Jesus’ Personality and His Father’s Business

Last Sunday in my Sunday school class we started off with the question of whether Jesus was ever a student. We got there by way of a discussion the previous week about whether Jesus had been John’s disciple. This time we turned to Luke, which depicts Jesus as staying behind in Jerusalem in the temple [Read More…]

Across Time and Space: A Choral Concert

Across Time and Space: A Choral Concert Sunday, April 23, 6:00 PM Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center Tickets: Adult: $15; Senior: $10; Student: $7.50 This annual performance features the ensembles of the Butler School of Music Choral Department–Chorale, Spectra, University Choir and Chamber Singers—performing selected works from four centuries of choral repertoire [Read More…]

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

These two “canticles” in Luke’s infancy story are not actually said to be “songs.” But they become music over and over again in the Anglican tradition, being so important to the Evening Service that composers have often set these words in multiple keys. And that provides something worth looking at in a course on the [Read More…]

Prayer Reveals Cowards and Saints to Themslves

The meme above was created by Christoph Clubbers based on a Facebook post by Thom Stark, who wrote: If God didn’t answer the prayers of six-million Jews who were slaughtered by Christian men, why is God going to answer your prayers for health, your prayers for prosperity, your prayers for safety, your prayers for wisdom [Read More…]

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Passions

Today my class on the Bible and music is picking up a thread from last time – Passion – and tracing it down to the present day, including into film scores. Students have been asked to listen to some things in common but also to explore and bring “show and tell.” If I am asked [Read More…]

Netanyahu vs. Jesus

There is a long history of uncritical support for Israel among American conservative Evangelicals. Somehow the fact that the prophets criticized ancient Israel for wrongdoing, and that the Bible depicts obedience to God as essential to possessing the land, is lost on them. But perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent statement will change this. Because now it is not [Read More…]

Christmas Convention

Inherit the Mirth has produced so many fantastic comics. But this one, which I don’t recall ever seeing before, is just so perfect, on so many levels… [Read more…]

Truth and Christmas

It can be so hard to find balance when it comes to anything having to do with the Bible. This seems particularly true when it comes to matters related to Christmas. On the one hand, there are those who are determined that the Bible be “right” no matter the cost. I have had someone telling [Read More…]

A Nativity Minus the Migrants and Middle-Easterners

The title that the above was given when I first encountered it was “A nativity scene without Jews, Arabs, Africans or refugees.” The question of where the magi came from is left out – Persia (modern day Iran), perhaps, which may or may not be considered the Middle East, depending on where one chooses to [Read More…]

Spontaneous Singing in the Bible

As I prepare to teach my course on the Bible and music next semester, I’ve been thinking more about the music behind and in the Bible, as well as music that takes up the already-existing Bible and works with it. As I think about the depictions of spontaneous singing by individuals (or what is often so construed [Read More…]