Around the Horn: 10.11.12

October 11, 2012

Around-the-Horn[1]Billions
Adam Young (Owl City) recently set some music to a John Piper sermon.  Pretty cool.

Why New Churches Should Sing New Songs
A  B  C  D  E  F  G H  I  J  K  LMNOP . . .You’re singing along, aren’t you? This catchy melody was responsible for teaching you one of the most foundational facts you ever learned.  That’s the way music works. It teaches. It forms us.  We don’t need scientific studies to know that music and melody fuses truth into our memories and intellects. We can all observe how melody infuses meaning, emotions, affections, and experiences into words. It takes lyrics to new heights and depths that they couldn’t go on their own.

Gospel Amnesia
My heart used to be a very sick heart. I was a Christian, but I had set aside the gospel as something that was just for getting me into the kingdom. I set my heart on other things at the expense of cherishing Christ: becoming a “godly” wife and woman, being content in domesticity and doing it well, offering unparalleled hospitality, keeping my children as far away from worldliness as possible, homeschooling because it was the only truly “godly” way of educating children, healthy whole food eating because that meant I was in line with a more “biblical” agrarian type of living, and on and on… you get the picture.  I had “gospel amnesia,” big time.

Kingdom Focused Prayer
Henry was an ornery agnostic. His wife, Eunice, was a devout Christian. They lived in a farming community, where a yearlong drought was devastating the local economy. At the request of many of the farmers, the pastor of a local church called the community together to pray for rain. As Eunice was leaving to go to the church, Henry challenged, “Do you really believe that it will rain if you ask for it?”

A Generational Shift in Christian Philosophy
I’ve noticed a different sensibility amongst Christian philosophers of my generation–we who are heirs to some of the path-breakers like Plantinga and Wolterstorff and Mavrodes and others.

Christian Values Cannot Save Anyone
A recent letter to columnist Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post seemed straightforward enough. “I am a stay-at-home mother of four who has tried to raise my family under the same strong Christian values that I grew up with,” the woman writes. “Therefore I was shocked when my oldest daughter, ‘Emily,’ suddenly announced she had ‘given up believing in God’ and decided to ‘come out’ as an atheist.”

Is There Room For Christians in the Middle East?
Is there a future for Christians — indeed for any minority — in this new Middle East? What role will religion play, especially Islam, in governing these peoples? And, is Islam compatible with the so-called democratic aspirations expressed by the reformers leading the ‘Arab Spring?’ . . . The Middle East’s Christians have been on the move since the apostles left Jerusalem after Pentecost. Whether hiding from persecution by Jewish leaders, Roman emperors, Persian forces, Byzantine bishops or Ottoman generals, the region’s Christians have demonstrated agility and a tremendous will to survive.