Jesus shall reign

Sometimes its helpful to think a little deeper about the hymns and songs that we sing. So we asked Daniel Johnson to give us some historical and theological background to this Isaac Watts classic that has been recently adapted by the Gettys. We hope you find this interesting and helpful.…

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Theology of the Arts – Part 4

  Welcome back to our brief(ish) four-part trawl through the murky waters of art theology. We began, effectively, by asking the question: “How do we answer when we’re asked to justify art?” This demand for justification is something that artists are familiar with. It might come from parents: “Don’t you…

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Theology of the Arts – Part 3

  Looking at Crutches (continued) Since we started the last two posts with a quote from a composer, I thought this time we would begin with a painter. Unfortunately I began my search amongst the sayings of Salvador Dali, and I’m still trying to recover. So instead, here’s a little…

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Theology of the Arts – Part 2

  Looking at Crutches Here is how Anton Bruckner responded to his critics: “They want me to write differently. Certainly I could, but I must not. God has chosen me from thousands and given me, of all people, this talent. It is to Him that I must give account. How…

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Theology of the Arts- Part 1

  The Way Things Are “I always said God was against art and I still believe it. Anything obscene or trivial is blessed in this world and has a reward – I ask for no reward – only to live and to hear my work.” Such were Edward Elgar’s words…

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Amos and Music Ministry

It’s the thing you wouldn’t ever want the Lord to say to your musicians…. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:23-24). What if,…

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Apathy

I found out recently that the only reason my parents allowed me to take out a student loan was that they never expected me to earn enough to get over the threshold required to have to pay it back!! Good to know I never inspired much confidence as a high…

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Word and Spirit

One of the very good things about working with brothers and sisters involved in church music from all over the world is that you are forced to think through theological issues carefully, so that they don’t become merely personal theological idiosyncrasies. Taking one particular stand on an area of theology…

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“Nice People Don’t Sing About Damnation.” – Part I

Imagine this: It's Sunday evening, the church is full of cheerful, carefree 20-somethings just settling down for some good spiritual nourishment, the preacher is wearing his best pair of chinos and a warm summer sun is streaming through the stained-glass windows. The leader of the service calls everyone to order,…

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