Why is Pokemon Go so captivating? At least partly because it re-enchants the world.
It is extraordinary to hear a song reverberating off stonewalls and then dissipate into thin air. The soaring beauty of ephemeral art! Sometimes I find myself holding my breath as the soloist hits a high note or that incredibly awkward person tells his testimony. Do we appreciate that moment? Because many of us are conductors of that symphony, curators of beauty and we don’t realize the importance of our position.
Ruth Duck takes a balanced approach to liturgy. Her aim is not to champion a single style but to offer a foundation for reflection.
It’s kind of hard to worship. I used to get frustrated with the retired ministers who worshiped in the churches I served. They used to take me aside to mentor me, but often it just felt like criticism. They pointed out the weirdest things, like the song didn’t rhyme like it should or the elder serving communion had the wrong sort of look on her face. Now, I suppose I understand them a bit more, because it’s difficult to turn away that critical eye.
In a major hymnal, an unauthorized edit is an embarrassing oversight. In the local church, it's pretty routine.
I like Keith Getty's "In Christ Alone." I think the PCUSA hymnal committee probably made the right call on the whole "wrath of God was satisfied" business, but still: it's a good song for congregational use, accessible but with some theological meat. It's a little bizarre, however, to present "In Christ Alone" and Getty's other songs as one side of a two-sided debate over church music, as NPR does here.
This podcast is an excellent resource as you think about worship this Memorial Day weekend. I learned so much as Derrick Weston talked with Amy Blumenshine. She has incredible wisdom as she navigates a pastoral response to service and honoring soldiers when we have ethical problems with war.
When I left North Carolina at age 22, I never planned to be back in a Baptist church. Years later, here I am.
Public ritual might be construed as a benign relic, as imperialism, or as marketing. Or it might be seen as a form of pilgrimage.
In October, a newly formed Right to Life group sponsored a week-long conference, entitled "Abortion and Feminism," on the campus of Yale Divinity School. The pro-choice posters posted by the Students for Reproductive Justice made it clear that seminarians are not of one mind on the issue.
Unless you're Pentecostal, you've probably never run or jumped or worked up a sweat in church. But whatever your tradition, your church has some kind of worship calisthenics.
Too much writing about the arts and Christianity is apologetic, explaining why the church should be concerned about artistic expression. Within that category is a lot of writing that voices high-minded generalities about "good art" and "bad art" and about who should and should not be making art.