Category: Music

Reading the Hymns: Joy to the World

By Steven Wedgeworth Though it is today one of the most popular Christmas hymns, “Joy to the World,” was not originally a Christmas carol at all. Written by Isaac Watts, “Joy to the World” originally appeared in his 1719 The Psalms...

/ December 11, 2017

Mary Did You Know? A Mere O Symposium

By Christian Young, Susannah Black, Jon Coppage, and Jon Askonas Today we will be discussing a much loved, but also much hated, Christmas song, “Mary, Did You Know?”

/ November 28, 2017

Hamilton, Meritocracy, and Patriotism

I held out for as long as I could. My resistance was sustained chiefly by a stubborn contrarianism that resists as many trends as possible, particularly those that can be credibly connected to New York City, Washington, San Francisco, or Los...

/ July 20, 2016

A World Where Love Can Be at Home–Josh Ritter and Francis Schaeffer

“Christianity should never give any onlooker the right to conclude that Christianity believes in the negation of life.” — Francis Schaeffer I’ve often wondered what might happen if Josh Ritter, one of my favorite modern songwriters, were ever to meet Francis...

/ August 26, 2015

The Best U2 Recordings You’ll Hear

For your Saturday listening pleasure come two songs from U2 that no self-respecting fan should go without hearing. The first is With Or Without You.  A famous song, yes, but this live version includes a bridge (taken from the Book...

/ August 21, 2010

Understanding vocation, humanity, and politics through the metaphor of music

Maya Angelou says he “thinks like a sage, acts like a warrior and writes like a poetical prophet.” Henry Louis Gates, Jr. says he is “the pre-eminent African-American intellectual of our generation.” And Marian Wright Edelman says he is “one...

/ July 15, 2010

The Double Entendre of African-American Music: A Lesson for the Church

Music has undergone serious theological neglect according to Jeremy Begbie, a professionally trained musician and theologian at Duke Divinity School. In his introduction to Theology, Music and Time, he writes: In the twentieth century, the corridors of theology were not...

/ July 13, 2010

Soul Music, or Plato Was Right

There is no better or faster way to out yourself as a curmudgeon than to pick on the music that kids are listening to, especially if you do it without the ironic and self-mocking flair that my generation has perfected....

/ March 29, 2010

Funny Swithfoot Video: Awakening

Rock n’ roll, Virtual reality, on screen and cardboard diorama, Refreshing self-deprecation, 80’s retro, Buster from Arrested Development, Longing fulfilled, and childhood dreams, Ironic reversals, John Foreman singing his God-lovin’ guts out, The secret solidarity and sudden revelation of friendship…...

/ January 18, 2009

Music and the Soul

We’re living in a time when there is a manifest crisis of worship in the church. It’s almost as if we’re in the midst of a rebellion among people who find church less than meaningful. They’re bored. They see the...

/ June 18, 2008