Making Sense of "Culture Making", Part 9: Power & Community

Here it is, the penultimate installment of my "Culture Making" series, i.e., my "blog-through" of Andy Crouch's Culture Making. But first, I need to get something off my chest: as I've been reading the book's final chapters, something's been bugging me. I alluded to it in the series' previous installment, and I think I've finally figured out what it is: the final section of the book, "Calling", doesn't have the same sort of arc as the first two sections. The first section, "Culture", attempts … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Wild Beasts, Balam Acab

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two. Wild Beasts Based on song titles like "Deeper" and "Plaything", as well as lyrics such as "I wait until you're woozy/I won't know until you’re limp/I … [Read more...]

Making Sense of "Culture Making", Part 8: Searching for "Traces of God"

The previous chapter of Culture Making was, to be honest, a bit of a downer and I think that it's thrown me for a bit of a loop: I've been having some difficulty fully parsing the book's remaining chapters. Crouch had been building a convincing case for our role as culture makers through much of Culture Making, so I'm still trying to make sense of this sudden appearance of pessimism. If I had to boil down what I believe Crouch is saying so far, it's that it is impossible for us to truly affect … [Read more...]

Making Sense of “Culture Making”, Part 7: Why We Can't Change Culture

After reading eleven chapters in a book called Culture Making, I was (unsurprisingly, I think) taken aback when I came began the third and final section of the book, which begins with a chapter bluntly titled "Why We Can't Change The World". It seems a little odd for Andy Crouch to place a chapter highlighting the futile nature of what his book seems to be encouraging us to do, that is, to take up our role as "culture makers" at the end of the book. Crouch has just spent eleven chapters … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Jay Tholen, Either/Orwell

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two. Jay Tholen Jay Tholen, whose "chiptune gospel" album Control Me left me floored earlier this year, is back with a new full-length titled Mud Pies or … [Read more...]

God's Grace in a Cup of Tea

Economic instability and political bickering in the United States. Corruption and social upheaval in Libya. Continuous conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. Horrific suffering in Somalia. Riots in London. When Harold Camping's May 21, 2011 prediction for the Rapture turned out to be bupkis, he amended the date to October 21, 2011. One glance at recent headlines, and it's tempting to think that Camping might be on to something. But those calamities aren't necessarily judgments from "on high". … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Sam Billen, Talik

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two. Sam Billen Sam Billen's Headphones & Cellphones came out in 2009, but I only discovered it recently thanks to the kind folks at The Record Machine. I … [Read more...]

Making Sense of "Culture Making", Part 6: Will there be iPods in Heaven?

The book of Revelation is weird, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who has given the book even a cursory reading will probably agree with me. It's full of outlandish imagery (e.g., locusts with human faces, dragon-riding harlots, oceans of blood, leopards with seven heads) and cosmic conflicts that (literally) shake the foundations of the earth. As a child, I read Revelation with equal parts fascination and dread, especially as I read books and heard preachers that explained how the book's events … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Gang Gang Dance, M83

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two. Gang Gang Dance My initial reaction to Gang Gang Dance was marked with ambivalence. Their early material left me confounded, but Saint Dymphma piqued … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Prelude To Henry, Charlatan

Chansons Pour La Vie: I. Prelude to Henry My friend Aaron has been putting together mixes for quite some time now. His latest, titled Chansons Pour La Vie: I. Prelude to Henry, might be one of his most eclectic yet. It's certainly a very personal one. Compiled for his unborn son, Prelude to Henry, "came together as I was contemplating the baby boy that’s currently gestating in my wife’s womb, and wondering what must be going on in there, what that might sound like." If this mix is any … [Read more...]


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