Category: Music

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

Christians by Faith, not by Genre: Sufjan, Swithfoot, and the Nature of the Artist

I received a great many presents this Christmas. I almost felt guilty about this. But then my philosophical training saved the day. I began to think about the nature of giving gifts to celebrate Christmas and I could hear my...

/ February 12, 2007

At a Party with Elgar: The Enigma Variations

The Enigma Variations is one of the most enjoyable set of variations that classical music can boast. What makes them particularly interesting is that Elgar wrote a variation for each of his friends, making the reconstruction of their personalities a...

/ January 31, 2007

Mr. Jonathan David Taylor’s Review of Sufjan’s Come On and Feel the Illinoise

I bought the Sufjan Steven’s Come On and Feel the Illinoise indie rock CD on his recommendation, which was well worth it. I’m spinning it on iTunes as we speak, soaking up its art, beauty, and humor. Joe Carter, of...

/ December 27, 2006

Switchfoot: More Comments on New Video and Album

So I didn’t like Switchfoot’s new video “Oh, Gravity,” but I think their new album has plenty of promise. I like the sound of what I hear on their website and I will eagerly ask for their new CD for...

/ November 20, 2006

Flirting with Christianity

Faith, it drives me away But it turns me on Like a strangers love -Muse With regard to a Jewish agnostic friend of ours, Matt Anderson once remarked that he is “flirting with Christianity.” This friend of ours is a...

/ October 23, 2006