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

random reads

Three Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out


They say that C. S. Lewis’ inspiration for his novel The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe came to him with the simple image of a lonely lamppost in a snowy wood, with a satyr standing under it.  In one sense, the whole world of Narnia was written “from the inside out,” around that central image.

While people sometimes approach the Bible as though it was written from cover to cover, beginning to end, in many ways it’s more like the world of Narnia than it is like a typical book.  It, too, is a book that “grew up” so to speak, around a central image or idea

This central image, of course is the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish Holy Man who lived and ministered in ancient Israel, between the years of 5 BC and 30 AD.  He was crucified by the Roman State as a political revolutionary, and his followers believe that the third day after his execution, he rose from the dead, alive and glorified, declared in power to be the Son of God.

A number of the earliest Christian writings, in fact, were written simply to tell and interpret his story—they are early biographies, so to speak, of Jesus Christ. 

These books are sometimes called the Gospels, and the Gospel writers were intent on setting down the historical events of his life, from what they personally witnessed, or what was handed down to them through oral tradition.

Of course, at the same time as these books were being written, communities of Jesus’ followers—the early Christians—were springing up all over the ancient world.  These were groups of men and women who worshipped and followed Jesus as the Saviour, but needed guidance and instruction to worship him and follow him correctly.

So the Apostles—church leaders who had been specially commissioned by Jesus for this job—wrote letters  to these churches for specific purposes: to settle church disputes, maybe, to clarify teaching, perhaps, to encourage Christians who were going through persecution, and so on.  These letters were circulated and re-circulated around the various churches as occasion arose and opportunity allowed.

After a number of generations, a bunch of these epistles were in circulation, along with a number of documents telling the story of Jesus, so Church leaders decided it would be a good idea to identify which writings were historical and reliable and authentic writings about Jesus, which books, that is, belonged in the Canon.

The earliest official “list” of books that belonged in the Bible wasn’t approved until 393 AD, but the list itself goes back to the earliest generations of the church.

Of course the Gospels and the Epistles only account for 1/3 of the actual content of the Bible. 

To understand where the other 2/3rs came from you need to remember that Christianity originated out of first-century Judaism.  Jesus himself was a Jew, and the Jews in his day had their own set of sacred writings that described the history of God’s life with Israel.  Christians sometimes call these Hebrew Scriptures the Old Testament, and the essentially, this was the Bible as it existed in Jesus’s day.

Jesus’ message, in fact, was that, as the Messiah, he was the fulfillment of whole entire message of the Hebrew Scriptures—the fulfillment of all its prophecies, the meaning of its law, the answer to all its questions and the completion of its story.    

So: Because it’s impossible to know who he is without knowing the story that he claimed to fulfill, Christians have always insisted that the Old Testament—the Hebrew Scriptures—are an integral part of God’s Word, and that it’s not complete without them.
  
This then, is how we got the Christian Bible.  It’s a book that literally grew up around the person of Jesus Christ—the writings that promised him before-hand, the writings that interpreted his life story, and the writings that teach us how to follow him, now.

Or, like Jesus himself said it in one place, "These were written to testify about me."

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