Preaching on Worship

Saturday, July 04, 2009
My first real venture into the world of preaching last Sunday. Topic ofcourse is worship. Click here to have a listen.

Worship and men

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What would a bricky (builder) in his early 20's think of church sung worship, has been the question I've read so much of lately. A bricky being the man's man and his response being the ideal barometer to how masculine church worship is. Joel Virgo in his piece for Resurgence comments on how more masculine corporate worship is possible.

Is it possible for men to come into a Sunday worship service and reflect: "Now this is a masculine environment?" I reckon it is, but you have to be intentional to get there. Some of our songs lend themselves to a masculine response, and they should be chosen over others. I'm talking about songs full of objective truth that help guys know what they're singing about.

As for songs that subjectively express our love or our longing for Jesus, well they are entirely biblical. Just beware of unbalance. A normal masculine man is going to be troubled by his first visit to church (even if he got saved at Alpha), if it consists of standing to sing for 40 minutes to an ancient Jew words he would find awkward writing in a card to his girlfriend! You know the songs I mean.

And as a rule, maybe your worship leaders (if they are guys) should be the sorts who remind you of Johnny Cash rather than Art Garfunkel!

Michael Jackson and Celebrity culture

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's difficult to ignore the news and hype around Michael Jackson's death. William Crawley's blog post makes a great comment on celebrity culture in general.

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." I've no idea who said that, or if it has much merit, but it's eminently quotable. It also has the virtue of being an "idea", albeit a fairly pedestrian one.

But it prompts a conversation about celebrity culture and our global obsession with Michael Jackson. Perhaps one of the reasons why so many people are building "shrines" at locations related to Michael Jackson's story is that celebrity culture has taken the place that religion once had in our society. Celebrities are secular saints. Their deaths become moments of pseudo-religious intensity. People make pilgrimages to celebrity sites where once they travelled to Canterbury.

Celebrity is also a replacement for family and for a sense of community. Postmodern people live postmodern lives. Often separated, often isolated, they crave community through virtual connections. The common experience of a media-generated narrative becomes a unifying feature of their lives.

Is that why we're all talking about Michael Jackson so much?

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