Classical, Hip-Hop, Music and Culture, Music and Worship, Rock

Music Matters (Week of August 26th, 2012)

A weekly review of music news through the lens of music as gift or god.

Of Mice and Men

A breed of singing mice found in Costa Rica has the ability “to chirp up to 20 times per a second” in a song. Studying the genetic behind this mouse’s song, scientists believe they will be able to find clues to cure human language disorders. Listen to the song of the Alston’s Brown Mouse below:

When Playing Nothing Gets You Something

Justin Howard, known as “Nordic Thunder,” won the Air Guitar World Championships.  Howard, moved around the stage pretending to play a non-existent guitar and narrowly beat out the other American in the competition. The prize for playing nothing? A handmade guitar! This might seem like a silly pastime but thinking about it deeply there are correlations to salvation through Christ. There is not a single thing we can do to earn our salvation but it is a free gift from God to accept. Like Nordic Thunder, life was meaningless before we met Jesus but now with Jesus the emptiness is gone and he is the one who fills you with his spirit.

Worship Musicians as the Front Line on the Spiritual Battlefield

A great article by Bobby and Kristen Gilles on the war-like aspects of leading worship with a lot of insightful biblical examples.

Lecrae and Mark Driscoll Hangout

This week rapper Lecrae and Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle hosted a short web chat. They discussed hip-hop, theology, church planting, marriage faithfulness and fatherhood. A great look into the life of a missionary in the hip-hop world. For further reading on Lecrae see:  The State of Hip Hop

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Music and Worship

10 Awesome Hymn Retunings

Covering the best and worst of the music world.

Throughout the centuries composers and songwriters have revisited the hymns of past generations and reworked the melody to fit contemporary aesthetics. In its strictest sense retuning a hymn means the creation of a completely new melody while keeping the lyrics intact. While in the loosest definition of the term the musical accompaniment is changed, the melody remains mostly the same and there might be some contemporization of certain words in the text or the addition of new lyrics. The following hymn retunings are presented in no particular order (with the original hymn) and are only a taste of the many great songs created by musicians involved in the Hymns Movement. Enjoy!

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Original:

Zac Hicks Version:
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=1769627576/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

Lord, I am Vile Conceived in Sin

Original:

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/mid/l/e/i/leighton.mid

Sojourn Version:

There is a Fountain Filled With Blood

Original:

Enfield Version:

Rock of Ages

Original:

Indelibile Grace Version:

Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Original:

Matthew Smith Version:
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=2627109859/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

In Christ Alone

Original:

Kings Kaliedoscope Version:

Just As I Am

Original:

Modern Post Version:
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=2137637876/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

Take My Life and Let It Be

Original:

Chris Tomlin Version:

All Creatures of Our God and King

Original:

David Crowder Version:

Nothing But The Blood of Jesus

Original:

Citizens Version:

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Hip-Hop

The State of Hip Hop: Divergent Views on Social Justice in ‘Changes’ and ‘Send Me/Represent’

Looking to understand the language of hip-hop by exploring common hip-hop themes of social justice, race, poverty, violence, poverty, misogyny and partying.

Tupac’s Changes and 116 Clique’s Send Me/Represent are biting social commentaries expounding on poverty, violence and racism as found in the ghetto, though, their approaches to justice could not be more divergent. While both songs encourage their respective communities to help make changes, the former appeals to a common humanity and the latter relies on the strength of the gospel. Understanding that each song comes from different worldview, our deconstruction of each song will provide insights into doing social justice.

Changes and the Brotherhood of Man Solution

Tupac grew up in an environment of social justice, since both his parents were members of the Black Panther Party.  In addition, his experiences of life in the hood (as heard in the auto-biographical Dear Mamma) led him as a rapper to write songs fighting the injustices found in many African-American communities. Tupac’s Changes encapsulates his vision of social justice through the reconciliation of races, abolishing violence against “brothers” and the end of poverty. The song samples The Way It Is, a 1986 song by Bruce Hornsby providing an intertextual link to themes of social/racial justice. Though, in Changes the chorus purposely leaves out the hopeful line, “Ha, but don’t you believe them” and in the process can only profess, “That’s just the way it is.” Furthermore, the song opens with an illustration of a man devoid of hope, “I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself. Is life worth living should I blast myself?” But then in the bridge Tupac exhorts his listeners:

We gotta make a change.
It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live
And let’s change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do
What we gotta do, to survive.

What is this “old way” that is not working anymore? Tupac covers three aspects of life in poor African-American neighborhoods, poverty, racism and violence.  In regards to poverty, Tupac complains, “I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black. My stomach hurts so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.” Cynically, he views the cops as helping encourage an environment of poverty stating, “Instead of a war on poverty they got a war on drugs.” Moreover, Tupac ties poverty to racist attitudes, “Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares. One less hungry mouth on the welfare.”

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 …vision of social justice through the reconciliation of races, abolishing violence against “brothers” and the end of poverty.

[/pullquote]Tackling racism, Tupac bemoans, “Cops give a damn about a negro. Pull the trigger kill a n**** he’s a hero.” In a slight of hand gesture, he provides an image of racism’s consequence, “The penitentiary’s packed, and it’s filled with blacks.” Frustrated with what is occurring, Tupac raps, “I see no changes all I see is racist faces. Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races.” Though, hopeful for reconciliation between races to end this turmoil he continues, “’cause both black and white is smokin’ crack tonight. And only time we chill is when we kill each other. It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.” Beyond poverty and racism are elements of violent behavior which Tupac sees as extensions of racism, “First ship ’em dope & let ’em deal the brothers. Give ’em guns step back watch ’em kill each other.” Contradictorily, Tupac, however, sees no other way than to resort to violence to protect himself:

And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
And I never get to lay back
‘Cause I always got to worry ’bout the pay backs
Some punk that I roughed up way back
Comin’ back after all these years
Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat

The solution for these problems lie within the community itself as Tupac prophesizes:

I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere
Unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin’ changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers
And that’s how it’s supposed to be

Then in one of the most devastating lines in the entire song, Tupac draws out the root of racism, violence and poverty and preaches, “Take the evil out the people they’ll be acting right,” but how that evil is removed is based on “appeal[ing] to the brother in you.”

Send Me/Represent and the Gospel Solution

116 Clique is a compilation of Reach Records rappers and Send Me/Represent features Lecrae, who according to his “I Am Second” video saw Tupac as a role model, though, idolizing the thug aspects of the rapper. Lecrae’s childhood is an all too familiar narrative for African-American boys living in the hood. His father was a drug addict who left his family, he was then raised by his mother, experienced abuse from family members, looked up to gang members such as his uncle, delved into criminal activity and eventually, went to prison. The turning point for Lecrae was at a conference where he met others who went through similar situations, yet Jesus completely transformed their lives (for the complete story view the video here).

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Lecrae’s childhood is an all too familiar narrative for African-American boys living in the hood.

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Send Me/Represent discusses the issues of poverty and violence but instead of placing blame on cops and extreme poverty, as Tupac does, the failure of completing social justice fall squarely into the laps of apathetic and nominal Christians. Opening with “I seen it with my own two, there’s no way I can show you a perfectly poverty stricken people with no view.” This bold statement, though, encompasses more than physical poverty but an impoverished spirit, followed with the line, “And I bet you can’t believe this, they never heard of Jesus.” The song also voices examples of violence, “while a nine year old is shot down no one’s screaming ‘stop now!’” and the associated consequences, “criminals who on lock down” and “while our brotha’s get’n locked up.” While touching briefly on these themes, the main thrust of the song is on the failure of Christians in doing justice.

First, the problem lies with too many people thinking that America is a Christian nation when it is not.

America ain’t Christian they just practicing a ritual.
That’s why we should be missional.
Hey, what you think I’m spit’n for?
The United States is dying

Secondly, if people were actually following Jesus and preaching the gospel, their neighborhoods would change.

Some regenerated but a lot ain’t saved.
You walk outside and be surprised cuz the block ain’t changed.

 

The gospel should be heard too.
We claim we ain’t ashamed,
but we ain’t hit the block up.

Thirdly, change should not be limited to the local context of one’s own experience but expand past the borders of the neighborhood and into the world. Real justice through the gospel is a both/and missional work, with neighbors down the street and neighbors half a world away.

Get out on the grind y’all.
Ain’t no better time dawg.
I know y’all read the great commission.
Let me just remind y’all:
make disciples of the nations.
Teach em to obey the Lord.
Hate to never lead someone to Christ before I face the Lord.

Lastly, the riskiness of preaching the gospel to others should not deter believers:

Lord I wanna stock up,
Pack a bag and walk up
In a country where sharing my faith may get me shot up
Anywhere I go, whether my city or far abroad,
I just wanna show them Jesus Christ the risen holy God.

This is why the rappers exhort listeners to “…look what grace did. Not for us to stay hide inside our comfort zones at home in mama’s basement.”

Two approaches on social justice but which one do you do? Do you appeal to the good in people’s common humanity or do you rely on the gospel?

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Music and Culture, Music and Worship, Pop Music, Rock

Music Matters (Week of August 19th, 2012)

A weekly review of music news through the lens of music as gift or god.

All Female Punk Band Sentenced to Two Years in Jail

Pussy Riot is a punk band who took to the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow singing their expletive-laden and anti-Putin Punk Prayer and were subsequently jailed. On August 17th the three women were sentenced to serve a two year stint in prison. There was immediate reaction from around the world as President Obama and a number of high profile musicians spoke out against the verdict.

The whole incident and trial bring up questions about sphere confusion with Russian Orthodox Church leaders being too closely connected to Russian politicians. Additionally, there is the idea of freedom of expression in a political environment where anti-government sentiments are not being tolerated. Then there is the attack on Christianity by the band itself trying to silence the voice of Christian people in Russia.  No party is innocent in this matter.

Madonna and the Intolerance of Tolerance  

Despite a St. Petersburg ban on promoting homosexual lifestyles, Madonna at her August 9th concert in the city filled her concert with gay imagery, with mixed reaction from the audience. Now she faces a lawsuit of 10.5 million from three Russian organizations for “moral damage.” A lawsuit is also being filed in France over her use of a Nazi symbol during a concert.

Rihanna on Chris Brown

Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna spoke about her former relationship with Chris Brown. She is still in love with him despite what Brown did to her and there is a sense that she can only see her identity in him. Rhianna reveals that she had a broken relationship with her father and without that strong male leader in her life this led to a relationship which was not the best for her. This is why it is so important for fathers to lead their families and model biblical manhood to their children.

Symphony and Spiritual Warfare

Symphony is video game in the classic shooter style where your music collection determines the creation of each level. Your ship is called to defend your music against demons and your music also gifts you with special weapons on your quest. Additionally, the demons with distort and warp your music as you play, affecting the health of your ship. Theological implications abound in this shooter game.

Castle Island Hymns Christ My Treasure

Castle Island Hymns of Citylife Church in Boston released a demo of a song for The Gospel Coalition project “Songs for the Book of Luke.” Great song based on Luke 16.

Carl Truman’s Rant on Popular Culture

After viewing the proceedings from PCUSA’s General Assembly, which included a ton of secular popular music (from Lady Gaga to Toby Keith), Carl Trueman went on a rant against how liberal and evangelical Christians take popular culture in all its forms too seriously. It seems his understanding of culture is framed by high and low forms of arts with popular culture being the most debased. A mid-20th century secular philosopher and musicologist, Thomas W. Adorno, held a similar view of high and low culture, with popular culture merely being manufactured to sell a product. Richard Clark over at Christ and Pop Culture disagrees with Trueman’s assessment, arguing that engaging with popular culture helps Christians to engage with people and the world around them. High and low culture is a false dichotomy where some really great music is created in what is considered low culture (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, etc.) and high culture music can be repetitive and not aesthetically pleasing ( case in point: Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli).

Advance to 1:51:00 to see Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup portion of the Assembly.

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Hip-Hop

Apocalyptic Romance: Frank Ocean’s ‘Bad Religion’

In this series we explore music which places the need for significance and transcendence into romance and love.
[pullquote]

Faith and significance is put into affections with another human being, substituting a relationship with the divine.

[/pullquote]What is bad religion? Is it MTD (moral therapeutic moralism), the prosperity gospel, radical Islam, Scientology or unrequited love? For Frank Ocean in Bad Religion it is the last item, where he expresses his struggle with finding identity in someone who does not love him. Not only is the object of Ocean’s affection religious (“He said allahu akbar”) but the other side of the equation is also a heterosexual man (“I could never make him love me”). At first it seems that Ocean sees value in religion with a soaring vocal on the line, “I guess it couldn’t hurt me if it brings me to my knees.”  Though his religious devotion is to the other character in the song and it is this “one man cult” which he calls a “bad religion.” In fact his obsession runs so deep that this unrequited love makes him feel like “cyanide [is] in my [his] styrofoam cup.” But there are also elements of him wanting to unmask his false identities (“I swear I’ve got three lives”) but he cannot seem to bring himself to do it (“I can’t tell you the truth about my disguise. I can’t trust no one.”)

 

 

Because Ocean’s Channel Orange contains lyrics like these, prior to the album’s release Ocean revealed that he was homosexual. Having received support from fellow rappers, his coming out shows a change in the typical misogynistic stance of hip-hop by welcoming a fellow artist who is gay. But like all who define themselves in sexual terms (whether they are heterosexual or homosexual), meaning in life then only comes from romantic love and not from God. Faith and significance is put into affections with another human being, substituting a relationship with the divine.

Like Ocean, finding his identity in a “one-man cult,” we live in culture with a liassez-faire approach to religion, where everyone can have their own personal beliefs about God. Because religion has become privatized, a myriad of belief systems thrive unique to each individual person. One can pull elements of the bible, karma, new age spiritualism, animism, folk religion or any number of systems which look beyond oneself to create a religion completely unique to that person. Beyond these specialized “spiritualities,” there are the host of mainline Christian churches (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopal Church, United Methodist, etc.) who see the bible as merely a moral guidebook, ignoring all the messy bits of supernatural phenomenon, Jesus’ miracles and God’s righteousness. But even in the evangelical world, belief in God has become privatized and in that transformation, idiosyncratic expressions of Christianity have taken over the historical orthodox faith. In this environment people can pick and choose which portions of the bible they want to believe and leave out all the parts they do not like.

One of the worst offenders of cherry picking verses (even at times making new translations) is Joel Osteen. In his sermon Expect Good Things, Osteen takes Matthew 9:29 as an encouragement for believers to expect God favor in terms of health and wealth. Even reading the first half of the verse (“Then he touched their eyes, saying,”) indicates this passage is not about prosperity and this becomes even clearer in context of Matthew 27-30. (Side note: When I was in Houston last year I visited Lakewood Church in Houston and before entering the building a child screamed at my daughter, “I hate babies! I hate you baby!” Once we entered the building there was a creepy fog everywhere (no joke), needless to say, we did not stay for the evening young adult service.) Then there is Rob Bell, who is able to erase hell and spout universalism by reworking a few verses in his book Love Wins.
[pullquote]

With all the “bad religion” in the world and inside the church, how can believers in Christ know that they are following the gospel?

[/pullquote]While Osteen and Bell are too extreme examples, this hunt and peck approach to biblical teaching is extremely common in Evangelical churches throughout the United States. Unfortunately, this methodology has all sorts of unintended consequences where people believe things the bible has never said. For instance, one of the most frequently misused bible verses is Matthew 18:20 (one I am guilty of misusing myself), interpreted as Jesus being present when “two or three are gathered in his name” (in prayer, in worship, etc.). However, in context of the passage, this verse is about church discipline and not about Jesus being present at a worship gathering. Then there is the passage from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” which is taken as encouragement for the individual believer that God is on their side. But in view of the rest of the passage these promises are not for a single believer but for the nation of Israel.
Beyond committing a hermeneutical error by taking verses out of context, there are a series of phantom verses which are not in the bible. The most destructive of these verses (found nowhere in the bible and theologically incorrect) is “God helps those who help themselves.” Wait… what? First a person has to bring themselves to a state where they can help themselves, then God will give a little extra help at the end? Where is that in the bible? How does in any way show the nature of God as loving and merciful? In fact, it is quite the opposite; God is the one who acts, rescuing people when they are drowning in sin.

With all the “bad religion” in the world and inside the church, how can believers in Christ know that they are following the gospel? It begins and ends with God’s word.  Purposefully reading the bible on a consistent basis and in sizable chunks will help the believer know who God is and what he is doing in the history. But every believer must also be part of a local expression of the Church, under the authority of a gospel-centered pastor and in community with other believers.

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Music and Worship

John Tibbs Interview and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to connect with John Tibbs (via Twitter and email), the worship leader of Madison Park Church in Anderson, IN. This recently married  twenty-two year old has a degree in Music Business from Anderson University and has been leading worship at his church for four years. Tibbs began playing the piano at four years old and starting singing around the same time. In middle school he picked up the guitar and he switches between the two instruments in leading worship. John said that because “God took a hold of my heart. I want to connect people to Jesus. I want them to experience that same hope and love that I feel. We all need Jesus.” Amen.

I spoke with John about his music, balancing ministry/family life, overcoming difficulties and the current state of worship music (see album giveaway details at the bottom).

As a younger guy leading worship, did the people in your congregation have a hard time putting their trust in you as their worship leader?

Yes, definitely! They still do. It’s also something that’s turned into an insecurity. I have to know this. God has placed me on that stage. I’m called to lead all people, not just a niche market.  We all need Jesus. So I need to stay true to myself, yet be flexible in order to reach that person I’m leading in worship.

“The lens I filter every decision through is does it connect to people and does it connect those people to Jesus.” 

 

 

 

How do you balance the responsibilities of being a worship leader and newly married? What advice would you have other worship leaders on balancing family life and ministry?  

Marriage and family will always win.  The church needs true leadership and that leadership starts in the home.  I try to be intentional to connect with my wife on her terms often.  It’s also good to unplug from your phone and social media.  Above all, make time to laugh together.

In the chorus of your song Captive you are able to effectively present the whole gospel in a succinct manner. What do you think is the importance of being gospel-centered with your music, especially when your music is written for those in the church?

I want my music to connect to people inside the church as well outside of the church.  The lens I filter every decision through is does it connect to people and does it connect those people to Jesus.  I really want to change the world with a community of people who radically love Jesus.  I hope to do this through music. We’re just beginning.

Your song Remedy speaks of suffering in life, yet you are able to point people to Jesus and the day when he will wipe away their every tear. Why do you think it is important to explore suffering in worship music in addition to songs which are joy-filled?

Because we’re called to real.  Anyone who says it’s all joy is either deeply confused or a liar.  We’re on this earth, which means we are separated from God in heaven.  There will be pain and tears every day of our lives until we are with Jesus.  The bible says that we should recognize those experiences, that we should celebrate them – for it brings character, and that we should never do it alone.  That’s so hard, but it’s best.

In recent years there has been a lot of discussion about the kitschiness, lack of depth and “safe for the whole family”-attitude of CCM. How do you think you are counteracting those elements of Christian music subculture by speaking authentically and truthfully through your music?

I don’t want to bash ‘CCM.’  They’ve definitely had some great impact.  I probably do not fit into that mold, especially my newer stuff (releasing in October for free on Noisetrade).  You will never find me sitting down to write a song to connect to a ‘target audience’ or a ‘niche market.’  I write about what Jesus is doing in my life.  I write about how life sucks, often, and sometimes I feel Christ’s activity, and sometimes I don’t.  But he’s always near. I know that.

As a follow up question, if there was one thing you could change about the current worship music scene what would that be?

The Diva syndrome can take a hike.  We’re all in this together.

 

Origin Album Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on any article on the Retuned website. For three additional entries:

Optional Entry 1: Subscribe to Retuned via RSS or email newsletter. Leave a comment on this post explaining how you subscribed.

Optional Entry 2: Visit John Tibb’s blog or iTunes page and share what your favorite song is in the comments section. Make sure to use the phrase: Retuned/John Tibbs Giveaway in your comment.

Optional Entry 3: Tweet or Facebook a link to the giveaway. Leave a comment on this post letting us know you did this.

Use this if you like: @TheRetuned is hosting a @johntibbsmusic album giveaway (http://ow.ly/d3w0b)

This promotion is open until August 31, 2012. The winner will be chosen with Random.org. Make sure to leave an email address when you comment, so we can notify you if you are the winner. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

 

If you want to find out more about John Tibbs and his music, go to his blog johntibbsmusic.com or connect with him on Facebook (facebook.com/johntibbsmusic), Twitter (@johntibbsmusic), Youtube (youtube.com/johntibbsmusic) or Instagram.

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Classical, Hip-Hop, Music and Worship, Pop Music, Rock

Music Matters (Week of August 12th, 2012)

A weekly review of music news through the lens of music as gift or god.

Beyonce Worshipped, Desecrated and Offering Philanthropic Services

Beyonce is receiving a lot of over the top praise for her looks and music from other female entertainers, who are treating her like some untouchable deity. At least one article (Female Entertainers are Conspiring to Inflate Beyonce’s Ego) understands this fawning over Beyonce in hyperbolic language as idol worship. Kim Kardashian has gone the farthest in her worship by emulating Beyonce with a series of photos reflecting the style and posturing of Beyonce’s Countdown video.

On the other hand, last week Harry Belafonte criticized Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z for not using their fame and fortune for social justice causes. Beyonce responded back to him this week with a list of her humanitarian efforts. Additionally, last Friday she performed her song I Was Here at the United Nations for World Humanitarian Day, inspiring humanitarian workers at the event.

Blaqk Audio’s Faith Healer

This new song from Blaqk Audio describes the desire for a spirituality that does not involve doctrine and theology but involves healing through the flesh (“Crawl back in your skin and it will take you higher”). In the opening verse the singer mocks the other person’s faith and denies the existence of God.

You’ve been wondering, searching for Him forever
Just take some rest in here, and if He shows,
We’ll talk to Him together.

The he as the “enlightened” one pulls the other person away from God because being tied to God is like suffering.

You’re a vision, if you could see yourself through my enlightened eyes
You’d pull yourself from fantasy and raft yourself in right
You’ve been suffering, bound to Him forever
We’ll have your release here, and when we go, we’ll take His name.

Davey Havok, instead of bringing healing to your friend you are only brining them more pain.

Marilyn Manson’s (Im)Perfect Plan

Before going through security at LAX airport, Marilyn Manson scribbled the phrase “F*** you” on his face to keep the paparazzi from taking his picture. But in an era of internet media where anything goes, Manson’s plan failed.  Also he did not think about the unintended consequences of his actions as one observer noted, “He was really apologetic about it, and covered his mouth around young children while apologizing to their parents for exposing their child to profanity.”

Dr. Michael Horton and T. David Gordon on Worship Music

The White Horse Inn episode this week had a great discussion about the affect of popular culture on worship and worship music as expressed in the local church. T. David Gordon made distinctions between the use of classical, folk and pop music in the church and how the church should have a folk music mindset when creating music for the church. He argued that folk music helps to foster formational worship because it provides a community experience. Additionally, this type of folk ethos releases musicians to write music that is well suited for their particular congregation. From what I could tell it seems like Gordon is an advocate for the Hymns Movement with artists like Matthew Smith, Sojourn, Keith and Kristen Getty, Cardiphonia, Bobby and Kristen Giles, etc. Highly recommended listening.

Bach and the Patterns of Redemption

Ben Shute masterfully explores J.S. Bach’s d minor Harpsichord Concerto (BWV 1052) revealing a hidden cross and a picture of Golgotha in this musically technical article. Two “errors” in the piece (which were later “fixed” by C.P.E. Bach) actually contain profound theological meaning and point toward the redemptive story arc of the concerto. This theological approach to Bach’s instrumental works is similar to Robin Leaver’s article, “Bach’s ‘Clavierubung III’: Some Historical and Theological Considerations” and Michael Marissen’s book, The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. If you have a music background this article is definitely worth a read.

The Minority Report: Why I Quit Listening to Christian Music

Drew Dixon over at the Christ and Pop Culture website outlines some great reasons why CCM artists do not delve in the heavier subjects of sin, suffering and doubt. He hopes that Christian musicians will write more songs that deal with these subjects instead of always focusing on the good, triumphant and living in victory. Further reading:  The 10 Kitschiest Christian Songs

Singing Theology So That We’ll Eventually Believe It

Zac Hicks, worship pastor at Cherry Creek Presbyterian in Denver, CO had a great post this week about the importance of singing theologically rich music in worship. If we are exposed to and sing theologically-based music then we will eventually begin to believe the theology that we are singing/listening to. Zac correlates the concept of lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief) to worship and shows his readers how to model this type of worship to their children. Further reading:  Out of the Mouth of Babes: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

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