Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Problem with Christmas Music

Nathan Lawrenson laments "The Problem with Christmas Music" without going all "Bah, humbug!"

Here's a snippet:

Christmas music is such a beautiful and fun part of doubt everyone has distinct memories of Christmases past (whether good or bad), and, my guess is that most of us relate many of our Christmas memories with the music of the season.

And, therein lies the problem with Christmas music. I've discovered over the years that, it's very easy for us (Christ followers) to sing our favorite Chrismas carols at church in December and never allow for anything more than that warm nostalgic feeling. We can get so caught up in the warm feelings that worship never really takes place...worship is our primary purpose when we gather together on Sunday mornings, not singing Christmas songs.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Peter Jackson to Produce Two Hobbit Movies

Yep. Peter Jackson, the (formerly) Hobbit-like director of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, has agreed to produce the two new Hobbit movies due out in 2010 and 2011. The most astonishing news is not that New Line Cinema finally caved in to the 'Rings' fans by reluctanly bringing back Jackson. (Apparently he and New Line had an argument about money of all things?!)

Nope. The strange news is that there are TWO Hobbit movies in the making. Ummm...why two? Either they'll split the book into two parts, or make a sequel or prequel. Either way, I'm skeptical.

Michael Lynn, the co-chief executive officer of New Line claims:
The two "Hobbit'' movies will serve as prequels to the "Lord of the Rings'' trilogy, with the second film acting as a bridge to the first installment of "Lord of the Rings."
Even though it would be interesting if one of the films took us further back into Tolkien's greater work, The Silmarillion, I would rather that they make one movie faithful to the text, yet beautifully rendered. We'll have to wait and see.

If you're interested in Hobbit news and gossip go here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Most Important Worship Resource of 2008?

Bob Kauflin's book Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God will be available in April 2008. Having been hugely blessed by Bob's blog Worship Matters, his various lectures, and his God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered songs...I am willing to go out on a limb and say that this book is going to be the most important worship resource of 2008!

You can pre-order it here. I hope to share the contents and endorsements as they come out.

For now here's a small taste...

What is our greatest hindrance in worshipping God? We could come up with a number of potential answers.

“Our worship leader isn’t very experienced.”
“The services are too planned/spontaneous.”
“The songs are too complex/simple.”
“The band/orchestra/organist/guitarist sounds bad.”
“There are too many new/old songs.”
“Our church is too big/small.”

Ignoring for a moment that all these statements refer to a meeting context, they reveal a profound misconception about the hindrances to true worship. Contrary to what we might think, our greatest problem doesn’t lie outside us, but within our own hearts. It’s the problem of idolatry.

--from "Worship Services: Idolatry on Sunday Mornings"