ELSEWHERE: Loving the Whore

There's been a spate of articles about the failure of the church lately, some good, some not so much. You should probably actually read this one by Karen Swallow Prior: "Yet, I want to say, gently or perhaps not-so-gently, That way you want the church to love those you love? Unconditionally, enthusiastically, and compasstionately? That's how you are called to love the church, too. That forbearance, that tolerance, that grace, you extend so generously and rightly to the lost and the disobedient? T … [Read more...]

Reza Aslan’s Grand Inquisitor

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Reza Aslan’s new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, pits a "historical" Jesus against the orthodox Christian Jesus that founded Christianity and shaped Western Society. Non-Christians have been writing books that challenge the historical, biblical person of Jesus for millenia. And even though Aslan's Jesus has been getting a lot of press, I am not worried that Aslan is harming orthodox Christianity any more than I'm worried  A-Rod is ruining the entire sport of baseball by lyi … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Chicken-Little Blogging

Following up on Rachel Held Evans' popular piece on why millenials are leaving the church, over at Mere Orthodoxy, Jake Meador speaks to another trend: the rise of the "chicken-little" evangelical blogger, prognosticating the doom of the church. It's an interesting counter-point worth considering, especially if you found your heart aflutter with fear for the church's imminent demise. … [Read more...]

The Church Failed Millennials, Just Not In the Way You Think It Did

Image: EladeManu via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you hadn't already heard, millennials are leaving the church in droves leaving many church leaders scratching their heads as to what to do about it. Rachel Held Evans came out with a piece on CNN.com stepping into the gap to explain why they are leaving Apparently it struck a nerve; it was shared over 170,000 times. Speaking as the voice of a generation, she raised issues like our exhaustion with the culture wars, poor handling of teaching on sexuality, gay marriage, science and religion, and … [Read more...]

The Separation of Church and Patriotism

There are several songs in the back of our Baptist Hymnal that are listed under the heading of "Patriotic", including "The Star-Spangled Banner", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and my personal favorite, "O Canada". Why is that one my favorite? Because I think it proves the point of why we shouldn't sing any of these songs during a worship service. If it is inappropriate to sing "O Canada" in Alabama while worshipping the Lord of All the Nations, then why is it okay to sing … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Anatomy of a Country Song

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.  Country music is all about formula. It fits a mold that makes it stand out from any other genre. It’s got a certain sound that represents a certain group of people in a certain place. Ever since mountain people got their hands on a banjo and Roy Acuff had a twang in his voice it’s been like that. Structure makes a country song “good” or … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: "I Like Johnny Cash, but I don't like Country Music"

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music. “I like Johnny Cash, but I don’t really like country music”.As a country music nerd, this is a “bridge the gap” response in many a conversation about music. Which, to be fair, who doesn’t love Johnny Cash? He walked the line! His sound is accessible, mystical and pure old time country music. His success has been cross-genre because … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: 'No Depression' in Heaven

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music. Alternative Country music has had a difficult time defining itself over the last few decades. Like most genres it is made up of sub-genres and everybody has their own sound and each band has different influences and vision. Because of this, fans and bands answer cow-punk to Americana to rockabilly to alt-country to ‘sort of blu … [Read more...]


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