An Article Conceived on this Blog is Born!

About a year ago, I floated an idea in a blog post, something that had struck me in teaching my class on the historical Jesus. Anthony Le Donne noticed it and encouraged me to explore the topic further and consider developing it into an article. I did so, and submitted it to the Journal for the Study [Read More…]

iPhone to Healthcare Calculator

Let me start by saying that Jeff Carter has rewritten a famous Fanny Crosby hymn to reflect the view that many conservative Evangelicals in the United States have about healthcare. Here is a snippet: Listen America, people are dying, but the rich and the well should not be enslaved. The sick and the poor, they’re all just [Read More…]

Oxyrhynchus Hymn

The Oxyrhynchus Hymn is the oldest piece of Christian music that has accompanying notation. Above is a setting of the words to new music by Johann Kim. Below is an attempt to reconstruct what it might have sounded like in a instrumental rendition on reconstructed ancient instruments. You can find a number of related resources – [Read More…]

Setting Amos’ Hymn Fragments to Music

As I’m gearing up to teach a course about the Bible and music for the first time next semester, one thing that I’ve been giving much thought to is the fact that students are expected to participate in the creation of a creative work in these core curriculum courses. I don’t like to ask students [Read More…]

Hymn to Coffee

Do you recognize the original hymn this is based on, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”? I take my coffee without sugar, but I can still sing of the sweetness – metaphorically speaking – of drinking it. [Read more…]

Ode to Coffee

Coffee, coffee, we adore thee! Java glory, java love. Brains awake like flowers before thee. Raise our mugs to God above. These new hymn lyrics come from Unvirtuous Abbey on Facebook, and I thought it worth turning into a meme image. One commenter on Facebook added a second verse: Melt the fog of sleepy stumbling; drive [Read More…]

Inappropriate Hymn Choice

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Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom

The Seeds of Doom is an episode which explores yet another widespread sci-fi trope, namely spores which fall to Earth from space and have the potential to take over humans and overrun the planet. The episode also has elements of the typical spy thriller, including the Doctor getting into more fist fights than usual. The [Read More…]

Amazing Grace (to the tune of Open Arms)

When I went to see the musical “Amazing Grace” recently, I found myself thinking about the multiple tunes to which the words have been sung (the most usual tune associated with the lyrics isn’t the ‘original’ tune). We’ve sung it in church to the tune of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles, with an added [Read More…]

Amazing Grace (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)

The blog Political Jesus shared this version of the modernized hymn “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” as an illustration of how widespread this particular meter – known for that very reason as “common meter” – is. While I think there may be some on the list given there that do not work, many do. [Read More…]