Music, Culture and Church – a postscript

Here are some further thoughts and clarifications (as much to my own thinking as anything). Stephen Kneale has posted here a response. There are some useful points in there and I’ll come to them in a second. The article if it is a response seems primarily to focus on the spirit of this point from my earlier article “But overall, what we sing in church seems along way away from what people are listening to outside.”  Stephen’s response is:

  1. That our primary focus with congregational singing should be whether or not something is appropriate in terms of is it singable and because they help us to remember the truths contained.
  2. That we should not assume that rap reflects all urban contexts.
  3. That if music is not culturally neutral then we have to consider whether or not the background and associations of a genre bring other connotations into church life.
  4. That there are a whole host of other preferences that have not been considered.

Continue reading

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Music, culture and urban church

This week a couple of rappers have caught my attention.  First there was this by Flame drawn to our attention after a Learning Community discussion on contextualisation.  Then there was John Piper’s comments on Lacrae which we picked up on here.

I want to just pick up on one or two (not completely connected) thoughts that struck me. Continue reading

The Female Doctor and a message about gender

So, what do you make about the choice of a female to play the role of Doctor Who?

  1. Couldn’t care less
  2. Delighted -this is the change the show has been crying out for to bring it fully into the 21st Century
  3. Disgusted – this is ruining a great show.

All three of those viewpoints have been expressed since the announcement. Indeed, given that a female regeneration has been the worst kept secret for a while, the delight and outrage in equal measure has been going on for much longer. Continue reading

Learning to See – pastors preachers, missionaries and planters

In earlier posts I’ve talked about the preachers need to exegete or understand 3 things before preaching: God’s Word,  The Congregation and himself (see towards the end of this post). What I mean by this is that we don’t just look at the text in isolation.

1. We need to apply it so we need to think carefully about the congregation- what is the application they will need in their pastoral circumstances and what will stop them from hearing or obeying.

2. We need to be aware of ourselves. What is in my own heart? What might prevent me from hearing, communicating and applying God’s word truthfully and Effectively?

I want to expand on this in two ways. Continue reading

Church planting in the DNA

There’s  a lot of talk about church planting among Evangelical churches at the moment and what it means to be church planting churches that have church planting in the DNA. Some people are very passionate and excited about it. However,  for others talk about planting can be quite scary. It feels like something your church isn’t yet ready to do, it feels like something that will drain away energy, resources and key people. Others get uneasy, bored even.  Isn’t this just the latest fad. Continue reading