This blog is about crossing cultures, Christian ministry, music, Biblical studies, fatherhood, leading worship, books, movies, and stuff like that. It's generally NOT about electronic gadgets, politics, philosophy, sports, etc. Not that I necessarily have a problem with those things.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Sufjan song

Asthmatic Kitty has a Christmas site up right now, and on it you can download a couple of free songs by Sufjan Stevens, one of which is the exquisite "Sister Winter." David Taylor mentioned that song alongside the work of Dostoyevsky and Michaelangelo in his essay for The Christian Vision Project (entitled "A Holy Longing") as an example of beauty. It is indeed a beautiful piece of music, and here Sufjan is giving to you for free.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shai Linne - The Atonement

So I'm at this conference several weeks ago, and this worship band was awesome. It was gospel music with the message of the gospel front and center. So afterward I ask one of the singers where they find that kind of gospel-centered gospel music, and he says they're not finding it anywhere, that they're kind of making it up as they go. We talk for a minute or two, and then he reaches into his backpack and pulls out a CD and says, "Here man, take a copy of my CD." It turns out the dude was Shai Linne, and the record is unbelievable. I know lots of seminary grads who could be schooled by this. I can't stop listening to it. Best songs: Mission Accomplished and The Gospel.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Glad to see this happening

I saw this post on the Mars Hill music website, and I was glad to see this kind of wrestling going on. Yes, the song is fun to play and sing, and I'm sure it's even more so when you have a cool arrangement of it as he describes. But if the words are messed up theologically (as many songs from that era are), it's not appropriate to use in corporate worship. I hope folks can learn from this good example of critical thinking.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal

My buddy John Carroll asked me to write a guest post on his blog about Google Docs as part of a week-long series he's doing on how Google Apps can be helpful to people in ministry.

Prepare yourself before you read it. It's so good, it may move you to tears.

Check it out.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Good song from Buddy and Julie Miller

It's hard to find reviews of Buddy and Julie's music that don't contain the words "real" or "honest". I have all of Buddy's records, and I love them all. Not only that, but he and Julie show up on several of my other favorite records of the last several years, such as Emmylou Harris' and Patty Griffin's. This video is well done, and Buddy's electric guitar solo is sweet as always. Julie wrote the song.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Celebrity preaching as one of the roots of Evangelical Christianity

Interesting blurb from largehearted boy:

"LiveDaily interviews singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.

What’s the last book you read?

I just read The Most Famous Man in America which is the biography of Henry Ward Beecher (a 19th century preacher). It just won the Pulitzer Prize and it’s about one of America’s great entertainment industries, which are preachers (laughs). And it's basically about the roots of Evangelical Christianity and the real, kind of, rock 'n' roll preachers from (Beecher) all the way down the line to Billy Graham and some of those new guys who are coming. It's kind of the melding of the Bible and the dollar. It's pretty interesting. He was a major force in the abolition of slavery. Really interesting guy."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Great little forgotten hymn by John Kent

Check out this little hymn I found. I love his use of the word "precepts"--especially considering the way that word typically gets used in Bible church circles.
(from A New Selection of Seven Hundred Evangelical Hymns: For Private, Family, and ... By John Dobell, Isaac Watts)393 C.M. Kent Love to the Law and to the Gospel 1 WHEN from the precepts to the cross The humble sinner turns His brightest deeds he counts but dross And o er his vileness mourns 2 God on the table of his heart Inscribes his love and fear He loves the law in ev ry part But takes no refuge there 3 Thus gospel law and justice too Conspire to set him free Reflect my soul admire and view What God hath done for thee

Monday, May 28, 2007

Good news for corporate worship music

Kevin Twit says they have started the next Indelible Grace project. Indelible Grace really opened my eyes to what substantial worship music looks like back when the second CD came out like eight years ago, and the projects have been pretty consistently good since. The sound has gotten better with each record.

Speaking of Indelible Grace, I finally bought some tracks off of Matthew Smith's new disc, All I Owe, and I recommend the song None Among. I had marked that one in my Spurgeon hymnal to write a new tune to, but Matthew beat me to the punch.