Chris Thiessen



Long Listens and Infinite Sadnesses

By Chris Thiessen

The perfect album lands between 42 and 47 minutes. It’s long enough to embrace an emotional arc and take the listener on a journey without overstaying its welcome or veering into self-indulgence. Every so often, however, an album earns a longer stay. Indeed, some of popular music’s greatest feats are far longer than 60 minutes. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly runs 78 minutes; Pink Floyd’s The Wall is slightly longer at 80 minutes; the Beatles’ boundless White Album deserves every bit of its 93 minutes (though I used to believe it was half fluff).

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A Literary Playlist

By Chris Thiessen

I see the world of art as one expansive tapestry. No particular work exists in a vacuum; its fabric overlaps its artistic neighbors. Dyes blend. Threads interweave. Over time, a gorgeous picture is revealed made of myriad strands that—while precious in their individual ways—are elevated by their intricate connections to and contrasts with each other.

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Expectations Are Everything

By Chris Thiessen

I’ve never been set up on a date, but I can imagine such an occasion creates quite a bit of pressure. After weeks of your friend telling you, “I think you two will really hit it off; I can’t believe you haven’t met already,” there’s a heightened sense of anxiety for things to go right. And if they don’t, it’s probably your fault. You don’t want to disappoint your matchmaker friend, so you reluctantly agree to meet. At this point, however, there’s no possible way expectations can be met, right? This is how I feel when someone tells me I’ve been missing out on one of their favorite musical artists.

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Radiohead and the Virtue of Accessibility

By Chris Thiessen

I have quite a few friends who are more passionate and well-versed in the expansive, daunting world of board games than I. These are the people that have every expansion pack, every collector’s item, etc. (Some of you may be reading this right now). I am not one of those people. I grew up with chess, Monopoly, and Yahtzee, not knowing anything of the world beyond Parker Bros. Then, in college, I was introduced to Settlers of Catan.

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Waterdeep and the Call To Live in Tandem: A Review

By Chris Thiessen

I’ve never ridden a tandem bicycle. I imagine it takes a measure of coordination and balance I simply don’t possess. More than that, however, I imagine it requires an intimate understanding of your pedaling partner—an understanding of their tendencies, knee-jerk reactions, rhythms, strengths, weaknesses, and on and on. I can only name a handful of people with whom I share this understanding; I imagine you’d say the same. And yet, we’re called in this life to much more daunting, collaborative endeavors than a bike ride.

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Our 2020 Summer Reading List

By Chris Thiessen

The constant din of voices swirling and opinions flying in today’s physically-distanced, yet socially-shrinking world is overwhelming. Searching for trusted information from diverse points of view is daunting. Like many of you, we at the Rabbit Room are processing current events, both as an organization and personally, and are seeking to listen and act with empathy, peace, and grace in Christ.

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Making Peace: A Lament for Justice

By Chris Thiessen

I thought I was a peaceful person. I’ve been given titles like “Laid-Back, Chill, and Easy-To-Get-Along-With” all my life, and I thought that was peace. I thought keeping the peace meant being a level-headed bystander, one who doesn’t stir the pot or get involved in arguments, but instead avoids conflicts and keeps conversations lighthearted and surface-level. Because creating conflict or inviting others into my pain or the pain I see in the world would hinder peace, right?

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New Playlist: Songs That Make Us Smile

By Chris Thiessen

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve felt claustrophobic over the last couple of months. Being at home more has made inescapable my untidiness and disorganization. Clutter crowds my hallway, and dust can no longer be swept under the rug. I’ve noticed how this new reality has affected my listening habits. Dusty, grimy hip-hop samples and lo-fi bedroom pop quietly comfort me from a pair of headphones, reminding me that others, too, feel claustrophobic.

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The Lost Art of Listening, Part 2: Miracles & Wonders

By Chris Thiessen

[Editor’s note: click here to read Part 1: Ubiquity & Scarcity by Andrew Peterson.]

Friends, I believe I am falling victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia—but only slightly less known is this: never go against a Peterson when your job is on the line!

I kid. And yet…

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Rehearsing the Story: Our 2019 Advent Playlist

By Chris Thiessen

Advent is here! Our four-week season of anticipating Christ’s birth began yesterday, offering us time to reflect on our brokenness and hope for the joy set before us.

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Infant Born of Glory: A Review of Behold the Lamb of God

By Chris Thiessen

This Christmas season marks twenty years of Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. Wow. What can I say about an album so beloved by so many people? Some of you were there in 1999 when AP first took his show on the road. I was four. My first Behold the Lamb experience didn’t come until just last year, and I feel like that negates anything I have to say about this record.

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Dream War: An Interview with Ella Mine

By Chris Thiessen

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of attending the debut of Ella Mine’s concept show Dream War. The conceptual project delves into the depths of hopelessness, pain, and internal turmoil with such grit and vulnerability, yet it offers a beam of light to those who find themselves in the midst of similar fights. From beginning to end, the show’s poetic songwriting and diverse art rock sensibilities display Ella’s passion and intense dedication to the project. “I’ve given myself completely to this work,” she tells me at a local coffee shop. “I love all the music projects I’m involved in, but when I started writing Dream War I realized this is what I need to do.”

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