One of the more odd Christmas traditions that my wife and I have developed over the last few years is re-watching all of the Christmas episodes from everyone’s favorite workplace comedy, The Office.
Today is bone cold, gray, and still, which seems appropriate for the beginning of Advent. As I was headed for a walk in the woods, I was listening to a haunting rendition of Longfellow’s “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day” by Beta Radio. It’s been one of those Christmas songs I’ve least connected with, for whatever reason. But Beta Radio’s melancholy twist resonated with me this morning, under the gray skies…
I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
By now, many of you may know that the Internet blew up last weekend over Childish Gambino’s music video for his new song, “This Is America.” As of the time I’m typing this, five days after release, the video has racked up over 63 million views and probably about as many think pieces.
Last year, the seemingly inexhaustible lead singer of Switchfoot, Jon Foreman, released the second four-EP project of his career, called The Wonderlands. The four EPs, Darkness, Dawn, Shadows, and Sunlight, track the hours of the day and explore a variety of themes. As if such a project were not already ambitious enough, Foreman decided to celebrate the project by playing 25 shows within 24 hours in his hometown of San Diego. This musical experience took place between October 24th and 25th of 2017, and a film crew was there to capture the action. For those of us fans not able to be there for such a momentous occasion, we can now experience it through the film 25 in 24, an hour long documentary just released.
I was around 20 years old. I’d been raised in a conservative Christian home, so my musical experience was limited to artists like Twila Paris, Steven Curtis Chapman, Keith Green, and Maranatha praise music. As I got older I discovered CCM, which even felt edgy at times (Jesus Freak, amirite?). In fact, I vividly remember destroying one of my W.O.W. Christian albums (remember those?) because I’d become convinced, in my impressionable youth, that rock music, even Christian rock music, used evil pagan beats. Thankfully, I got over that pretty quickly.
Every once in awhile, an artist and album comes around that takes you by happy surprise. North Carolina native Taylor Leonhardt’s album River House was that album for me in 2017.
“The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear” -Bono
I’m in the middle of a frozen pond. I’m on my knees, butt hiked up in the air as I scrunch down with my phone. What the heck am I doing? I’m capturing this picture: Read More ›
The Age of Dragons Series by James A. Owen (Simon & Schuster, 2015, 2016)
Why We Love It: Who wouldn’t love a series where J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams become guardians of a map to a parallel fantasy world that contains Read More ›
These days, worship music is an entire sub-industry in the realm of art. There are conversations over the nature and performance of said music, and about as many worship traditions as there are denominations. Read More ›
While I have long been an appreciator of the church calendar, Lent is the season that I have taken the longest to appreciate, mostly due to shallow evangelical understandings of Roman Catholic traditions (fish on Fridays?). Read More ›
This post is adapted from a talk given at Hutchmoot 2016.
T. S. Eliot is one of the most iconic poets of modern times. In fact some would probably label him one of the most original poets of the 20th century. And yet, when we study his own philosophy and poetry, Eliot does not seem all that interested in being “original” in the sense that we understand it. He is rather, as Thomas Rees puts it, a “master of eclectic synthesis.” Read More ›