Chris Thiessen



Summer Playlist 2021

By Chris Thiessen

Well, it’s not technically the season of summer until June 20th according to the experts at Google dot com. However, for me at least, the tradition of summer begins on June 1st. The greenery of thriving things already abounds; the whole air is perfumed with honeysuckle and white clover; and humidity sticks like a wet dog kiss to my cheeks the second I leave the house. It may not be 90 degrees quite yet, but summer is alive and well where I’m sitting in Middle Tennessee. It’s time to get a playlist together.

Read More ›

Summer Reading List 2021

By Chris Thiessen

Friends, normally I’d attempt to write some witty and semi-insightful intro to a summer reading list like this, weaving together previews of the dragon adventures, delightful mysteries, dazzling poetry, and delicious peaches held within. I’d go on and on about the unmatched pleasure of reading in a hammock on a perfect summer’s day…

Read More ›

Eucatastrophe in Taylor Swift

By Chris Thiessen

It’s not enough to say Taylor Swift sings about romance as if it were just a topic of interest to her (though it is). Romantic relationships are the entire genre, language, and viewpoint through which she interprets the world around her. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that few in recent years have mined the myriad angles and experiences of romantic relationships better, or at least more thoroughly, than Taylor Swift. In her catalog, we find every sort of human emotion fathomable expressed as a reaction to or result of romance, from infatuation (“Enchanted”) to vengeful rage (“Better Than Revenge”), wistful longing (“Teardrops on My Guitar”) to sorrowful regret (“Back to December”), and so on and so on.

Read More ›

Introducing the Rabbit Room Discovery Playlist

By Chris Thiessen

The world is filled with so much music. As a music and arts enthusiast, it’s hard to make sense of the constant noise. Where do you start? How do you keep up? In the streaming and digital era, it’s hard enough to keep up with your favorite artists, let alone try to discover new favorites. It’s for this reason we’ve created the Rabbit Room Discovery playlist.

Read More ›

The Month I Hated Music

By Chris Thiessen

I knew my priorities in life were out of order. I knew it was making me anxious. I knew I needed a weekend away to go and sort out myself. I didn’t know that doing so would cause me to hate one of my greatest loves, music, as a result.

Read More ›

Black Cadillacs and Murder Ballads

By Chris Thiessen

I’ve been thinking a lot about a talk given by author and theologian Russell Moore at 2020’s Hutchmoot—the Rabbit Room’s annual conference. The talk was titled “Why We Need Fiction For Moral Formation,” and in it, Moore makes the case (and I’m paraphrasing since it’s been three months since I heard the talk) that so many of us are Biblically illiterate and desperately need a better understanding of storytelling to direct our lives. Moore doesn’t mean that we can’t literally read the words of scripture, rather that we haven’t been sufficiently taught how to see those words as part of a grand picture, a storyline that stretches from the creation of Eden in Genesis 1 to Eden’s ultimate restoration in Revelation 22. We prefer cherry-picked abstractions over overarching plot lines. We treat the Bible like that classic acronym: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

Read More ›

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).

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›