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...
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...
I’ve written a fair amount about Christian music, and also about the Christian Music Industry (both the positive and the negative). One of the major weaknesses of “Christian Music” as an industry is that it can’t account for all of the solid music being created by solid Christians. It’s...
Our worship leaders often remind us that worship is more than music. And rightly so. Our worship ought to extend far beyond the five songs we sing on Sunday mornings, and what we do during that time often falls far short of the worship mark. But we should be careful...
The world is a vampire sent to drain; secret destroyers hold you up to the flames. So says Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, and it’s not easy to prove him wrong. Every human being simply shows up on earth. No orientation, no training. We just find ourselves here and have...
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...
Two months ago, Michael Gungor released his book The Crowd, the Critic, & the Muse: A Book for Creators. You may be familiar with Michael Gungor’s band: Gungor. As a band, Gungor creates music that is deeply Christian in content, though not every song is explicitly religious, nor would...
Sometimes it’s helpful to look at a familiar passage in an unfamiliar way: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving...
My father in law introduced me to the music of Bob Dylan. At first, I didn’t understand the appeal. But a few years and several albums later, Dylan has become one of my favorites. I won’t argue with anyone who finds his voice less than appealing, but I will...
I recently saw Wilco play at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s fascinating to hear the way other people respond to music that has become meaningful to me over the years. I typically listen to Wilco through headphones, so my experience with their music has been fairly individualized. I’m not sure what...
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