Saturday Survey #8

*Wow, I didn’t know my guess would be proved right so quickly. The Kingsmen have indeed hired Bob Sellers as their new lead singer. Great choice!

* “Looking For a City” has been Canupped and it is graphic. Not for viewers under age twelve.

*I attended two online events this week from the Booth Brothers—a webinar from Michael Booth on keeping the gospel in gospel music and a full concert from the whole group. I was very inspired by Michael’s webinar and hope to share some verbatim quotes that I found particularly insightful when I get clearance to do so. The Booth Brothers’ concert was a mix of Christmas songs and regular material. Despite technical difficulties which repeatedly shut the event down, the Brothers were completely gracious and continued performing a full hour beyond schedule so as not to short-change the fans. Classy as always.

*It’s been a busy week what with finals, planning for the next semester and assorted other stressful stuff. Because of that, I haven’t had the chance to put together a review of the Gaither Christmas Homecoming I went to yet. Look for that hopefully sometime next week.

*My friend Dustin Allman just posted a great clip of Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma performing a Christmas carol in the studio.

*Google just released its Zeitgeist 2011 in review clip. My advice: Skip it and wait for Dave Barry’s summary instead, which is sure to be far more interesting, entertaining and enlightening.

*Christopher Hitchens has died. Russell Moore speculates that he might be in heaven, which makes about as much sense as speculating that Bill Gaither might be our next president.

*Speaking of Russell Moore, he’s really starting to annoy me. I recently read a reprint of a terrible 2009 article of his called “Jesus Has AIDS.” I know… the title says it all. It’s really painful. The level of historical, theological and biblical carelessness in that article alone is unconscionable, particularly coming from the Dean of SBTS. Read a wonderful fisking of it here, which doesn’t even criticize everything there is to be criticized and also connects this post with a pattern Moore has developed of intentionally and shallowly provoking the right.

*If any of my readers appreciate meditative, classically-flavored music with top-notch vocals and writing, I cannot recommend Jean Watson highly enough. She has worked with Don Koch (of 4Him, Phillips Craig & Dean, Point of Grace and Avalon fame, though her music is completely different stylistically from those groups) and is an amazing person. I just saw her perform last night and obtained her Christmas project, which I may even review here as part of my Christmas series.

*Oh, and about that series… sorry there haven’t been any more new installments. Next week…

*I cannot believe it’s taken me so long to watch The Fugitive. Classic, classic, classic, classic, classic…. I firmly believe the only reason it didn’t win more Oscars is because, like every other film besides Schindler’s List that came out in 1993 it… well, came out in the same year as Schindler’s List. But at least Tommy Lee Jones captured a richly deserved Oscar:

*Random did-you-know: Did you know that Mark Hamill won critical acclaim playing Amadeus and the Elephant Man on Broadway after Star Wars? Really!

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6 Comments

Filed under News, Open Threads

6 responses to “Saturday Survey #8

  1. Hi – I just recently encountered your blog (via, I think, http://www.challies.com) and I have been enjoying it. I grew up around Southern Gospel music in metro Atlanta, and it definitely has a place in my heart. I won’t say it is my favorite style. I tend more to the 80s (?) big orchestral/choir-oriented stuff like what Steve Green and Sandi Patti did for a while.

    Anyway – I was a little surprised when I saw your reference to Russell Moore worded the way it was. I had to go search your site to see your prior concerns with his stuff.

    First, I appreciate that you shoot for objectivity in your critiques. None of us is going to be right 100% of the time (probably including my grammar just then), but it is easy to give well-known teachers that we follow a pass or to read with a bias for them (or against those with whom we typically disagree). So I appreciate your kudos to him for his response regarding divorce.

    I am curious about your response to his post about Hitchens though. I will say that there was, for lack of a better description, excessive fascination with this celebrity atheist from many in the Christian community. I too doubt that he came to Christ. And perhaps there isn’t a whole lot of value in the point Moore was making. But it is certainly true that deathbed conversions are not impossible. I would say that if there is any class of people the existence of whose salvation we cannot assume, it would be those who come to faith on their deathbed. We have no evidence of fruit to support an assumption either way. So I guess I am just interested in a little more elaboration from you.

    Anyway, thanks for your thought-provoking posts!
    JimB

    • Hi Jim, and welcome! Thank you for the courteous comment and for your interest in the blog. I too have a definite soft spot for the big 80s sound. As you can see on my “About” page, Steve Green is my favorite singer.

      I’ll try to elaborate a bit on my thoughts regarding Moore and Hitchens. You took the words out of my mouth first of all when you said “excessive fascination.” Secondly, there was more to it than the fact that Hitchens was a relentlessly virulent hater of all things that were of God, or that he had taken great pains to inform the world that should rumor spread of a deathbed conversion, it would be FALSE (though all that should definitely be taken into account). What pushed it over the edge was that when he was in the last stages of his life, he gave express orders that nobody could come and visit him unless they promised not to speak of Christ or Christianity. In other words, he held the witness of the gospel at arm’s length down to the very end.

      So, the problem isn’t simply that we have no evidence either way that he was converted. We have very good evidence to assume that he was not.

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