So my good friend Josh is a missionary in Belgium. If you want to learn more about him you can check out the interview I did with him a couple months back. Well, one of the things he does in Belgium is play his bass. He’s really good. I remember when we roomed together and I would hear him plucking away some Red Hot Chili Peppers or Primus song. That was always really cool. So he is doing that stuff over in Belgium now. He plays in a couple bands. He is going to be on a short tour with one of those bands, the one in the video above. Please continue to pray for Josh.
The song in the video is a translation of The Time Has Come by Hillsong. These are the lyrics in English:
Found love beyond all reason
You gave Your life Your all for me
And called me Yours forever
Caught in the mercy fallout
I found hope found life
Found all I need
You’re all I need
The time has come
To stand for all we believe in
So I for one am gonna
Give my praise to You
Today today it’s all or nothing
All the way
The praise goes out to You
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
Today today I live for one thing
To give You praise
In everything I do
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
All we are is Yours
And all we’re living for
Is all You are
Is all that You are Lord
So yesterday I tweeted a few song lyrics under the #lessexcitingsongs hashtag. the gist of this was to take a song that had strong or extreme lyrics and tone them down so they were boring. It was fun. Some of the lyrics people came up with were pretty funny, but then I saw a few “praise and worship” songs being tweaked and it made me think: these lyrics may be less exciting, but certainly they are more true. Take this one for example:
@marklake: I surrender some things #lessexcitingsongs
But isn’t this true. Who can seriously say that they have surrendered all to Christ? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m selfish and a jerk and I’m sure there are a million areas in my life that need to be surrendered. So why do we lie in our “praise and worship” songs? Why do we say things like “I surrender all” or “I give you my all” or “All this is for You” or all our thousands of other religious platitudes? Maybe next time I sing a song to God it will sound more like this:
God you are awesome and great and all that
But I usually don’t feel it
And I usually just want to do the stuff that makes me happy right now
But a part of me would really like to be closer to you
And care more about you and the things you care about
So I just wrote you this song to tell you that stuff
So I am trying to be “worshipful” here God
But I’m kinda worried about what these other people think of me
I don’t want them to think I look silly
But I don’t want them to think I’m worried about what they think
Should I raise my hands Jesus?
Maybe I should at least bounce around a little to the music
I would like you to bless me
And I would like to do things that make me feel good about myself
And doing things that you seem to care about usually makes me feel pretty good
But that’s all really hard
And I usually drop the ball
But I’m at least not going to try to make any grand promises that I will never live up to
Jesus, what do you think I should have for supper?
I’m dying for a cheeseburger
Sorry I’m supposed to be focused on you
It’s hard not to focus on focusing on you
Does that even make sense?
I hope I can sit down soon; my feet are killing me.
I’m sure none of that sounds super spiritual or very righteous, but I don’t think it’s any better to lie about everything being about Jesus and how you are going to surrender everything to him when he knows and you know that your life doesn’t reflect that. Maybe your life does, mine sure doesn’t.
So I have written a couple reviews for Christian Music Zine, a . I am hoping that this will be a regular thing, but it all depends on if they think my musical opinions are worth taking up space on their site (I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t!). Anyway the two reviews they have posted so far of mine are for Celestial Completion by Becoming the Archetype and Unturned by Ironwill. The plan is for me to write reviews on heavier music. I will post links here if/when I have any new stuff over there. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to participate on CMZ and look forward to contributing more!
Review: Ironwill – Unturned
Review: Becoming the Archetype – Celestial Completion
Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church has written an interesting post regarding the disappearance of the word ‘disciple’ after the Gospels and Acts. He asks why the word in it’s various forms was used so often in the Gospels and Acts and then seems to be completely abandoned in the epistles and Revelation. There are several proposed reasons by his readers that are all pretty reasonable, but a few things must be cleared up:
- If you say it is a difference in authors don’t forget John wrote both the Gospel of John and the epistles of John and Revelation
- If you say it is a difference in audience (Jews vs. Greeks) don’t forget that there were Gospels written for Gentiles and epistles written for Jews.
- If you say it is a difference in literary styles (like I did) don’t forget that there are narrative sections in the epistles, not just the Gospels and Acts.
I will now propose my actual understanding of why the word disappeared after the Gospels and Acts. Enjoy.
After Jesus spent the Gospels making and talking about disciples it became pretty common language. Then Jesus ascended into Heaven. Then Paul was converted. Then Paul brought the gospel to different parts of the world and made disciples. Over the next couple thousand years Christians shared their faith and the Gospel spread all over the world. So far, so good.
Well then, toward the end of the 20th century a group of Christians formed a band. They named their band Disciple and they played rock music. They made sure to get copyrights for the name so that no one could pretend to be them.
Then, Disciple was playing a crazy awesome show and a fan jumped on stage and said, “hey, wanna jump in my time portal,” so of course the band was totally into that idea. They got in the time portal and said they wanted to go back to the time where Paul was in Rome. They blasted through the time-space continuum and landed in 1st century Rome where Paul was hanging out.
When they heard Paul talking about making disciples they were like, “we like you and all dude, but we own the copyright for that name so you can’t use it anymore, sorry.” So, Paul, being a law-abiding citizen and not wanting to cause disunity with these odd brothers from the future decided he could use other words to convey similar ideas as the word ‘Disciple,’ and because Paul was well known and respected among the church his influence kept other epistle writers from using the word. So, as we leave Paul at the end of the book of Acts the word ‘disciple’ has been deemed intellectual property of the Christian rock band from the future. The End.
I think that about sums it up. You’re welcome Alan!
I am a big fan of Danielson or Danielson Famile as they used to be called. But they hadn’t put out an album in about five years so when I came across this interview with Daniel Smith at Stereo Subversion I was pretty excited to find out that they have a new album coming out in February.
I know a lot of my readers probably don’t have the same taste in music as I do, but I just wanted to share the link to the interview because maybe you might like the music but also because I enjoyed reading how important this guy’s family is to him. His career revolves around his family, not the other way around which is pretty common in both the “Christian” and “Secular” markets. He hardly ever tours. Why? Because he wants to be around for his family. He built a studio at his home. Why? So he could be around his family. He records all his own stuff. Why? Because going somewhere else to record would take him away from his family. From the interview:
Years ago, I decided the best way for me to make a living was to have a family. That was very important for me. To try to mix being in the music business with family is the cliche — the toughest thing to do. At the same time, that’s what I’m set to do.
What that means is much less touring and being around here much more often. You spend a lot more time recording other bands and keeping things as do-it-yourself as possible in terms of recording and releasing things on our own label and things like that.
and here is the video for “Grow Up” off of the upcoming album Best of Gloucester County:
Thanks to Opus for the link to the interview