Posts Tagged music

A Virtual Choir: Globalization and the True Community

Yeah, yeah, I know: “Globalization is tearing us apart.”

Mom-and-pop shops are shutting down, petty Facebook friending is ramping up, and people everywhere are self-destructing, resulting in an impersonal and isolated wasteland filled with self-absorbed do-nothings who are more fond of texting “ROFL!” than going to the pub for some “real” camaraderie.

Er, um…maybe you should watch this:

There’s a valid critique and concern amid all of the anti-globalization hullabaloo — not when it comes to economics (sorry, Lou Dobbs), but when it comes to community. At a fundamental level, conservatives like to take things slow for the sake of taking things slow, leading many to take up common cause with progressives on matters related to “community preservation.”

Yet as we all know, any community worth its salt is more than capable of preserving itself.

What many fail to see is that plenty of communities do Read the rest of this entry »

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Phil Wickham on Radical Individualism: Lose Your Life Just So You Can Find It

Last week I wrote two posts dealing with the connection between self-denial and self-interest (or what I like to call the “upside-down economics of Christianity”).

Today I just wanted to share a song by Phil Wickham that conveys the concept pretty well.

Watch a live performance of the “True Love” here:

In the chorus, Wickham explains how Jesus’ sacrifice gave us freedom of sin:

When blood and water hit the ground, walls we couldn’t move came crashing down. We were free and made alive, the day that True Love died, the day that True Love died.

He then points out what is required to experience such freedom, namely faith in God and a rejection ofworldly (i.e. irrational) self-interest:

Search your heart; you know you can’t deny it. Come on, lose your Read the rest of this entry »

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Music for Hard Times: Robert Randolph Turns to Jesus

Robert Randolph and the Family Band have been putting out great music for some time now, but in their most recent effort, We Walk This Road, the boys bring a bit of American-roots nostalgia into their typical breed of funk, blues, and gospel.

Randolph provides a pretty good glimpse in the following video:

The album is well worth purchasing, but aural elements aside, Randolph brings a refreshing perspective to the forefront of our thinking:

This time that we’re in — in a time of depression — a lot of people don’t know what’s up or down, don’t know where their finances are going, or where the world is going. We are here with this record to really uplift people’s spirits, as well as uplift our own selves.

With songs like “I Still Belong to Jesus,” when people don’t know where they fit in — some people have been disowned, some people have been picked on or whatever — this song is there to lift you up. Regardless of who you are, you still are a child of God.

Economic woe and social hardship are the overarching themes of the album, but unlike many of today’s pop artists, Randolph avoids generic solutions like love and peace and change. Instead, he reminds us that our only hope is in Jesus.

“Something saved me long ago,” Randolph sings, “How it happened Read the rest of this entry »

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Intellectualism and the Gospel: the Life of the Mind and the Love of God

“Thinking is one of the most hazardous things we do,” says John Piper in a new video. “The Apostle Paul warns, ‘knowledge puffs up,’ but he also commands, ‘In your thinking be mature.’ The use of our mind is absolutely necessary for being human and worshipful. So do this dangerous thing, but do it well.”

In the video, which is a trailer for the upcoming Desiring God Conference, John Piper notes that the Church, and especially the American church, has a “long history of anti-intellectualism.” Although such sentiments are understandable, Piper worries that “this does not end well.”

I am frequently turned off by how debased much of today’s “Christian culture” has become. From books to music to movies to plain old theology, many Christians seem adamant in their love for Christ, but mindless in how Read the rest of this entry »

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After the Avalanche: Sleeping At Last’s “Unmade”

I recently wrote a post on how King Saul put sacrifice above obedience to God.

This music video was just put out by Sleeping At Last, and although its message is a bit more obscure than the one found in 1 Samuel 15, I think it hits on some of the same points when it comes to our tendency to get too puffed up and caught up in our earthly schemes.

Take a look:

These lyrics stood out to me in particular: Read the rest of this entry »

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Jónsi’s Go: Which Soviet Commissar Would’ve Thought This Would Be Profitable?

Yesterday I picked up Jónsi’s new solo album Go and have been thoroughly enjoying it. For those who are unfamiliar with Jónsi, he is the frontman for the now-popular Icelandic band Sigur Rós.

When it comes to music so creative and out-of-the-ordinary, I can’t help but credit the free market and its contributions to prosperity. Centuries ago, artists like Jónsi would have been slaving away for some lord or king and wouldn’t have had the time or the resources to dabble in music, especially something as “silly” as this.

Most of us appreciate the free market when it comes to products necessary for our survival (e.g. modern medicine, central heating, communication avenues, etc.). However, I think we tend to forget that products like Jónsi’s music have also been created thanks to free enterprise.

In today’s Western societies, individuals everywhere are able to Read the rest of this entry »

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Overriding Earthly Kingdoms: Robbie Seay Band’s “Kingdom and a King”

Robbie Seay Band's "Miracle"

Robbie Seay Band’s new album Miracle was released this week, and the lyrics to one song stuck out to me. The song is “Kingdom and a King” and you can hear the full song streaming from his site by clicking the green play button on the module below.

The lyrics I found particularly engaging are as follows:

My heart is beating faster in my chest | As I sing of where my loyalties will rest | To never wait on the governments to move | As the broken and the poor cry out for You

For the kingdom and the King | For His glory we will sing | For the rescue of our souls | He has come | For the kingdom and the cross | Oh, the triumph and the loss | Love has broken through and now redeemed | For the kingdom and the King

On Robbie’s blog he explains what Read the rest of this entry »

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Case Study: Can Music Fight Homelessness?

I came across this video yesterday via the Talkbox blog:

The project is called Think Out Loud, and Minneapolis folk musician Tyler Blanski is the brains behind it. The Think Out Loud blog puts forth their mission as follows:

Think Out Loud is bringing together Minnesota businesses, musicians, artists, and non-profits. The goal: raise awareness of and funds for homelessness in Minnesota. The method: create an amazing album of midwestern music and donate one hundred percent of the proceeds to those in need.

Given all of the socio-economic complexities that come with actually fixing homelessness, my inner social critic immediately has this reaction: “That’s great, but how exactly is that money going to actually fix homelessness?” Homelessness is not, in my opinion, a material problem that something like money can fix. However, another part me believes that Read the rest of this entry »

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