Monday, September 28, 2009

A Bibliography for the Paper, Wright or Wrong

For those who are interested in the bibliography for my recent paper Wright or Wrong, here it is:

Report of Ad Interim Study Committee on Federal Vision, New Perspective, and Auburn Avenue Theology. By Paul Fowler, chairman. Atlanta, GA: General Assembly of the PCA, 2007

Hill, Charles E. “N.T. Wright on Justification.” IIIM Magazine Online Vol. 3, #22 (May 28 – June 3 2001)

McCormack, Bruce, ed. Justification in Perspective. Grand Rapids: William B. Baker Academic, 2006.

Piper, John. The Future of Justification: A response to N.T. Wright. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2007.

Sanders, E.P. Paul and Palestinian Judaism. Philidelphia: Fortress Press, 1977.

Stendahl, Krister. Paul among Jews and Gentiles. Philidelphia: Fortress Press, 1976.

Van Voorst, Robert E. Reading the New Testament Today. Belmont, California: Thompson-Wadsworth,2005.

Venema, Cornelis P. Getting the Gospel Right. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 2006

Wright, N.T. The Climax of the Covenant. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.

___________. Justification. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

___________. What Saint Paul Really Said. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1997.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Response to Worship and Theology, Post 6: Mediocrity is Not Sufficient

Rich has posted the latest in our series on worship and theology over on his blog and here is a response to it:

Ahh, So I see the gloves have come off, eh?

I have some thoughts on your blog:

First, I think you miss read my post regarding U2. I was in no way holding them up as exemplary, especially for church music. Here is how the argument [was intended] to flow: We have lots of professional musicians in Christendom. Their music is extremely popular (I’ll address some thoughts on this in a bit). They are so popular they sound like arguably the most popular band in the world. (At this point I whole heartedly agree with your thoughts on the quality of U2, but that is exactly not the point I am making) As great as these bands seem to be, both commercially and otherwise, they are theologically vacant and therefore failing. Even if Handel recomposed the music to the songs I mention in my post, they would still be vacant. (The dichotomy issue will be addressed, wait for it.)

Second are the issues of popularity and portability. You make a number of statements elevating technically correct music as the ideal. You say people should work to understand worship in the paragraph concerning burgers and filets. There is an element of Christianity that has always been blue collar. The most powerful movements of the Spirit in history have almost always been born out of the marginalized. Christianity is a populist religion, not an elitist religion. (I am, by and by, fully aware of the irony of this statement given the fact that I work in one of the less populist denominations) I guess what I am saying is that if Stan the Roofer doesn’t understand the music being played at his church, have we over aristocri-sized the church? And this problem is exacerbated as we think of Christianity on a global scale. Should we expect excellence in worship (by the standards of your post) in a church plant in Papua New Guinea? We can and should expect theological excellence; after all they have the authoritative guide on worship, the scriptures. That is to say that theological excellence in worship is universally applicable, while musical excellence is, by its necessary cultural moorings, subjective. Musical excellence in aboriginal Africa will look incredibly different than in the West.

I guess this means I am copping out (at best) or perhaps engaging in lazy thinking (at worst)

Lastly, it may perhaps be helpful to revisit the categories of post 3. It seems that you are blurring the lines between services of worship and worshipful services. While our services of worship should be excellent musically, each Sunday does not need to be a Sistine Chapel. Kathy brings up the issue of Scientist and other professionals, which we need to remember fall into categories (at least for our purposes in this series) of worshipful services. When we begin to blur these lines, which may be helpful in terms of vocation, we obscure the issue at hand.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The 20 most imporant CD's

I posted this elsewhere, but it may be interesting.

1. Weezer/The Blue Album – This was the first album I ever really loved. I learned to play every song on the guitar while spending my 8th grade summer at Matt Gilbert’s house.

2. Jimmy Eat World/Clarity – This is an incredible album that I bought my senior year on a whim from a mall CD store. It was this or Texas is the Reason. Boy, did I make the right decision. This is one of the best albums ever written and to top it off the final song is about my favorite novel. I have listened to “Goodbye Sky harbor” on the way to and from every graduation I have been a part of.

3. Juliana Theory/Understand This is a Dream – Wow. Wow. The album is incredible and the show at the State theory was one of the most memorable nights of my life.

4. Blink 182/Enema of the State – I don’t know what is more memorable here, the first time I heard this in high school or singing it at the top of my lungs at the old days of Hope Prevails.

5. 3rd Eye Blind/Self-titled – This was the album that got through my first break-up and the second hardest summer of my life. I can remember laying on the floor of Sean McLawhorn’s house listening to it as he talked to his girlfriend Francis on the phone.

6. Arcade Fire/Neon Bible – This was the album that helped get me through the “Summer that God Hated Me”. You know, the one where I lost my job, blew out 3 tires, my iPod died, I went over my cell phone bill $500 killing my chance for getting an iPhone, and I had to move out of the city I love. O yeah and the album is pure genius.

7. Ben Folds Five/Whatever and Ever Amen – A gift from Eddy and Natalie that I wore out my junior year

8. Dashboard Confessional – I will never forget listening to Brandston on a slurpee run my freshman year when John Thornley says, “You gotta check this out”. He was right. I think I memorized every word of the album within a week. It was just so catchy.

9. Get Up Kids/Something to Write Home About – O so good. I love almost any thing Matt Pryor has done. Conner’s first album will be the Terrible Two’s.

10. Derek Webb/She Must and Shall Go Free – This is all about the Abbey at Shawn’s. This album was so provocative in its time and so tied to my spiritual formation.

11. FiveIron Frenzy/Upbeats and Beatdowns – The show at the Cuban Club where everyone got crazy sick (Leila even lost her spleen) and we paid partially in old socks to get in. That night and that album were amazing.

12. Zwan/Mary Star of the Sea – I know it is low level sacrilege to leave the Pumpkins off this list, but this album (essentially Billy’s solo project) still gets much more play than Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

13. U2/All That You Can’t Leave Behind – This is probably the best album by one of the best bands. EVER.

14. Sufjan Stevens/The Christmas EP’s – From Thanksgiving til New Years Day, this is just about all I listen to.

15. Radiohead – OK Computer – What an album. Everytime I listen to it I find new layers and nuances.

16. Deathcab for Cutie/Transatlanticism – This is another one of those front to back great albums

17. Pedro the Lion/Control – The night this CD came out, Matthew Leahy, Charlie Williams, and I sat and listened to it straight through. Twice. In a Winn Dixie parking lot in Hudson. It was the most memorable night that an album came out for me.

18. Manchester Orchestra/Mean Everything to Nothing – This is a new one, but man is it good. I don’t know if there has been a better album in the past few years.

19. Zao/When Blood and Fire Bring Rest – Though we didn’t sound like them, this always reminds me of my time with Left Shoe Untied. Luke and Kyle played it for me and I was hooked.

20. Anathallo/Sparrows – This is probably the full length album ever created, lyrically speaking, ever created.