Stardust

Stardust

One of my friends posted this quote on facebook: “Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than the atom in your right hand. It really is the most thing I know about the universe: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the […]

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Genesis, Gervais & jumping from space

Genesis, Gervais & jumping from space

Maybe you read some of the tweets after Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking freefall jump form the edge of space; it was certainly an awe inspiring event. “Science rocks!” was one that I saw few times. Indeed, it does! But you may also have seen this being bandied about on social networks recently:   And… Ricky Gervais sums it up in one simple tweet. via @clayswisher […]

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Music, self & the physical cosmos

Music, self & the physical cosmos

I’m still slowly plugging my way through Jeremy Begbie’s excellent book Resounding Truth, in which he explores a Christian theology of music. The groundwork for thinking about music is to firstly establish a proper understanding of creation, and he is keen to stress the inherent physicality of creation and music. This got me thinking about the kind of materialist arguments that my old Atheist sparring […]

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Don Gibboni: Opera Apes

Don Gibboni: Opera Apes

Some people think Opera is just monkeying around on stage, and they may be right: The small apes use the same technique to project their songs through the forests of southeast Asia as top sopranos singing at the New York Metropolitan Opera or La Scala in Milan. I’m not going to say anything. I value my life. That was the conclusion of research by Japanese scientists […]

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The Vacation, a poem

Following on from yesterday’s post about not taking photographs, here is a poem that someone linked to on the source post: The Vacation By Wendell Berry Once there was a man who filmed his vacation. He went flying down the river in his boat with his video camera to his eye, making a moving picture of the moving river upon which his sleek boat moved […]

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Why you should make memories and not photographs

Why you should make memories and not photographs

I like taking photographs, and I’m not against documentation, but I do agree that we need to be aware that sometimes the act of recording something can get in the way of us experiencing it (particularly at weddings.. I mean, honestly, they’re paying someone to take the shots, you don’t need to). In our amazing era of digital immediacy, I can tell the world where […]

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The two essential tasks of critics

The two essential tasks of critics

Johann Hari has written a fascinating piece on the role of critics in contemporary arts and culture, and is well worth reading.  Because critics perform two essential tasks in the cultural ecosystem – and as with any ecosystem, if you knock out one part, the entire network is at risk of unravelling. Their first task is simply consumer advice. This has been sniffed at by […]

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Meaning & memorisation

Meaning & memorisation

I’m often asked if I know what I’m singing about when I sing in a foreign language. To be honest, I think that almost every singer could point to a time  in a vocal workshop or masterclass when, asked what a particular word or phrase meant, they rising red embrassment of not knowing hit. My teacher once told me about being torn to shreds by […]

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Two helpful pieces on Worship songwriting

Two helpful pieces on Worship songwriting

The first from Bob Kauflin on when singing the gospel can become rote:   a formulaic approach to gospel-centered worship can lead to some of the following problems: thinking every song should be exclusively about justification, boldness before the throne, or our sins being completely forgiven. thinking every song list should climax with a “gospel” song. an inability to reference or articulate uniquely other aspects […]

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Faith Fighting

Having been challenged by the numerous calls to avoid quarrels and pointless controversy in 1 Timothy, it was interesting to read this interview with Philip Jensen, particularly where he says: as a young man I enjoyed a fight too much. I grew up in a family of brothers. We fought a lot, and I grew up through debating and arguing, and I liked a good argument. A very kind […]

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Worship is formative

Worship is formative

Following yesterday’s post about worship forging identity, Bruce Benedict pointed me in the direction of James K.A. Smith, who recently wrote: Worship is not only expressive, it is also formative. It is not only how we express our devotion to God, it is also how the Spirit shapes and forms us to bear God’s image to the world. This is why the form of worship needs to be […]

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Andrew Peterson on perfection

Andrew Peterson writes a wonderful testimony of grace in reflecting on his time touring with Steven Curtis Chapman: It’s the great, confounding reversal of the Gospel of Jesus. If the word we preach is one of attainable perfection, of law, of justification by works, then when we fail, our testimony fails with it. But if we preach our deep brokenness and Christ’s deeper healing, if […]

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