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A Collision or (3+4=7)

The next album under review comes from one of the most popular Christian groups of the last decade. Though they recently played their last show together as a group, the David Crowder Band will forever be one of my favourites.

With three studio albums already in their pocket David Crowder Band seemed to have found their niche. As a result their 2005 release “A Collision or (3+4=7)” took the Christian music world by surprise. “A Collision” was different and remarkable in a number of different ways.

Is a sermon more than a speech?

I’ve listened to quite a few sermons in my lifetime, and have crafted and preached a dozen or so myself, too. They’re usually the part of worship that I most look forward to: they’re the heart and intellectual meat of the service, the part that provides theological concepts and ethical challenges to ponder, the part that both informs and inspires. But precisely because I have such high hopes for the sermon, there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve been deeply disappointed because the sermon wasn’t really a sermon. It was actually just a speech – and there is a difference!

Selling hospitality

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the ideas of service and hospitality play out in our society – namely, in the so-called “service” or “hospitality industry” of restaurants, hotels, etc. This is the sector of the workforce that my husband is in and the one I’ve had experience working in during summers and other time off from my (endless) studies. It’s something I have really mixed feelings about.

Living Harmoniously

I’ll admit it – I am a huge choir nerd. I absolutely love choir concerts and choral music in general.

I don’t know how I came to be this way. I mean, I have always loved a large variety of music, thanks to my father’s eclectic music tastes (Southern gospel, accapella, 50s-70s rock, to name a few) and my experience growing up in the church. But something has always strongly drawn me repeatedly to choral music – to the interesting and sometimes inconceivable SATB arrangements of pop songs, folk songs, and African spirituals.

Resonance

He poured the bowl full of water, then held it out, balanced on his palm, fingers angled down and away from the thick bronze base. Slowly, he moved the wooden mallet around the edge. Expecting the resonance of the singing bowl, I was shocked to see sparkles of water emerge from the rim. As he continued, water suddenly splashed up, bursting into the space above the bowl, and drenching his face and front. Laughing, he pointed out the obvious: with water in the bowl, the energy of resonance became visible.

A plea for descriptive and inquisitive intervention

In my last post I was pushing towards more care in how we articulate possible notions of faithfulness tied up in practices intimately linked with having a social awareness and engagement.  So how then does one articulate and engage the world when it is of course possible to undermine any given expression?  I think part of the shift is to not 'over-code' a given situation.  Simply living in the 'hood and buying 2nd-hand and organic does not itself imply goodness.  How do we describe and articulate the network of relations that are at play in our actions?  Let the theology, if th

Unlearning war

I was walking through my university campus a few weeks ago, when I noticed something rather chilling. The campus is littered with war memorials, honouring the dead Canadian soldiers of the twentieth-century, like the one pictured (found here) – that’s unsettling enough. But one wall of plaques, I noticed, contained several extra spaces, presumably carved in preparation for (or was it in anticipation of?) future wars.

The Long Fall Back to Earth

In my last post, entitled “In Defense of Christian Contemporary Music” I gave my opinion and perspective on Christian pop, rock and worship music. I also promised to review several albums that have been formative for me.

Near the end of my last post I wrote, “(t)he artists that most speak to me are gifted vocally, musically and lyrically and they challenge me in places where I would not otherwise be challenged.” With that in mind I give you my first album review.

Keep it to yourself

A number of blogs that I follow push back (most recently here) pretty hard against a type of personal activism that ends up creating a structure a moral evaluation with no sense that effective change is produced or even possible.  What do I mean by this?  I mean simply that personal activism can be a therapeutic response to the guilty conscious of privilege.  There is nothing new in that statement and many of the blogs that I follow outline and deve

Towards creativity

I have been a walker for years now.

I remember it beginning in high school. Whenever I needed time to think I would walk. They need not be long walks, though some went on for hours. I would wander around the baseball diamonds and outdoor stage of my hometown, taking generally the same route with some slight alterations. I found that I rarely came to any conclusions on these walks, but I would feel better after.

In defense of Christian contemporary music

I have a confession; my contemporary Christian music library is huge. Christian pop, rock and worship can all be found in abundance in our apartment. Why is it a confession for a pastor to admit that he listens to contemporary Christian music? I’m not sure.

Probably it has to do with the many times in university and currently that I have heard my contemporaries bashing what I know and love. I hear people saying contemporary Christian music is shallow, boring, and individualistic, and I hear people questioning its purpose.

On Consumption

I have never quite known what to do with Earth Day.

“Ever” is perhaps a bit of a strong word. Up until six or seven years ago I did not even know it existed. True, the United Nations did not recognize April 22 as International Mother Earth Day until 2009, but celebrations have been held on that day since the 1970's.

On Consumption

I have never quite known what to do with Earth Day.

“Ever” is perhaps a bit of a strong word. Up until six or seven years ago I did not even know it existed. True, the United Nations did not recognize April 22 as International Mother Earth Day until 2009, but celebrations have been held on that day since the 1970's.

(De)construction

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy collaging (collage-ing?), which I guess makes me an amateur collageur (collage-ist?). Anyway, I like to cut up colourful papers and glue them onto cardboard. I find it relaxing, but, in another sense, I see it as a subversive act. Yes, it’s true. Making collages is one of my little ways of fighting capitalism, with all the awful wastefulness and inequality and deceitful rhetoric that comes along with it. Allow me to briefly but passionately explain why.

1. It’s a way of reusing, which is one eco-step better than recycling.

A profound reading

I once heard a story about the influential biblical scholar Brevard Childs.  A student asked him how to become a better interpreter of the Bible.  Childs's response, as it was told to me, was become a more profound person.  Now perhaps some arrogance could be read into that statement but I think there is an important insight to consider here.  Around the time I heard this quote I was attending a doctoral level seminar in biblical theology.  Part of the course included presenting various forms and methods of interpretation (biblical criticisms).  As we wrestled with these approaches

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Born to Die (that we may live)

Our newborn King lies in a manger bed
Swaddled in clothes, by his mother lain,
Soon to wear a crown of thorns upon his head.

A jealous king desired to see him dead,
Command that every child his age was slain,
Our newborn King lies in a manger bed.

Shepherds in fields heard what the angels said,
Worship for their King they could not contain,
Soon to wear a crown of thorns upon his head.

Wise kings in the East by a star were led,
But in Bethlehem they would not remain,
Our newborn King lies in a manger bed.

Maybe Trayvon Martin stood his ground

 

These days, you might see more people wearing hooded sweatshirts than normal.  You might see more people eating Skittles than normal. If you notice this, don't feel intimidated. If this warning sounds absurd, it should.

South of the border, there is a news story that is stirring up racial tension and is bringing to light some questionable legal decisions and processes.

There are a few indisputable facts in this story.

The Church as an Outpost

A book study I am a part of is reading James Bryan Smith’s 'The Good and Beautiful Community.' In a chapter entitled 'the serving community' Smith all too quickly mentions a metaphor for the Christian community that was new to me. His metaphor was to view the church as an outpost. Though he didn’t expand I thought I would take the opportunity to articulate a few thoughts that came through my reading and pondering.

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