As I parked my car for our early morning pre-service band rehearsal and pulled my guitar out of the trunk, I realized that I had already been worshiping. No, Chris Tomlin had not been on my car stereo, nor was I listening to sermon podcasts. I hadn’t meant to...
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...
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...
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...
This year’s Grammy Awards (the 56th) has caused quite a stir. On some level, the Grammys are always a big deal. It’s got to be one of the most viewed, most diverse, most star-studded concerts every year. The event inherently celebrates God’s gift of music, and that aspect of...
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...

How Music Works

Today Resonate releases. If you’ve missed my almost subtle promotion of the book this month, the book is entitled Resonate: Enjoying God’s Gift of Music, and it’s essentially a theological look at and a appreciative exploration of music: what it is, what it does, how it works, what the...
I bet you weren’t expecting that title. Here’s the thing: I’ve always “enjoyed” hardcore/screamo/rapcore/metal music, but it’s always been a guilty pleasure. You’re not likely to finish a Tool album feeling uplifted. More recently, however, I have done some reflecting on why I resonate with hardcore music, and I’m convinced...
This great quote is attributed to Elvis Costello: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Indeed. That’s one of art’s greatest characteristics. It defies description. It resists paraphrase. So when it comes to writing about something as complex, subtly nuanced, and experience-driven as music, you may as well be...
Christians sometimes think that if we could just get someone rich, powerful, and influential to turn to Christ, then the rest of the world will follow. Most of us have had these thoughts from time to time. If the right movie star or rock star or athlete or politician...
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