To the old debate about faithfulness versus effectiveness in ministry, Rendle offers another possibility: fruitfulness. But to ascertain whether leaders and congregations are fruitful, some form of measurement is needed.
Layered, dense, and driving, this Chicago-based outfit recalls British new wave bands Lush, the Cocteau Twins, and Joy Division. Though her vocals sit low in the mix, singer and songwriter Ami Gloria shows ample confidence. Light also pierces the dark textures, as on “Highway”: “Open your big bark eyes / Upon that big dark highway / I’ll be walking along.”
“My Ride’s Almost Here” is a chamber-pop gem à la Nick Drake, but the rock mode of this Boston band works equally well. “The Fight Against Paranoia” rides on tumbling rhythm, and “Try This Again” melds rustic accordion to scratchy, catchy guitar riffs.
Those who know Llanas from his time in the BoDeans will recognize his voice: still sharp and tough, yet infused with urgency on the leadoff track “Déjà Vu” and the plaintive rocker “The Best I Can.” On the tender side, “I’m Still Alive” could serve as Llanas’s theme song, given the ups and downs of his former band: “I’m grateful for another day / Another chance to find my way.”
These two biblical books may be “loose cannons in the canon,” but Pauw makes a case for how they are as relevant now as ever. The sages of Israel demonstrated an openness to learning from the wisdom traditions of their neighbors, an example from which we can learn, given the religious pluralism that marks our time.