The Song Became a Child

The Song Became a Child
A collection of Christmas songs I wrote and recorded during the early days of the pandemic lockdown in the spring of 2020. Click the image to listen.

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

random reads

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 Story of Christianity, Justo Gonzalez

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

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

Screwtape Proposes a Toast, C. S. Lewis

The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis

The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis

Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis: A Life, Alister McGrath

Planet Narnia, Michael Ward

Transitions, William Bridges

Three Minute Theology 2.1: The Open Secret



A book cipher is a secret code that uses a literary text as the key for deciphering its message.   You chose a text—say the Declaration of Independence, or Shapkespeare’s Macbeth—and then you give the letters in the secret message numbers that mark the location of matching letters in the key text.

To decode the message, you take the numbers and look up the corresponding letters in the key text.   Book-ciphers are especially powerful encryptions, because without knowing the “key text”—what book you used to encrypt your message—it’s pretty hard crack the code.

The word “theology” is made up of two Greek words: the word for “God,” theos, and the word for “word,” logos.  Just like biology is the study of “bios”—life—and anthropology is the study of “anthropos”—man— we might say that “theology” is the study of theos.  God.

Of course it’s relatively easy to study animals or humans—you can weigh and measure and observe them—but it’s a lot harder to study God in this way.  Because if God is God, then whatever else is true about him, he’s beyond human comprehension, further and higher and greater and deeper than anything we could imagine. 
                                              
We might study our experience of God—how belief in God “makes us feel,”  but when we’re studying these things, how do we know we’re actually doing theology—speaking about God—and not just doing psychology or anthropology or what have you?

This is why theologians often talk about the need for “divine revelation.”  Revelation comes from the word “to reveal,” and the idea is, the only way finite human beings like us could have true knowledge of an infinite God is if God revealed himself to us.

We can’t study or reason our way to God; we need God to come to us.  In the Christian Faith, this is especially important, because the problem is not just that God is infinite and we’re finite.  The problem is that humans are fallen.  Our reason, and imagination and intellect and so on—all the things we’d use to understand God—are distorted by selfishness and fear and pride.  It’s like we’re trying to get a clear picture of God by looking through a cracked telescope.

Because of this, Christian theologians make a careful distinction between two kinds of revelation.  “General Revelation” is the stuff about God that we can learn and discern based on the world around us, and “Special Revelation” is the stuff God has revealed to us directly. 

We look at Creation, for instance, and see how huge it is, how intricately it’s designed, and so on, and we figure: whoever made this must be all-powerful and wise.  Or we look in our own hearts and we find things like, a love of beauty, or a sense of right and wrong, and we figure: whoever made me must be beautiful and good.

This kind of “general revelation” is available to everyone; but again, because the telescope is cracked, it can only get us so far.  We need God’s Special Revelation if we’re to know him truly.

Think of it as a beautiful, compelling “book-cipher,” where knowledge of God is the message, and try as we might, without the “key text”—Special Revelation, that is—we can’t fully or correctly decipher the message. 

So God gave us the key text.

In the Christian Faith, the key text is, quite literally a book, although not the way it’s often understood.  For a Christian, the ultimate source of “Special Revelation” is actually an historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, whom we believe in and worship as God, “come-to-us-in-human-flesh.” 

Jesus is the Key Text.

But the book that shows us him—who he is, where he came from and why he came—the Bible, that is—if it’s read especially to know and follow Jesus—the Bible becomes the key-text for the key-text, enabling us to decipher the Truth about God.

This explains why the Bible is such a central Book in the Christian life; but it also explains why Jesus said that we will only find Life in the Scriptures if we read them to discover Him.

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