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 2.2: A God-Breathed Book


When I was a kid, one of my aunts had an antique stereoscope in her living room.

The stereoscope was sort of a 19th Century version of the 3-D TV.  They came with a collection of black and white photographs that looked three dimensional when you viewed them through the viewer.  Each photograph had the same image printed on it twice, and the stereoscope played with the depth perception of your eyes, making the two images fuse together into a single, 3-dimmensional scene.

If you only looked through one lens, the picture was flat and two dimensional, but when you looked through both lenses at the same time, it took on 3 dimensional depth and life.

The Bible is like this, in some ways.

There’s a place in the New Testament where it says that the Scriptures are “God-breathed”—that they were spoken by God.  Theologians sometimes use the term “Inspiration” to talk about this, the idea that God himself “breathed-out” the words of the Bible; and Christians believe quite strongly that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God—that when we read it, we’re actually hearing from God himself.

But how should we understand this?
               
Some people approach the Bible as though it were literally dictated by God, that the humans who wrote it were just recording word-for-word what they heard God say, as clearly as if he were speaking to them on the phone. 

Others dismiss the idea of divine inspiration altogether, and feel the Bible’s just a human record of people’s ideas about God.  An interesting book, but not anything God wrote.

Both of these approaches—seeing the Bible as simply a human creation, or seeing the Bible as something dictated word-for-word by God—are kind of like looking at a stereoscope through only one lens.  The picture is going to be flat.

If we really want the Bible to come to life, we need to view it through both lenses at once: it’s a human book, that people wrote and edited and crafted, and, at the same time, it’s a divine book, that God spoke, and shaped and inspired.  

Maybe a musical analogy will help.  Different musical instruments have different tonal qualities and character, depending on the material they’re made of and how the notes are sounded.  A trumpet is bright and explosive.  A clarinet is breathy and earthy.  A kazoo is nasally and playful.  The same musician could breathe into each of those instruments, and her breath would produce three very distinct sounds.

She could play the exact same song on all three instruments, the very same notes, and no matter how good she is, the clarinet won’t ever sound like a trumpet and the kazoo will never sound like a clarinet.
               
If the musician is God and her breath is God’s Spirit, and if the different instruments are the different authors who actually wrote the Bible, this is a useful way of thinking about “Inspiration.”

Because the authors who wrote the various books of the Bible had each encountered God in a unique, unrepeatable way; and then, while God’s Spirit was working in their hearts, they recorded what it was God was saying to them through that encounter.  Like a musician picking up an instrument, God’s Spirit was “breathing through them,” determining the song that came out.

But at the same time, they were writing as people, with individual personalities and perspectives and passions, all of which determined how they would tell the story, choose the words, record the message. 

Just like a clarinet doesn’t stop sounding like a clarinet, or a trumpet like a trumpet, just because it’s the same musician playing both, the fact that God was speaking through them doesn’t mean that it wasn’t also them speaking; and even though the words were their words, it’s still God’s Word we’re hearing when we read them.

Or, like it says in one place, the Sacred Writings don’t have their origin in human beings, but human beings spoke from God, as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

0 comments: