Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random Thoughts

I don't pretend to understand the migration patterns of the undergrads and graduates on the North Park campus, but I have made two observations about population peaks in the community:
1. The first two weeks of a semester (especially after the New Year (New Year's resolutions seem to be the culprit)) the population of students spend much more time in the gym.
2. The last two weeks of the semester it is as if students realize for the first time that North Park has a library.

Products that I go through much too fast for my age:
1. Alka-seltzer. I get heartburn like I'm a 75 year-old.
2. Cinnamon Toast Crunch/Captain Crunch Berries/Lucky Charms/Cocoa Puffs. Seriously, like a six year-old.
3. pens. How old do I need to be before I can keep track of writing utensils? At least I have gone from losing others pens to losing my own pens.
4. socks. Repeat comments from #3 inserting "socks" where "pens" currently is...kind of. I didn't really lose anyone else's socks because that's not my scene (wearing others socks). Oh, except for my dad. I have raided that dresser many a time.

Right now I'm doing one of the least favorite parts of my job: listening to new worship music on iTunes. There is a lot of bad music out there that must be culled through to find a few decent songs. I wish writers of worship music would spend more time thinking about the words they sing and what they are conveying theologically. As professor John Weborg is wont to say, "Words create worlds." Maybe we need more theologically-trained worship leaders. No, let me rephrase, we need more theologically-trained worship leaders and songwriters. To worship in "spirit and truth" means we need to say true things about who God is and who we are in relationship to God. We need to tell the story of God rather than our own.

There's this idea that Sam Wells writes about in his book Improvisation (he takes it from Hans Urs Von Balthasar); he says that we have made two mistakes with God and God's story. When we tell it as epic, we try and tell it totally objectively and pretend we can tell it objectively without imposing our own beliefs and thoughts. When we tell it as lyric, we only are concerned with how it affects us, how we feel about it. The synthesis of these two, Wells says, is dramatic, concerned with both the objective and affective. I think the same is true for worship. Epic worship tells the story but loses the spirit; this is the caricature of high liturgical worship that has seems to have no life or no aspects that carry over to other parts of life. On the other hand, lyric worship is the "me and Jesus" syndrome where nothing matters but how I feel. This is the other caricature where you wouldn't be able to tell a song was about God or about that person's significant other (I'm thinking "Draw Me Close to You," which never mentions God), and worship is judged only by how you feel. We need a dramatic worship that synthesizes these two, that tells a story and affects our lives, that calls us to deeper discipleship and action. Anyway, that's what's been on my mind as I work on my thesis.

Okay, I'm going to go before I start ranting. Later.


  1. Preach it. I'm really glad you didn't start ranting.

  2. One time in a history class, Derek didn't have a pen, so he ran down to the weight room, stole one, and returned.

    I also lose pens like nobody's business.

    And I hate crappy worship songs.

  3. Also, now that you've been talking about lame worship songs, I've had "I am a friend of God" stuck in my head the last few days.