Spanning the sonic globe, this roundup of recent albums highlights compelling music in different genres. Alongside some popular names are lesser-known artists who deserve notice. Only some are explicitly Christian. What caught my attention were challenging lyrics, an uplifting spirit—or simply a joyful noise.
The Gospel Music Association says it has embarked on a campaign to counter music piracy after commissioning a study that found purchasers of Christian music are as likely as other teens to engage in the practice.
The children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.” So spake Jesus (Luke 16:8) in a parable that preachers do not like or understand, and wish they never had to preach. But whatever that pericope means, it is a tip that the children of light should pay attention to the shrewdies—this month to the Beethovenorchester of Bonn, Germany.
Joan Chittister says that singing is what makes her Benedictine community a community. The singing of the group effects the unity that it represents. But since religious experience and convictions are closely tied to certain forms of music, music can also divide people.
"We weren’t really sure what to do,” Daniel Davison said, after his entire rap-metal band Luti-Kriss got “saved” at an Assemblies of God revival service. “But we figured we should stop cussing so much in our songs. And . . .
Back when 19th-century Methodists were debating whether to sponsor seminaries and promote a “learned ministry,” one bishop, it was said, opposed the idea. He connected vital faith and piety with ignorance. Challenged by a critic who asked the bishop whether he was thankful for his own ignorance, he proudly answered yes.
Chinese translators and Smithsonian Institution label-writers can be garblers. Let me illustrate: Soli Deo Gloria, an adventuresome group on whose board I have served, charters and sees to the performance of a major new choral work each year. It also sponsors an annual choral-orchestral concert in China.
I’ve seen a lot of religious improvements come and go. I remember the “last day” emphasis in teen camp sermons. I was around for the concept of “sancta-nasium,” when the church sanctuary was combined with a teen-centered gymnasium.