Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quick Hits: Scott Thomas & A29 on the new Keller

Check this out.

"The issue that our contemporary churches face is a strong gravitational pull toward religion and morality and away from the mission of the lost, irreligious people that we are called to proclaim the gospel. Sermons are typically full of Christianese and religious platitudes. Have you ever heard someone try to explain the sport of Cricket to an American? It all sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Whaa, whaa wicket, whaa." Our sermons have the same lack of comprehension to the irreligious attendees in our church when we preach only to the conservative, buttoned down, moralistic people that make our churches a safe, peaceful place."

Does that sting? (I am a recovering conservative button-down moralist and this is spot on. I am blessed week in and week out by a certain A29 church.) It's called the Gospel friends. It's all we need. Period.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Promised a Bridegroom

I know that very few people read this and fewer still would need a link to John Letoto's blog. That said, I was incredibly touched by his latest post. It's not just because I was present for much of the story, but it's more that John and I have talked, worked, and struggled through many of these things together. He is one of my dearest brothers in the world and I hope you take the time to reflect on this.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Not So Infinite Playlist: The Music of Hall Ball IX

Martin Luther once said that after the Word of God, music was the greatest gift ever given to humanity. The years have seen my musical tastes refine a bit, but nevertheless, I still look back on many genres, sounds, and songs with a touch of nostalgia. Presented with the opportunity to craft a musical accompaniment to Boyce College's premier club sporting event, I took some golden earrings, threw them in the fire, and out came this playlist.

1. Interstates, "Uniforms Forever," (Run Run)
2. Andy Hunter, "Go," (Exodus)
3. Andy Hunter, "The Wonders of You," (Exodus)
4. Andy Hunter, "Radiate," (Exodus)
5. Flight of the Conchords, "Inner City Pressure," (Flight of the Conchords)
6. Json, "Let No Man - Colossians," (13 Letters)
7. Dillon Chase, "Take 'Em Back - Philemon," (13 Letters)
8. Lecrae, "Break It Down - 1 Corinthians," (13 Letters)
9. Sho Baraka, "This Is My Heart - 2 Corinthians," (13 Letters)
10. Trip Lee feat. Lecrae, "Get Loose," (13 Letters)
11. Bleach, "We Are Tomorrow," (Again, For the First Time)
12. Sigur Rós, "Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur," (Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust)
13. Bleach, "December," Astronomy
14. Through A Glass, "How to Impeach a King," (Tragedy Vs. Comedy)
15. P.O.D., "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)," (The Fundamental Elements of Southtown)
16. Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers, "All Along the Watchtower," (I'm Not There)
17. Coldplay, "Lost!", (Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends)
18. Switchfoot, "New Way to Be Human," (New Way to Be Human)
19. Relient K, "Devestation and Reform," (Five Score and Seven Years Ago)
20. U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," (The Joshua Tree)
21. Five Iron Frenzy, "Handbook for the Sellout," (Our Newest Album Ever)
22. Further Seems Forever, "The Moon Is Down," (The Moon Is Down)
23. Copeland, "Pin Your Wings," (In Motion)
24. Relient K, "In Love With the 80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)," (Two Lefts Don't Make a Right (But Three Do))
25. Europe, "The Final Countdown," (The Final Countdown)
26. Flight of the Conchords, "Au Revoir," (Flight of the Conchords)

The trick to making a playlist or set-list be it for the radio or your dorm room is to pick music that works together. This sounds obvious but it can be a bit difficult when one wants to thread various genres together. This playlist starts with electronica/techno, goes into hip-hop, continues into alt. rock, next to hard rock, into an alt. rock, rock, emo rock mix (with a dash of ska), finally ending in total cheese: faux 80s rock, 80s rock, and comedic rock. In constructing the set, I took time to listen to the end and beginning of each song, just to make sure that it would flow naturally from one to the other.

Quickly, then, here is some commentary on the tracks. Interstates is a locally based group that augments their techo-underpinnings with live guitars and drums, played in sync with an overhead projector showing homemade films. In fact, you should come see them live this week when they open for Wovenhand at The 930. The next three tracks on the list come from a slightly more known source. "Go," "The Wonders of You," and "Radiate" are the first three tracks of European sensation Andy Hunter's Exodus album. Andy Hunter spins his wax as worship leader, not just as a performer. The next five tracks are crafted by rappers from the 116 Clique. This specific album, 13 Letters, takes Paul's 13 letters and sets their message in the language of urban America, welding top-flight theology with top-flight rhymes.

It's here that the music goes on a wild ride. Ranging from the light hearted social commentary of the Conchords to Eddie Vedder's high energy cover of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," the tracks take us throughout the world of rock. I could not pass up the chance to end the party with the geographically eponymous Europe and "The Final Countdown," which is a guilty favorite of mine, thanks in part to Arrested Development. I hope that you all have a chance to take a listen, especially if you have need for an uber-cardio workout mix. Regardless how good iTunes gets, friends, a "Genius" function can never replace the human ear for music.

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