Music is unquestionably a gift from God. He didn’t have to create us with the ability to hear, much less to hear sounds so exquisite that we’re moved to tears. And yet he created the complex physics of sound and enabled our brains to interpret all of the beauty...
We often think that popular culture is all about mindless entertainment. But we shouldn’t. In many ways, musicians and filmmakers are the philosophers of our day. Whether or not we realize it or care, they guide us in thinking through some of life’s most important issues. This week I’ve been...
This is dangerous. Writing about what constitutes Christian music is tricky enough. But when you start talking about the Christian Music Industry, things get a bit more awkward. Good people have devoted their lives to the success of this venture. In general, people tend to feel strongly one way...
What makes so-called Christian music, “Christian?” The answer that comes to mind—and one that I’m sure most readers of this blog would give—is that it sings about Christ. It praises God; it exalts Christ; it sings of his beauty, glory, salvation, and grace. Christian music is Christ centered through...
My parents’ church is relatively small. As you travel north through California, their little town is nestled right at the end of wine country and the beginning of the Redwoods. It’s both beautiful and sparsely populated (both great reasons to live there!). But this also creates unique challenges for leading...
A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Sufjan Stevens released the latest installment in his Christmas music dynasty. Many, many, many musicians create Christmas music. But no one does it like Sufjan. For most people, Christmas music means Mariah Carey, Chris Tomlin, or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But Sufjan has a small army...
God, as the Creator, chose to make human beings creative. Creativity is no accidental side effect of being human—a thought that I believe plagues the subconscious thoughts of many Christians. No, God endowed us with creativity so that we would use that divinely engrained gift in cultivating his world...
The arts should matter to Christians. For one thing, art is all around us, and the way we interact with what is around us is important. In addition to that, the arts give us insight into what our culture cares about. And yesterday I argued that the arts give...
U2 has been extremely influential for a very long time. Not many bands have been major players in the music world for 30 years. And they have earned every bit of their notoriety—not through pop gimmicks, but through dedication to creating inventive and genuine music. Bring up U2 in Christian...
Do you ever find it odd that we have worship celebrities? I’m not suggesting that guys like Chris Tomlin or David Crowder are odd (okay, Crowder is a bit odd, but in a cool way), I’m just saying that the concept of a celebrity worshiper is strange. In some...
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