One of my Favorite Worship Songs

From my favorite bearded worship leader.

Bill Wolf – Dust to Glory



American Idol goes…Christian?

Now I know the only person on this blog that watches America Idol in Adam H (actually the guy has watched it religiously for like 5 years). So I wanted to point your attention to the fact that Idol closed it’s Idol Gives Back show with a rendition of Shout to the Lord, the famous Christian worship song.

So here’s what happened. Apparently only three of the performers sung the opening line “My Jesus, My Savior”. Now even more strange is that on the “Live” show they amended the lyrics to say, “My Shepard, My Savior”, but when showing highlights on Thursday they sang, “My Jesus, My Savior”.

Now I know many Christians who are excited to see the name of Jesus proclaimed (well, at least on Thursday), but as many of you faithful readers have come to know, I am a skeptic. Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol are very shrewd business men. And if I had to make a comment, I would assume they were simply pandering to a large American demographic: Christians. Actually there is probably very little doubt this is what they were doing.

So is this a good or bad thing? Were the three contestants the only one’s willing to sing to Jesus (even though the girl was singing to the Jesus who used to be a man, but obtained God status and filled the earth with his spirit babies)? Why did they change the lyrics back and forth (legal no doubt)? Should Christian rejoice in the air time or disparage the fact we are being pandered to?

What say you?


McLaren, Driscoll, Juno and Famous Black People

Vicky says it has been too long since I have blogged. Not believing her I decided to check and yeah, it’s been a while. So I thought I would catch up in 3’s:

3 Books I’m in right now

– Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren

– Introduction to Biblical Theology by Klein, Blomberg, etc.

– World Biblical Commentary – 44 – Colossians, Philemon by O’Brien

Mostly school and a little fun from BMac.

3 CD’s that are rocking my world right now

– Fort Nightly by White Rabbits

– In Rainbows by Radiohead

– Juno Soundtrack

3 Issues that have been on my mind

– Abortion

thanks to the following: NPR – possibly the worst thing I have ever heard on the subject, I had to turn it off before I completely lost it; Obama – the man and I have very different idea of what “justice” means; Juno – great, great, great movie. Unfortunately, what it does for pro-lifers it does the same for teenage fornicators. Adam Carola – he’s been especially preachy lately, great for perspective on commentary against the church)

– Politics

thanks to the following: Vicky – she’s a junkie for sure; Time Magazine; Jonathan’s blog; Matt Drudge

– 14 kinds of Grace

thanks to Mark “300 books” Driscoll. I mean really, was mentioning over and over again that you are going to write that many books necessary to helping me understanding grace? Really? Still great, but really?

3 Things That Might Change This Year

– The city I live in  (I know, when will it stop)

– The amount of people I live with

– The amount of healthy churches that meet it bars in Las Vegas

3 Things About This Blog

– We get roughly 25-30 hits a day for people searching for “famous black people” thanks to my post on The Bible Experience. And with Black History Month coming up I expect that number to increase. Sorry people searching for famous black people, you’re stuck with two white guys.

– Ryan’s in his last real semester of Seminary. Go ahead and send him some encouragement. I am really proud of him. Who would have though Dawson Leary in Seminary and Joey a manipulated Scientologist. Times have changed.

– Last year we had a little over 13,000 blog hits which was aided supremely by the Washington Post linking here. This month we had a little over 3,000. So expect a healthy dose of posts about more famous black people over the next few weeks. We’re shooting for 50,000 this year.

Peace Out – matt

Back in School

Here’s an excerpt from a recent conversation I had with a good friend:

Good Friend: “Hey Matt, want to go to the Rebel game on Wednesday night?”

Me: “Um, I think I’ll pass. I need to study.”

And may I say for the record that I would have never said such a comment in undergrad. And the Rebels were TERRIBLE when I was attending. Maybe it’s the fact that I just shelled out over a thousand dollars of my own money for a class, or maybe it’s the fact that I absolutely love my class on Biblical Interpretation; I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I have a 4 page Historical Background Study due next week and I am totally geeked up about it. And for those of you thinking, “Aw, you’re so cute, tell me how excited you are when your in the middle of Hebrew”, you may be right, but don’t steal my joy.

It’s getting late though, time for a whiskey sour, a Colossians manuscript and some constant play of IN Rainbows by Radiohead.


Now playing: Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
via FoxyTunes

Matt’s Music Picks 2007

In response to Ryan’s music post, I will offer my 5 favorite albums I have purchased this year. Note: this does not necessarily mean these albums actually came out this year, it simply means that we discovered them this year. If you want new indie music from this year I would refer you to Steve McCoy. No one knows new indie music better than midwestern surburban SBC pastors.

Now, for my top five in no particular order

1. With Love and SqualorWe Are Scientists

Okay so maybe I lied when I said there was no particular order. This is my favorite album. We Are Scientists just plain rock. As I always say, I like my emo to have a heavy guitar. This got more play on my ipod than anything else.

2. Black Holes and RevelationsMuse

Credit goes to Tom Schmidt for turning me on to these guys. The different sound coming through make for a wonderful experience. Most times I simply like things that rock, but if you can come up with s a techno-rock ballad that can only be described as a modern Bohemian Rhapsody (Knights of Cydonia), well then you earn spot number 2.

3. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m NotArctic Monkeys

This UK band has a garage band sound, and when you get done listening to the CD you feel like you should smell like smoke from a dive bar in London. Just a hard dirty sound, best for working out, or driving fast. Vicky’s hates this CD.

4. Room on FireThe Strokes

I feel stupid for not discovering the Strokes before. Sometimes you can’t tell if they have a dance groove, and emo vibe, or are just a rock band. The CD translates to so many different scenes. Running, reading, or just hanging out. Since this was a late addition, I debated waiting to include it on next years list due to how much play it should get next year, but oh well, its too good to omit.

5. tie Under the Iron SeaKeane and Eyes OpenSnow Patrol

Great mellow stuff. I’m not sure if Keane even uses a guitar. I saw them on an SNL re-run and all they had on stage was a keyboard, a drum kit, and their creepy, pudgy, tight clothes wearing singer. That experience almost made me not listen to their stuff, but there inclusion on this list is a testament to how good it is.

Snow Patrol is just amazing. Just a great mellow sound that I could listen to over and over.

Honorable Mention: Step Outside Yourself – Over It, Green is the Now – Chris Heifner, A Weekend in the City – Bloc Party, The Sun and The Moon – The Bravery, Light Grenades – Incubus, Young Modern – Silverchair

Later today I assume Ryan will put a top five out for: books, blogs, beers, etc.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – Let’s Have Some Fun with this. Post your top albums in the comment section, this could be a cool discussion.

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Good Music from 2007

I really have no business writing this post because I am really a neophyte when it comes to music, but these are artists who I enjoyed throughout this year.

1.  Miles Davis/Lester Young:  This has more to do with a new found appreciation with Jazz.  Maybe it is me growing older and not wanting music to raise my blood pressure but I have just sat for hours reading and listening to Jazz this year.

2.  The Decemberists:  This group remains one of my favorite out there.  I had only listened to their new CD until recently, but have since rectified that by going back and getting there older stuff.  They are magical story tellers and can be listened to over and over.

3.  Bloc Party:  Their new CD that came out this year was solid but so drastically different from their first one that it took me a long time to really get into it.  Plus if you are a Bloc Party fan you will be excited to know that just released a new song called “flux.”  Yes I said new song not new album, and after listening to it I can tell you it is because they found an awesome techno beat they were dying to use.  It is worth getting.

4.  Kanye West:  Hands down the best album of 2007, this is not even open for discussion, so don’t bother writing a comment about it because I will just delete it (that goes for Matt also).  If there was ever an album that I think could offer a money back guarantee it would be this one, it is that good.  Everyone I know who has listened to this album (preferably twice through) has come away amazed by Kanye’s masterful lyrics, and captivating beats.  There is a reason he is up for 8 Grammy’s for this album including best album of the year.  I know I have already plugged Kayne on this blog numerous times but I will keep doing so until Matt breaks down and listens to it.  So Matt I am appealing to you; don’t let this be like “West Wing” where many years have to go by before you do the right thing, treat yourself and listen to it now.  I know that you have lost faith in rap, I have to, in fact as I thought about it Kayne is possibly the only rapper out there that I will listen to anymore.  But Kayne will make you a believer once again.

So there are some of my music picks from 2007 with Kanye West’s “Graduation” getting the nod for best album of the year.  If you got itune gift cards for Christmas use them on some of these songs.


Famous Black People Read the Bible

I recent came across The Bible Experience with at Costco the other day and was extremely intrigued.

Most audio Bibles I have heard seem to put me to sleep. But there is absolutely no way I could not be at attention with famous black people reading the Bible (note to those of you aware of my humor: I am not joking). Now we have had famous black people read the Bible before, such as Darth Vadar, but he shouldn’t represent all black people that read Bibles becuase he is real boring. There is no way Tyrese Gibson is as boring as the Sandlot guy.

But, I was curious to see if a certain famous black person was going to be included (note: this is a joke becuase if you look at all who contributed, I think every famous black person except for J.J. Walker was included). And to my delight, I can confirm that Samuel L. Jackson is in fact a contributor. For those of you who have no idea why this is amazing, I present to you:

Jules Winnfield and Ezekiel 25:17 (Warning: this is not a real Bible verse, and a man is shot in this scene, besides that this clip is awesome)