Monday, October 31, 2005


I would like to extend a welcome to all the new readers I have gained over the last few days. Thank you for your interest. I encourage all of you to post a comment when you find something interesting, encouraging, thought provoking, or when you disagree with something. My desire for this blog is to have a place to keep in touch with friends and family, and put some thoughts down on pap... er, I mean, html. This is kind of like my personal journal, but I am seeking public input, as I am very much open to hear other opinions. More then anything else, I desire this place to be completely honest. I am a very open and honest person as many of you may know, I hope that anyone who reads this can feel the same way here.

I hope to always speak the truth, and I know I will come up short much of the time, so be patient with me and maybe we can all learn from each other. Remember, you cannot have truth without honesty.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A New Law

This is a new song by Derek Webb that will be out on his next Album, Mockingbird, in Dec.


A New Law by Derek Webb:

don't teach me about polotics and government
just tell me who to vote for
and don't teach me about truth and beauty
no, just label my music
and don't teach me how to live like a free man
no, just give me a new law

i don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
i want a new law
i want a new law
just give me that new law

and don't teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice
and don't teach me about Loving my enemies
and don't teach me how to listen to The Spirit
no, just give me a new law

i don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
i want a new law
i want a new law
just give me that new law

'cause what's the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything
so do not be afraid
do not be afraid

It is so true, the church his always looking for a new law, a new stadard on what it means to be a Christian, rules to follow. Sometimes I think we missed the whole point of the Gospels. Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Redefining Relevance

I have been reading farther in the book I posted about earlier, A Matrix of Meanings, and I am getting to a point were I am having a hard time agreeing with him. Here is my reasoning.

First of, the church will never be relevant if it is trying to reach a "post modern" crowed, because post modernism died like 10 years ago. This generation, my generation, has grown tired of the "noise" of post-modernism. We no longer want everything all at once from every direction; we want something solid, something real. You are seeing a movement in young churches doing back to their roots, the truly relevant churches, turning back to TRUE Orthodoxy. We are using more hymns then we use to, we are exploring church history and embracing some forgotten traditions, not the traditions of materialism, hypocricy, gossip, greed, and over programing. We are see the effects now as my generation makes a mass exodus from the suburban mega churches we grew up in, the very churches that throw themselves face first into trying to be “relevant”, to the point of delivering us prepackaged, meaning less garbage. We want something real. The gospel is real.

In the book, the author states "There's no arguing that Generation X is largely unmoved by the language of traditional Christianity, but you don't see many church leaders wondering if maybe the message itself is the problem. With so few people believing in hell, what’s the point in getting so worked up about salvation, whether it’s by grace or otherwise?” arguing that “the message of Christianity does not communicate to people who have grown up in a world in which pop culture is amniotic fluid, largely because what religion talks about does not speak to the spiritual needs of today’s seeker.”

Well, I can tell you right now that the problem is not the message; the problem is the church has lost the message. It is buried under $500,000 sound systems and video screens, under banners advertising the next big thing in the Christian ghetto industry. When the modern church wakes up and realizes it has the truth in it’s hands, and that the Word of God does not lose relevance, that the word of God is not a list of what you “should” or “should not” do, it’s bigger then how you vote or whether you drink or smoke, then they will see my generation regain an interest.

We are no longer satisfied with the simple answers. We want to dig deeper. The reason the church is loosing a grip on our age group is because the church has become so watered down it has, as Toney Campolo put it, “neutered the gospel”. I have learned more about God, Theology, scripture, original language, and church history sitting around talking with friends then I ever did in church, because most churches refuses to serve us the meat of the gospel.

We are a generation screaming out for something genuine. A church can not be relevant until it understands this. We look at a church following 10 years behind pop culture and it is neither genuine nor relevant, who wants to be a part of that?

So, it boils down to this: “Keep it real!”

PS – We have been lucky to find a church that understands this. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Radiohead and Christianity

I am currently reading "A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture" by Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor. Its a great read, I recommend it.

Anyway, I found this excert particularly interesting, not only because it is discussing one of my favorite bands, but I think there is a lot of truth to the statement he makes about the churchs desire to appear orthodox, to apear like we have it together more then we really do that makes the church seem so irrelevant to the world.

"The band's (Radiohead) approach offers some challenges as we think through a theology out of pop culture. The following statements by various band members demand particular reflection. Ed O'Brien, bass player, said, "We can't do anything exactly right. But that's what makes our sound." One of the banes of contemporary Christianity is its intence focus on orthodoxy. The problem is not orthodoxy but the fact that far too many people are running around making their particular theological posture the standard orthodox test. We all have glimpses of truth, but, to echo Paul, this side of the grave we all "see through a glass darkly." The desire to appear orthodox has led to a dearth of creativity in virtually every realm of the contemporary Christian experience, particularly the realms of theology and music. This streak of perfectionism, which runs deep in the American religious mindset, creates atmospheres of fear and trepidation, especially in regard to new ideas. Experimentation is a key ingredient of a contemporary theological construct.

A second point comes from vocalist Thom Yorke: "Aiming and missing is the whole premise." This does not mean to be wrong is right, but it affirms the need for room to fail and also the need to challenge right constructs by being wrong. The pop song demands on some level a degree of conformity. For the last forty years, the basic structure of the pop song has revolved around the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus method. Along with this approach to the structure of songs has come a similar conformity in the formulation of vocabulary and sentiments. In this environment, originality is at a premium, as most artists tend to fall back on the mundane and the mediocre. That is why rhyming is a key element of pop songwriting–words have to fit and sound right. Rhyming helps this process. Unfortunatly, originality can get lost in the pursuit of the perfect rhyming word.

Radiohead bent and broke these rules both musically and lyrically. They allowed the athority of the lyrics to be controlled by technology. they abandoned standard pop song structure and format in search of new musical horizons. They re-created the rules and boundries of what a pop song is and what it can accomplish. Theology also needs to fiddle with its rules, not in random ways, but with a sense of experiment, excitement, and creativity."