I was having drinks with my friend Devin a couple weeks ago and he asked me to suggest new music. From time to time some friends reach out to me with recommendations for new music because I absolutely love music. And because I have verifiably the best taste in music.
A lot of times people are curious to know how I hear about all this new music. I wish I could give a more impressive answer like I am on a first name basis with Thom Yorke or Sufjan Stevens (name dropping to show how cool and in the know I am) and they send me demos of their latest songs. Or maybe the staff at Pitchfork (another name drop, but come on, Pitchfork is kind of a parody of pretentiousness is it not?) want to run a few new albums by me for confirmation of their relevance.
The truth is far less inspiring. I just pay attention. Continue reading
Few performances I’ve ever seen have been as palpably passionate as Arcade Fire’s performance of Intervention on Saturday Night Live in 2007.
You can visibly see the intensity on Win Butler’s face. Neon Bible is an album swirling with references to religion, corruption, family, darkness, and light. Who among us doesn’t brim with emotion as we wrestle with these ideas?
Stick around until the end to see Win smash the guitar and in a visceral way release the emotions we keep inside of us all the time.
May we all ‘smash our guitars.’
A couple weeks ago with students at the American Church in Paris we looked at the endless ways that God speaks to us through culture, from music to film to the visual arts.
One thing culture does it help us to see the pulse of society. The things that people are wrestling with. I’m not talking about your contemporary christian music (some of it is okay, but most of it is merely mimicking the wider culture, which is at best not very creative, at worst capitalistic) but about the vulnerable words of people hurting, hoping, anxious, and loving. Continue reading
The past few weeks I’ve begun to fall in love once more with Father Richard Rohr. If you’re unfamiliar with his work do a quick search on Google and you’ll find lots to digest.
Lately, the Enneagram has been popping up with more frequency into discussions I have been having with people. I’m excited to dig into his book on the topic from 2001, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. Rohr has been a champion and evangelist of the ways that Christian spirituality can benefit from the Enneagram, but Rohr is also known for his work with contemplative habits and patterns.
Here he addresses what I believe to be one of the central questions the Church must face head on in the years to come – how to read the Bible.
There’s been a lot of love and appreciation for Karl Barth among colleagues this year. And for good reason. He was a masterful theologian and his contributions to modern theology can hardly be overstated.
My boss recently shared this fantastic little piece of advice from Karl Barth to young pastors, though it can be easily read by any pastor or anyone interested in ministering to others in any way.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Paris called Craft (www.cafe–craft.com). It’s a nice little space with minimalist design and plenty of outlets for all our gadgets. Around me are about a dozen or so people who are doing the same thing. They’re on their laptops, mostly MacBooks because duh, and they’re sipping on some single origin coffee which they have received in a repurposed scientific beaker, now more known for pour over coffee containers than actual scientific experimentation.
Some have headphones in their ears listening to whichever streaming service they fancy. I prefer Spotify, but in France it’s mostly Deezer. Others, like the group of six people next to me are using this place as a coworking space. They are working. And still others are here with a friend, a partner, a colleague, to share some caffeine and conversation.
Later this evening I will make my way over to one of my favorite breweries in Paris, Paname Brewing Company (www.panamebrewingcompany.com/en). Truth be told there are not many. Paris is still working on it’s craft beer scene, but it’s coming! I’m going to meet a friend of mine for a different type of libation, but surely good conversation. And all around me, just like every evening in pubs all around the world people will gather together to unwind.
Welcome to the “third place.” Continue reading