Category Archives: Music

Religious Lethargy #3

We want to make Christianity relevant to our culture. We cannot continue to speak in the King’s English and expect people to understand and exegete their culture when no one speaks it. For example, if I told you to watch out for the poodle-klumps, you would look at me cross. But if I told you to watch out for the rebellious, you would understand. We need to contextualize our message in words people will understand. 

There are a few things wrong with this video (which is a symptom of a greater problem in modern Christianity):

1) We cannot merely tack the name of Jesus onto a popular concept and believe that we have sanctified it. We must also re-define what it means to “spin me right round.”

2) Mere emotionalism saves no one. Jonathan Edwards wrote an excellent work Religious Affections that I commend to all of you – especially this section

3) We implicitly teach folk that fervor is the goal of the conference. Emotional response is definitely necessary when the sinner is confronted with the truth of sin and grace. This emotional response is part and parcel of the content that is shared. Music can work people to tears and trembling, but it is the one who trembles at God’s word whom he will countenance.

4) When the folk return from the conference and the youth leader does not work them up in a similar frenzy, they will grow bored with the group and with Christ. 

5) Similar to #3 above, Christianity is starkly different than other religions in that it seeks to fill the person with transforming knowledge. Not mere knowledge, which is the heresy of gnosticism. It is knowledge that necessarily transforms. It is knowledge, nonetheless. We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices through the non-conformation of our minds to this world’s worldview. Granted, I have not heard the speakers at the conference, and am not aware of the content of the messages. I venture to say that they revolved around confessing sin and encountering God in a powerful way. 

This is good. But when it comes to the music and what is communicated by vain repetition and the stirring up of frenzy is that the mind should not be engaged. This fellow is talented, no doubt about this. But what will this kind of fervor do in the longview? Perhaps you were present at this conference. Please comment and shed light on what else was done there. These posts are limited to this video that stirred so many emotions and reactions in me. 

Let’s continue to make Christianity relevant and fun and…real. So many youth at this conference will be contemplating suicide in the next year I am sure. I was there and almost did it. What we must give our people is teaching that is solid and will keep these kids from tottering in the sands of relativity in our culture.

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Filed under Books & Media, Christian Living, Culture, Ethics, Music, Pastoral, Theology

Religious Lethargy

Some may see this video and think “lethargy” is the wrong word. You may see this and think fervor, ecstasy, ridiculousnous, stupidity, or hedonism is the correct word. About the end of this video I began crying in the middle of a Starbucks – nothing too crazy, but my anger turned to pity and fear.

I am so glad that there are people who desire to make encounters with God emotionally-charged. I wish there were more churches that sought to affect the emotions at least a little bit. So many congregations will view this video and have an allergic reaction so that they will never have any kind of excitement in their services. I will post later as to what are some problems with this, that I see. For now, just view it and leave your impressions in the comments section:

You Spin Me Right Round Jesus

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Everybody Loves Free Music

Derek Webb is at it again.

Remember back in ’06 when that dude went off the deep end and just started givin’ away his music? Yup – we got the entire Mockingbird album for as cheap as free. Webb is now involved in a similar gambit, and this time has several other artists along for the ride.

On, you can download Webb’s album The Ringing Bell for free by spamming telling three friends about the site. Or you can “pay what you want” – and let the downloading fun begin.

I found the site a month ago, when Webb’s album was available along with one or two other unknowns. When I checked today, however, it seems the download options have expanded to over 25 artists, including well-known artists like Sandra McCracken, Waterdeep, and Sixpence None the Richer.  Looks like fair trade music is catching on. Take a look.

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Mars Hill Seattle & Sovereign Grace Music

Tim Smith (song leader for Mars Hill Seattle) interviews Bob Kauflin (song spear-header for Sovereign Grace Ministries).



[HT: Z]

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Filed under Audio, Books & Media, Church, Music, Theology

The Gospel According to Johnny Cash

KET has a fascinating documentary on the life of Johnny Cash where the movie stopped. For more, visit The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash.Gospel According to Johnny Cash 

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Filed under Books & Media, Current Events, Music

Singing & Judgment

Friend, Michael Clary, has a thought-provoking post on Deuteronomy’s command to put the covenant into a song. I was chatting with him the other day and his insight about the heaping of judgment was very helpful.

Singing the Covenant

What an indictment against our hard hearts. God not only has spoken and shown us what is right and what he requires of us. It is amazing that I remember commercials from elementary school. I will be walking in a store and a song from the 80’s will come on and I will remember the song – although I haven’t heard it in decades!

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Filed under Books & Media, Ethics, Music

Free Classical Violin Music

I was listening to NPR yesterday morning and heard about Tasmin Little’s project to re-vitalize the classical music industry. She will be going to prisons and under-privileged areas to play her violin for free. She is also giving away some of her performances of Bach and other composers for your listening pleasure. Of particular interest is are the introductions that help explain the music. If you’re like me who, like paintings and other art, just doesn’t ‘get it’ when I observe and listen, these will be particularly helpful.I believe the interpretation and introductions is another attestation to the fact that we need an interpretive word in order to truly understand. We can sit and listen to notes ascending and descending, but unless we understand the composer’s intent, we will be left clueless.Download your free music at: The Naked Violin


Filed under Books & Media, Music