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The Earthen Vessels Interviews, 'Pillar on the Rock' Edition

August 18th, 2011 | 2 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Chris Krycho knows how to ask hard questions, and he simply does not pull punches in his interview at his blog Pillar on the Rock.

First, start with Chris' balanced review, where he concludes with this:

Earthen Vessels is an important book for the evangelical community. The human body matters, and God has said a great deal about it. We would do well to pay attention. Matthew Anderson has done the evangelical community a service in writing a book that is thorough, well-written, and solidly grounded in the gospel and a health focus on God himself. Good as the book is, it isn’t comprehensive—it couldn’t be, and was never meant to be. It’s a conversation starter. I, for one, hope the conversation is a lively one.

That last line turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Chris brought heat in our conversation.

Part one covers healing and a whole host of other things.  By the time I hit part two, I start trying to tap out.  Chris squeezes me into some tight corners, and evokes me to beg for mercy:  "Can I have the easy questions now, please?"

In part three, we talk sex and worship and I roll out my reply to those who claim louder music leads to better singing:

It's true that loud music might make some people feel more free to sing loudly, but you know what else might make them feel free that way? A congregation around them that is singing really loudly. Especially if a few of those voices are not was perfect as the one's on stage. That sort of congregational singing communicates that this is a place where people sing and are welcome to sing, but I'm not sure that loud music communicates that as well (in fact, it often communicates the opposite--this is a place where the band sings and people watch and nod their head). So to presume that the technological solution is the only one to engage all the members of the congregation is, I think, wrong. And if people are judgmental about the quality of people's singing in the congregation, well, that's a spiritual problem that an amp isn't going to solve either.

This is the first of a series of interviews that I'm going to link to, including those at Faith Village and Trevin Wax's blog.  If you're interested in doing an interview with me on your own blog, send me an email and we'll make it happen.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.