Today we sang the traditional Thanksgiving hymn "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" as a part of our worship service. This hymn sits in the "Dedication and Thanksgiving" section of our hymnal, and I suspect the editors of The Baptist Hymnal did not read past the first line of the hymn. Stranger still, the Evangelical Lutheran … Continue reading A Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn…about Election?
Beautiful Eulogy just put out their latest offering Instruments of Mercy (download it at Noisetrade here). In the middle of the album, the song "Signs and Symbols" is a great reminder that we are to look to the Bible first and foremost for guidance in life. The song features Propaganda, one of my favorite hip-hop … Continue reading “Signs and Symbols”|Beautiful Eulogy
My wife and I hardly ever agree on music taste, but there is one band that we both love and cherish deeply: Over the Rhine. There is something about husband-and-wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist's sultry, soulful music full of grit, struggle, despair, and hope that has touched our marriage in so many ways. … Continue reading Seven Over the Rhine Songs So Good, Your Toes’ll Curl
The constructs, motifs, and tropes available in hip-hop provide an unique tableau for creating poetic art. I applaud hip-hop artists like Propaganda, Shai Linne, and Trip Lee for doing a great job to redeem hip-hop for the Kingdom of Jesus. I want to put a hermeneutical bug in your ear. I am going to posit … Continue reading The Gospel of John According to Hip-Hop
I've heard people riff on "___________ is the new ___________" in many different ways, but today I'm applying it to the positively pragmatic approach of many worship song writers. You see, they have realized that "Whoa!" is the new "Hallelujah!" Allow me to explain. For years the word "hallelujah" has been a mainstay of the … Continue reading “Whoa!” Is the New “Hallelujah!”
I was reading J.D. Greear's most recent post, What's the Deal with the "T" in LGBT, and I couldn't help but think about a comment that one of my close friends made a couple of weeks ago. As we were listening to a performance of the song, "I'll Fly Away", he leaned over to me … Continue reading Gender-bending Hymnals: Old-Fashioned Dualism and LGBT
The other week, I logged into Spotify, and on the main page they were live streaming the Made in America concert hosted by Jay-Z. I watched for a few minutes at the bizarre display. Deadmau5 was performing--a DJ who makes dance/trance music for the mainstream. As a DJ, the main draw of his performance was … Continue reading Bad News: Compared to Deadmau5, Worship is Boring.
In Martin Luther's day, no one sang in church. Correction: no one sitting in the pews sang. Singing and praising God was restricted to the priests. Congregational worship is a Reformational concept that we take for granted today, though perhaps not for much longer. As church worship services become more and more about the mesmerizing light … Continue reading Give Music Back to the People
When you utter the words "christian" and "music" consecutively, you can mean so many different things. Do you mean music that is "Christian"? Do you mean the music that plays on CCM radio stations? Do you mean music appropriate for worship? Do you mean music that Christians have on their IPods? Whatever you mean, a … Continue reading Why Many Worship Leaders Would Make Lousy Music Critics
Kanye West just released his highly anticipated album Yeezus this past week, and what more can I say--he's still rapping about money, women, and excess. However, unlike the tracks on previous albums that dressed this depravity in the bright sounds of the big brass band, the crooning of R&B featured artists, and the throwback of old … Continue reading There’s a Little ‘Yeezus’ in Each of Us
A couple of weeks ago, I sat in our living room with a couple of church members after dinner. As we talked, I asked them, "Why don't people sing during our church service?" It was an honest question. What ensued was a long discussion about the role of music in the church and a rehashing … Continue reading “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
Music has changed drastically in the last hundred years from a communal experience to an intensely private one. How did this happen? Why did this happen? What does it have to do with our music in the church? It all began in 1877 with Edison's invention of the phonograph. This machine was the push that … Continue reading Since When Did Musicians Become “Recording Artists”?
Perhaps I am guilty of nostalgia, but there's something about the old tent meetings under the open starry sky, the flickering of lanterns, and the ebbs and flows of a fire and brimstone preacher's call for sinners to repent that really gets me going. The 42 member group The Lower Lights have put out a … Continue reading The Lower Lights: A Hymn Revival, Vol. 2
Civil Wars meets Indelible Grace. Finally, someone who does hymns justice! Hymns Project, Volume 2
My sister-in-law dug up a video from my days in college that brought back great memories of a week spent with nine other Christian young men. Unfortunately for me, the video is mildly incriminating since it contains actual footage of us guys doing the equivalent of a "flash mob" style dance party in different areas … Continue reading Is the Church the Place to Party Hard?–Part 3