• There’s a clip from an old Peanuts cartoon where Schroeder is playing his little piano while Lucy leans against it, looking lovingly into his eyes. Snoopy edges his way into the frame, bopping a little to the g […]

    • If ever there was a book of the Bible that helped me hear and comprehend the music and lyrics almost instinctively, it is Ephesians. Thank you for writing this piece.

    • Man, I wish I had heard the Gospel described this way in high school. Thanks, Russ, for inviting us to dance.

    • There are certain parts of the Bible that I can taste in my mouth when I read them, as if the words are so necessary to speak out loud my tongue could move of its own volition to make that happen. The first chapter of John is like that for me always (In the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word was with God). So also was this first chapter of Ephesians. Perhaps it’s because the music and the lyrics all get so tangled up with the joy of the gospel that it can’t be contained.

    • There is so much here to soak in and absorb, but I particularly love your line, “Redemption is a mystery made known.” Those two concepts – redemption and mystery -are forever interwoven for me. I can never ponder the reality and weight and substance of my redemption without being stunned by the mystery behind it. Thank you for this beautifully written invitation to experience the joy, wild and deep, that is the inheritance of the redeemed.

    • Thanks for these good words, Russ. You’ve prompted me to ponder both the welcome and the responsibility of redemption–the fact that redemption entails a taking of responsibility for the one redeemed, like Boaz did for Ruth and Naomi. To be redeemed means being able to rest in the redeemer’s having taken responsibility for me–all of my debts, all of my needs. And the best and most appropriate response surely is to dance.

    • “…to experience the joy, wild and deep, that is the inheritance of the redeemed…”
      Amen. The mystery and the dance grow brighter, clearer, and more beautiful for me, year by year.
      The gospel unravels it’s intricately-woven threads to my understanding and appreciation through reflective and informed discussions such as these on the R/R site.
      Thanks for this communal study by which we can all grow, rejoice, and dance.

  • Joshua David Schellenberger changed their profile picture 1 year, 11 months ago

  • Joshua David Schellenberger changed their profile picture 1 year, 11 months ago

  • A few years ago, Leif Enger came to speak at Hutchmoot, the annual Rabbit Room conference. That year, he and I had both gone through sudden medical crises. We bonded then over recovery stories and continued that […]

    • I bought a copy of this at Hutchmoot and cannot wait to read it. Thanks, Russ, and Leif, for letting us listen in on this. “Decency is faith’s unsung expression” is a tremendous sentence–reads like Chesterton, and feels as true.

  • At the beginning of November, I began a weekly habit of posting art to my social media feeds—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I call it Art Wednesday. Every Wednesday, over the course of the day, I post a s […]

    • What a wonderful idea! I’ve seen a Facebook “challenge” float around wherein people post art to their Timelines for a few days and then challenge others to do so, but this level of intent and organization is refreshing. I’m inspired to plan & execute a version of this myself on my own social media. You’re right, we absolutely need to inject this light the goodness into what can be the darkness of the social media stream….or deluge…or ocean.

    • Thanks for this Russ. I added you on FB; looking forward to your posts!

      I appreciate your thought that the solution isn’t to back out, a la the “Benedict Option” but to redeem and be signposts to new creation. In running counter to the current, you are working against the trend that more is better. Reminds me of this quote from the guy who invented such a simple device (a pocket to hold your smartphone) it seems ludicrous…and yet telling of where we are:

      “If you think of this phone as the ultimate expression of technological efficiency where things are easier, cheaper, faster all the time, I think it comes down to what are the limits of a purely efficiency-driven mode of life? What people really enjoy has nothing to do with efficiency. You can play a melody faster, but that doesn’t make sense. What does it mean to be more efficient in our social interactions? Is that something we want? Does that make sense at all?”

      Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/05/this-millennial-discovered-a-surprisingly-simple-solution-to-smartphone-addiction-schools-love-it/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4a962aa2c1ea

  • Earlier this fall, a group of amazing musicians gathered at The Ryman Auditorium to play through Rich Mullins’ A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band, note for note. Andrew Peterson, who pulled the show […]

  • I am not a van Gogh scholar in the academic sense. But following my middle school art teacher’s advice to pick an artist to study for the rest of my life, I chose Vincent van Gogh.

    This was not hard to do. E […]

    • I loved your Hutchmoot talk about Van Gogh, and I can’t wait to see it as a book, Lord willing. I’m glad to hear that the movie is an accurate portrayal of his life. It sounds fascinating!

    • Amen!  We saw this on Monday night (in a mostly empty theatre, sadly), and it was delightful.  It felt like seeing the world through Vincent’s eyes, to me.

  • Kyra Hinton's profile was updated 3 years, 4 months ago

  • Kyra Hinton changed their profile picture 3 years, 4 months ago

  •  I’m pleased to be able to offer here, in full, the first chapter of Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death.

    When my doctor told me I was dying, I came alive.

    Three days before my […]

  • Last week, the internet nearly caved in on itself when a happy toddler in white glasses and a yellow sweater danced her way into her father’s live interview on a BBC news program. If you have not seen the video I […]

  • Tomorrow is release day for Russ Ramsey’s new book, Struck. Look for the Rabbit Room review to come, and in the meantime, watch the book trailer (by Samantha Fisher and Stephen Gage).

  • Lately, I have been thinking about the theology of art. Almost certainly this is a bad use of my mind, as I am neither a theologian nor an artist. But I cannot help myself. And I feel compelled to think out loud, […]

    • Those who have ears to hear…

    • Meg replied 4 years ago

      I’m intrigued. So much so that I am willing to overcome my pride, admit my ignorance and beg for a few more clues as to the meaning. Art and theology. Perfect art and perfect theology can’t be combined? We have to preserve the purity of our art and theology against anything from outside?

    • A few scattered responses…

      “[She who] breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

      The crooked eye that lacks a perception of depth, but can make beautiful colored abstractions… That was a great element, and describes modern art in a very clear way.

      Pottery seems chosen exactly because it is a 3d medium, thus having depth, but also because it requires a Form. Additionally, one could say that it may be appropriate because it has both beauty and function, as art from the Christian standpoint can be said to both please and instruct.

    • @racheldonahue

      Thank you for that last thought! The two types of sets are fantastic. I’m going to use this in my RCIA class. Thanks for that image!

    • @racheldonahue

      Thank you for that last thought! The two types of sets are fantastic. I’m going to use this in my RCIA class. Thanks for that image!

  • I started writing songs when I was in High School. In recent years, life, calling, and family have redirected my creative bandwidth to other endeavors—good work I love and happily give myself to. But in recent […]

  • One of my favorite anticipations of the new year is the first book I will read. Some time ago, for a few years in a row, I started each new January rereading Frederick Buechner’s Godric. And I’ve returned more t […]

    • Awareness of this seems like a great thing to have.  I’ve been going to job interviews lately, and the other people there often tell stories about a common, “standard” type interview question: ‘what books have you read lately,’ which is inevitably followed up with ‘why did you like this or that one.’  I was never asked this, but the thought of being in that situation terrified me a little, and I think your question is exactly why.  In the words of the inimitable Peter Furler, “How do you define what you can’t compare?”  Not that being aware of this helps answer the hypothetical interviewer’s question at all, but it can hopefully help keep one from appearing foolish as we try to speak our way around this mystery.

    • Love the quotes, Trice and @danrechlin – thanks for sharing. It is so interesting how, by making up worlds, fantasy illuminates our world and sounds universally familiar to everyone.

    • I remember reading The Left Hand of Darkness in college (for a sci-fi as literature class, which was as awesome as that sounds). Such an interesting book that I’d love to revisit! Her statement that science fiction is descriptive, not predictive rings true. So many sci-fi stories are grappling with something that is already true, but in fantastic locales or (not-so?)distant futures. Sometimes we need a different setting to see the underlying reality more clearly.

      Annnnnnnnd now I wanna read something by Le Guin this year.

    • I read The Left Hand of Darkness about two years ago, and I was struck by how it felt both disconnected from anything I had ever experienced and unnervingly familiar. I began this year with The Lathe of Heaven. You walk away saying, “That was weird,” but you can’t quite shake the feeling that she got to you. I much prefer LeGuin’s fantasy (The Earthsea Series!), because it feels more grounded, more mythological, and that suits my tastes. But there is a reason her work has been heavily awarded and that it is still discussed decades after she wrote it. She is Taoist, and yet her stories tap into so many profound truths.

  • At Hutchmoot this year, Russ Ramsey and I spoke about being a hospitable critic. How do we bring a critic’s voice to the public square in a hospitable way? I am particularly interested to explore how we can do t […]

    • The connection to Rivendell is insightful indeed! Rivendell had a comfortable atmosphere, but it also had a gentle, noninvasive wisdom that could be felt everywhere. This is what soothed the fear, tension, and distrust for the moment (though it would resurface later). The peace created a reverent awe.
      I have found much success in the wisdom that “a gentle response turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Often times, gentleness creates a Rivendell-like atmosphere online. Lighthearted (non-flippant and non-mocking) humor has this effect as well. The self-deprecating kind is usually the best, too. Chesterton is a great model for us here.
       
      Both of these (plus a dogged determination to listen) have the effect of humanizing the “bits and bytes” of our online communication.
      This is a heartening piece.  Thank you!

    • The connection to Rivendell is insightful indeed! Rivendell had a comfortable atmosphere, but it also had a gentle, noninvasive wisdom that could be felt everywhere. This is what soothed the fear, tension, and distrust for the moment (though it would resurface later). The peace created a reverent awe.
      I have found much success in the wisdom that “a gentle response turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Often times, gentleness creates a Rivendell-like atmosphere online. Lighthearted (non-flippant and non-mocking) humor has this effect as well. The self-deprecating kind is usually the best, too. Chesterton is a great model for us here.
       
      Both of these (plus a dogged determination to listen) have the effect of humanizing the “bits and bytes” of our online communication.
      This is a heartening piece.  Thank you!

    • Excellent, Dave. The image of the Council of Elrond is spot-on. Even the manner in which Elrond charged the Fellowship’s members before sending them out — not requiring oaths, not even requiring all nine members to go all the way to Mordor — evidenced a remarkable degree of trust.

  • Back in 2007, I got an email from Andrew Peterson asking me if I would like to be one of the contributors to a new blog he was going to start. The site would be a place where artists, writers, pastors, and […]

    • Lovely! I’ve appreciated every step of this journey and have been honored to lock arms with the contributors as well as meet so many beautiful people through this community.

    • At Rabbit Room Live, when Russ mentioned adverbs and adjectives, nouns and verbs, my throat hurt until I let out tears. I wasn’t expecting that. But now that I’ve had some time to mull it over, I think perhaps I know why simple advice about parts of speech moved me so. It’s because nouns and verbs represent what is tangible, what is true, what is honest, what is real — all the things I’ve discovered through the arts, thanks to the Rabbit Room. Nouns and verbs represent the gospel, what dispels the darkness that is denial.

      No wonder the Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club changed my life, a life that had been marked by anxiety and fear. No wonder when Jonathan Rogers teaches a writing class, he tells his students to let nouns and verbs carry the weight. 
      “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
      “Taste and see.”
      The stores are true.

    • And Russ, I didn’t know that you weren’t writing something other than sermons before your Rabbit Room posts. So glad you were given this space, and thankful for how your writing has grown and is flourishing.

    • I discovered the Rabbit Room in 2011. I read the entire archive and don’t think I’ve missed a single article since then. I’m not a writer, musician or artist, but the Rabbit Room has changed the way I think about and consume art. I am forever grateful.

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