References in “50 Ways to Forge a Gospel”

At some point I’ll post a listener’s guide, if necessary, to the song “50 Ways to Forge a Gospel,” which I shared here recently, the YouTube video of which I’ve embedded above. It is full of references to specific forgeries, pseudepigraphies, novels, and other kinds of Jesus literature both ancient and modern, both canonical and [Read More...]

50 Ways to Forge a Gospel

As the song lyrics indicate, it genuinely was at the 2015 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium that I got the idea for this song, and mentioned it to Bart Ehrman over a drink after his keynote address, which was the primary inspiration for the song, although the whole range of papers were in mind and there [Read More...]

Music From the Sorrowing Earth of Qumran

Jim Davila mentioned this piece, “From Sorrowing Earth” by Nigel Butterley, on his blog recently, indicating that the composer was inspired to write another piece, “In the Head the Fire,” by the War Scroll from Qumran. I have not tracked down a recording of the latter piece – if anyone can point me in the [Read More...]

Karol Szymanowski – Litany to the Virgin Mary

How am I supposed to get work done, when I put on hauntingly beautiful music like this? [Read more...]

Ghazaros (“Lazar”) Saryan – Passacaglia in Memoriam

I heard this work by Armenian composer Ghazaros (Lazar) Saryan on Performance Today yesterday, and it made an impression. I found it on YouTube and thought I would share it. [Read more...]

Star Wars Soundtrack Spoilers

Remember how we found out things we might not have wanted to if we looked at the titles of the tracks on the soundtrack to The Phantom Menace, when it was released prior to the movie? Well, it looks like the same thing is happening again with the soundtrack to The Force Awakens. Take a [Read More...]

Rock Prayers

I’ve floated the idea of doing a service of rock and roll prayers at my church. Here are the songs that I think would work for it. Can you suggest others? U2, “40″ Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” Styx, “Show Me The Way” Foreigner, “I Want to Know What Love Is” Mike [Read More...]

The Swahili of Baba Yetu

Gamers have been fascinated by the lyrics to Baba Yetu, Christopher Tin’s award-winning music for the video game Civilization IV, for more than a decade. When the song was first released, there were attempts to transcribe and translate the lyrics, with some comical results – such as where someone thought the lyrics at one point [Read More...]

Once Upon a Universe

I hadn’t heard this song by Jake Heggie before today. It depicts God as a child creating, despite admonishments from his mother. The video features mezzo-soprano Kara Cornell. I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone discuss its theology, and so I thought I would share it here and invite discussion! [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, George Enescu

Romanian composer and violinist George Enescu was born on this day in 1881. To mark the occasion, I’ve shared his Symphony No.3 above. But he is best known for his Romanian Rhapsodies, and so if you are new to his music, or to 20th century orchestral music, that might be a more accessible introduction. Why not just go [Read More...]

What Key is the Biblical Canon In?

I decided to share another version of a meme I embedded in a recent post, for those who might have missed it there beneath quite a bit of text. The meme is inspired by something that was said in my Sunday school class (again, as mentioned in that post from yesterday).   [Read more...]