduction: Mark's Gospel, 70 C.E. – the only gospel the author actually calls "gospel!"
Mark's really into upholding Peter's ministry.
Matthew, circa 80 C.E.: tension between Paul and the early church fathers" Matthew also affirms Peter. "Jewish gospel" – back to Abraham. Matthew includes women in genealogy. Except for Ruth, these woman are "sordid sinners" – Matthew and Jesus' ministry of forgiveness and grace
Gospel versus Law
Matthew is the only gospel that uses ekklesia – 16:18; 18:17
Apocalyptic writing in Matthew – you'd be punished by God for what you're doing
Matthew's symbol: the Lion (of the Tribe of Judah)
Lots of historicism in Matthew, especially back to Isaiah
Both race and religion genealogy is critical for Jews; no women's names in OT genealogies
In Matthew's families all are equal, no one's a possession

January 29 – Time of Testing

Matthew 3: John baptizing – but John later questions if Jesus really is the Messiah: "Go and tell John…"
*Faith brings healing*
Elijah would return before the Messiah Matthew 3:1; Malachi 4:5
Pride is one of the greatest sins
Jesus' baptism is part of his later choosing the cross; he modeled humanity for us.
"Superior submitted to interior"
Messiah himself enters into community
Dove becomes an important Christian symbol
Breath, wind in Hebrew & Greek can be perceived as fire: "breath of life"
What text was used to translate the Bible I'm using into English?
Paul – as a Roman citizen could demand to be tried in Rome
They thought Jesus would literally throw out Rome!
Jesus didn't come to start the Christian Church!
Matthew 4:1-17
"testing" rather than temptation; God does test us. Genesis 22:1 – God tested Abraham. We test God?
Spirit walks Jesus to time of testing – then 35 x 15 miles = area of devastation
John's baptism was not cleansing, but repenting
Jesus speaks out of OT, really important for Matthew
Jesus knew what we go through
Spectacular? Show everyone what we can do. Jesus has to come to terms with being part of the world, but remembers his citizenship – WOW!!!!!
Later Jesus says to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan." Keep your integrity when someone suggests what we don't believe God wants us to do. NO COMPROMISE in following God.
Satan's tests are relevant to our gifts and abilities! God's will our comfort…
Nicaea, 325 C.E.; Apostles Creed about 100 years later
Testing answered both Greeks and Hebrews.
Satan needs God's permission to tempt us and he never could do anything unless God allowed it.
Constant vigilance
Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ – temptation to have a 'normal' human life

February 5 – Time of Rejoicing

Jesus is connected to his history – important to Matthew
Women usually aren't part of a genealogy. But these took the future in their hands and acted upon it!
Tamar - – "Levirate" = right of a woman to bear a child in the husband's line! (In this case, in Judah's line…)
Joshua 2 – Rahab protected her family's lineage
Ruth – an outsider (Written in opposition to Nehemiah!)
Israel's history: opening itself up and closing itself off
Matthew's genealogy? Some class ideas
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth: all gentiles (only on woman's side)
Men in genealogy all are Israelites or was Matthew saying Jesus was for all?
Ministry for the whole world
Jesus for sinners – Jesus saves all sinners
Luke's genealogy includes Adam!
Matthew = take away female / male barrier: church was open
Matthew says "Jesus Christ" – "the" has disappeared
Esau isn't listed!
Historically, the woman often was the big influence behind her husband
God's intervention in these stories!!!
God uses anybody!!! Throughout the Bible!
Holy Spirit at Jesus' conception and baptism – Jesus sends the Spirit to us!
Engagement —> Betrothal (a writ you could get out of) —> Wedding
Woman had to be accused, or a man could simply walk away to get out of the wedding
No stable or anything in Matthew, but we know Joseph's "home" was Bethlehem.

February 12 – Time of Worshiping

Matthew 2 – in this chapter he lights Bethlehem. 70 C.E., the Jerusalem's destruction, and here, Bethlehem becomes important.
Jacob buried Rachel
Ruth lived with Boaz
David lived there
Magi never were called "Kings" until medieval times. Soothsayers, magicians, bearers of gifts. They want to see the real King! The 8th Century gave the Magi names!
Matthew lets us know people were ready for a king. To become unshackled from Rome. No Temple = "Where is God?"
2:4 – Chief Priests and Scribes predict where the baby will be born: Micah 5 – bureaucracy of the Church gives Jesus' birth location legitimacy!
2:11b gold – King
frankincense – Priest
myrrh – for burial
*Jesus comes to give us both life and death!*
[Snyder Act gave the vote to American Indians]
2:12 – Magi; 2:13 – Joseph; 2:19 – Joseph; 2:22 – Joseph: dreams. God communicates to people through dreams
2:11 – Magi worshiped Jesus – Magi – gentiles! Worshiped Jesus first! Journey of faith.
2:15b …"Out of Egypt did I call my Son."
2:16 – they might have been in Bethlehem as long as 2 years…???
2:18 –Vox in Ramah – Jeremiah relevant? OT, sounds good. "Only" about 20 kids were killed in this purge since Bethlehem is small.
Legends about Dismas, about a spider's web
Herod's Kingdom went to his 3 sons [Luke 3:1]
Homage, worship – same meaning
Wilderness, star experiences can be just a few hours or a few days, sometimes longer
Don't carry the anger! Offer it to God!
To tell the Christmas story we intermingle Matthew, Mark, Luke
God works through the obstacles of the world in giving us Jesus (and in our lives, too).
Whatever it takes!!!!!
Handout, page 18 – turning point when God claims control and then God works through her.
Initiative —> —> —> —>
..."God's love extends to those whom society condemns."
*Matthew is more interested in Jesus' name than in the story of Jesus' birth.*
D – 4; V – 6; D – 4: Hebrew numerical "14" emphasizes Davidic sonship
7, and multiply... 3, 7 are important in the Bible

Unit II. Jesus' Teachings and Ministry

February 26 – Thinking about Commitment

Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-13; 10:1-4
There's no timeline from the desert to the disciples – but we are called to discipleship!
Only Matthew and Mark say "fishers of people" – intent to make missionaries, witnesses
Jesus' testing in Mark is only 2 verses! 13 verses in Luke
Peter is called first and listed first
Matthew includes "dumb" stuff about Peter!
Peter, Andrew, James, John – immediate response, with no decision, no option of delaying
Chapter 9 – Matthew's call 9:13 – mercy, not sacrifice [cf. Amos]
Rome gave a bill to tax collector, about how much to bring in. Tax collector added his salary.
Matthew points out Jesus called sinners: where the need was greatest.
The people don't ask Jesus "why," they ask the disciples, but Jesus answers.
Pharisees wanted to preserve their own holiness, so they criticized Jesus.
Chapter 10 – Matthew's community definitely was egalitarian, practiced equality.
Disciples sent first to Israel – "12"
10:13 – greeting of peace was Asian – this was near East – "ANE." Dust from anywhere other than Israel is unclean. Time is short, move one!

March 5 – Thinking about Prayer

Matthew 6:1-15 prayer is greater than all good works!
Righteousness / religious acts in these verses.
Hypocrite = actor, not being honest about what you're doing
Prayer was a high priority in being Jesus.
We prioritize things in our lives with prayer
Lord's prayer as a model! "Address" for scripture. Confidence in prayer: God will act!
Matthew – 7 petitions in Lord's Prayer
Jesus was 1st with "Our Father"
Table in the Kingdom, daily bread
Forgiveness for what one owes, not for what is done to us.
*You won't always forgive everybody…*
Evil one:
Devil – slanderer – tears you down
Satan – adversary
1 Chronicles 29:11-12, end of Lord's Prayer

March 12 – Thinking about Wholeness

I missed class!

March 19 – Thinking about Jesus' Power

Matthew 12:22-32, 38-40 [12:22-45]
The idea that Jesus must be a devil is interesting. We sometimes try tearing things down that we don't understand!
And, "another sign." But they never refuted the healings…
12:24 – Beelzebub was a Canaanite god, worshiped as the prince of the devils.
Jews did exorcisms.
If the Pharisees have to renounce Jesus, then they renounce themselves.
12:29 – sin is against something strong, against the HS.
HS convicts us of sin.
12:27 – Heart-in-Mouth!
*Only remaining sign is death and resurrection! "I AM GOD'S SIGN!"
12:42 – "Queen of the South" – unknown
our words tell people who we are. Christianity is the only cure for evil.
12:32 – tie up strong man – put him in bondage

March 26 – Thinking about Rewards

Matthew 19:16-20:16
Getting close to Jerusalem, "Last-minute teachings"
17b-18a "...keep the commandments." "But which ones?"...
there's only being a Christian, not better or worse. Heart life!
The you have, the harder it is
The less you have, the easier it is
It's all relative. It didn't take a lot to be rich in those days.
Matthew 19:28-30 – Share in campaign, share in victory.
You always get back more than you give.
¡Surprises! In God's Kingdom
day laborers – don't just see this as an allegory (20:1-16)
San Ysidro day laborers
20:8 – bailiff = man in charge
The last group still had faith that there was time!
19:30 – first / last
20:20 – last / first
righteousness is pride?
—> just worry about yourself, not about others <— *All God gives is grace!!!* Workday was from 6 – 6 Nobody wants to feel like they're on the outside (Pharisees, etc., us ).
"Not Fair" doesn't' fit into God's Kingdom
Marginal income: last workers produce most income for the owner
No partial salvation, but endless grace!!!
[Photo Caravan at Wild Animal Park]

Unit III. Fulfillment of Jesus' Mission

April 23 – The Guidance of the Word

"Last drama of Jesus' Life"
Going to Jerusalem was like an Islamic Hajj
No palm leaves! 21:8 – branches...cut from trees
v.7 – "and he took his seat on them" JB
Matthew 21:5 <— —> ZCH 9:9 <— —> Isaiah 62:11
Matthew wanted to fulfill the prophecy
*crowd is jubilant only in Matthew!!!*
Christianity later looked at this as a week of humiliation
Semitic = Arab or Israeli
King of Peace rode a donkey
Jesus was greeted as a pilgrim (like the others)
Jesus wanted to cleanse God's house (Temple)
Court of Women —> Court of Israelites —> Court of Priests —> Temple itself
Silver coins of Tyre – Temple coinage – well-minted and dependable
Shekel – no graven image
Best and also the hardest to obtain; it was like getting foreign $$$
Hong Kong $$ or U.S. $$
Different provinces have their own $$
Doing business wasn't the problem, greed was!
[Richard Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land]
—> Jesus never was comfortable in Jerusalem <— Jesus healed in the Temple – no greater blasphemy: Psalm 8:2 "If a child is afraid to play in a person's home, that person is no good." Jesus is #6 in Islam [Mona Lisa is small!]

April 30 – The Joy of Being Prepared

May 7 – The Death in Our Behalf

May 14 – The Basis of Our Authority

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Remarks for the Organ Committee 2

NPC, San Diego

Leah Chang, March 2006

At this juncture I'd like to offer a few more arguments in favor of NPC's acquiring a new organ--specifically the Allen Protégé we auditioned and discussed with George Butterfield from Organ Stop. This time I'll start with the current organ's poor condition and musical inadequacy: it is physically worn out; repair parts cannot be obtained anywhere at any price; whatever reservations one might have about a smaller instrument's adequacy for performing standard organ repertoire, there is no doubt whatsoever the organ at hand is not satisfactory for hymn singing, liturgical accompaniments, service music such as preludes and postludes, for accompanying soloists and choirs or for solo concert performances. In addition, I do not believe I'm speaking solely for myself when I say I cannot imagine any accomplished organist giving the existing instrument the least consideration.

And now a few notes about organ building, organ literature and performance! Just as there are a multitude of styles and genres of organ literature, there are many traditions of organ building, some designed primarily for recital performance, some for enhancing corporate worship, with most intended for both uses. Historically, instruments built in any particular time and geographic location have had specific specifications and pipe voicings, because of locally available building materials and already established conventions in registration--the combinations and groups of organ stops used in playing. Outside musical (would calling them "non-organic" be too extreme?!) and cultural influences then led to new registration practices, in turn leading to new forms and styles of organ literature. Unlike the piano and other percussion instruments, winds or strings, all of which have tremendous ranges in purchase price and in quality, yet always recognizably sound like a violin or trumpet or whatever their namesake, not a single organ and the room with its accoutrements that together form an organ's acoustic housing ever can be exactly duplicated. Even an instrument built to the same exact specs of stoplist, voicing, case design and approximate physical placement will sound very different because of invariably different architecture, acoustics and seating arrangements.

In addition, especially when playing an organ, the performer is playing the instrument, the music and the room, leading to another unique configuration that cannot be replicated anywhere else. During the last few decades, the trend in pipe organs built in this country and in Europe has moved from attempting to match the voicing, ensemble and overall sound of the North German Baroque (typified by familiar composers such as J.S. Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude), to dalliance with the different kind of brilliance of the French Baroque (Couperin and Rameau come to mind as examples) through attempts at organs tuned and voiced in very non-standard ways, thus limiting repertoire to a scant handful of keys. In the midst of all this, mid-20th Century builders such as the American Aeolian Skinner and Casavant Fréres in Montréal aimed at instruments with more varied yet better integrated stop lists that adequately could express most of the standard literature, whether in a worship or concert setting.

Especially during the past twenty or thirty years, the trend has been away from more esoteric specs and toward better integrated, often the "American Classic" sound that works well for music of any period and any style, and also is an outstanding choice for supporting congregational singing. To insert an impassioned aside, in my experience, listening to and playing a finely voiced organ in a resonant stone room is an unparalleled sensory experience that (speaking for myself) leaves anything less lacking. However, as with everything, necessary compromise isn't necessarily negative.

In the last analysis, music written with one instrument in mind inevitably and invariably gets played on very different ones, which is the primary reason it is difficult to argue convincingly that a particular organ with almost any standard array of foundation stops and strings, probably a solo reed, a chorus reed as well as a 2- or 3-rank mixture and/or mutations would not be an all around versatile instrument. Would I prefer playing Bach or Buxtehude on an organ built to North German Baroque specs? Yes, absolutely, without a doubt! Is 19th-Century Romantic repertoire by Widor, Franck and Mendelssohn best played on an instrument designed like those of their era? Most authentically played on a similar instrument, but not always better played. If you have any questions, or if you'd be interested in discussing this further, please let me know. This is one of my favorite subjects!