There's a Trick of the Light I'm Learning to Do

This is a collection of songs I wrote and recorded in January - March, 2020 while on sabbatical from ministry. They each deal with a different aspect or expression of the Gospel. Click on the image above to listen.

Three Hands Clapping

This is my latest recording project (released May 27, 2019). It is a double album of 22 songs, which very roughly track the story of my life... a sort of musical autobiography, so to speak. Click the album image to listen.

Ghost Notes

Ghost Notes
A collections of original songs I wrote in 2015, and recorded with the FreeWay Musical Collective. Click the album image to listen.

inversions

Recorded in 2014, these songs are sort of a chronicle of my journey through a pastoral burn-out last winter. They deal with themes of mental-health, spiritual burn-out and depression, but also with the inexorable presence of God in the midst of darkness. Click the album art to download.

soundings

soundings
click image to download
"soundings" is a collection of songs I recorded in September/October of 2013. Dealing with themes of hope, ache, trust and spiritual loss, the songs on this album express various facets of my journey with God.

bridges

bridges
Click to download.
"Bridges" is a collection of original songs I wrote in the summer of 2011, during a soul-searching trip I took out to Alberta; a sort of long twilight in the dark night of the soul. I share it here in hopes these musical reflections on my own spiritual journey might be an encouragement to others: the sun does rise, blood-red but beautiful.

echoes

echoes
Prayers, poems and songs (2005-2009). Click to download
"echoes" is a collection of songs I wrote during my time studying at Briercrest Seminary (2004-2009). It's called "echoes" partly because these songs are "echoes" of times spent with God from my songwriting past, but also because there are musical "echoes" of hymns, songs or poems sprinkled throughout the album. Listen closely and you'll hear them.

Accidentals

This collection of mostly blues/rock/folk inspired songs was recorded in the spring and summer of 2015. I call it "accidentals" because all of the songs on this project were tunes I have had kicking around in my notebooks for many years but had never found a "home" for on previous albums. You can click the image to download the whole album.

blogs I follow

Readings, 2020

Readings, 2020
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson

The Soul of Shame, Curt Thompson

Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado

Halos and Avatars, Craig Detweiller, ed.

Fool's Talk, Os Guinness

Brendan, Frederick Buechner

The Screwtape Letters

Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis

The Pilgrim's Regress, C. S. Lewis

Becoming Whole, Brian Finkert and Kelly Kapic

Real Sex, Lauren Winner

Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis

Voyage to Venus, C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

random reads

On Proverbs and the Relativity of Wisdom

When I was growing up in the Faith, one of the claims I sometimes heard about the Bible is that you could tell it was God's word because it never contradicted itself. Sometimes this claim was attended with great fanfare: "Written over the course of 2000 years by dozens of different authors, and not a single contradiction!" Sometimes it was presented as a simple if-then: if it's the word of God then it must be true through and through, therefore it can't have any contradictions.

When they made this claim, no one ever told me about Proverbs 26:4-5. Here, in his wisdom, God tells us, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself." But in the very next verse he says, "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." And just to be sure the contradiction isn't missed, the first words of both verses are exactly the same except verse 4 has a "not" and the next one doesn't.

So how should we answer a fool? Well, it depends: who's the fool and what's his folly?

Because in the contradictory tension between these two verses, I think I hear God assure us playfully that he's well aware of that secret we've been trying to keep from him ever since the enlightenment built its god-box: in matters of wisdom, more often than not the right response is "it depends."

But here God's wisdom bursts the wineskins of all our logical laws of non-contradiction, insisting that his word is not bound by those rationalistic measures of what makes it true. Dressed in a beautifully polychromatic robe, not black and white, Wisdom stands in the street unafraid to contradict herself, if by doing so she might speak true. And a good thing, too: because God also says he thinks it's abominable to justify the wicked (Proverbs 17:15); and yet, in Christ he calls himself the one who justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5).

Holy contradiction!

Of course all this talk about true contradictions and "it depends" might have some of our relative-truth-radars beeping like mad with bogies at six o'clock! And maybe for good reason. I've heard some very eloquent and confident Christian apologists make some pretty compelling cases for absolutes in the face of relative truth.

But sometimes I think that if anyone has reason to claim that truth is relative, it's the Christian. Because our master once said that he himself was the truth-- not that he spoke true, or that he was true, or that the claims about him were true-- but that he was truth, Truth Incarnate. And if we believe he meant what he said, if we believe he spoke that word inerrantly, then whatever else we say about Truth we have to say it became a person. It's no longer known through abstract absolutes and seamless syllogisms-- it's known in relationship to a living Lord. And as we relate to this Truth who is also the Way and the Life, we discover that all the truths we cling to, to define us and set our course for life and action, are true or false only relative to him.

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