God Contracted to a Span: A Wesleyan Advent Hymn

Charles Wesley’s parents had 17 children before he came along. His premature birth was initially considered a still-birth because of his lack of vitality, a lack which continued through weeks of near silence.  There was no real reason for optimism. But, Oh, how he made up for that later in life! He preached twice to…

12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic

Whenever I sit down to write the culmination of a research project, I purchase a new CD to provide the soundtrack. Sometimes they are little more than disappointing. This time, however, I have found a gem. Angel Dances: The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmic Orchestra is truly amazing. The styles range from traditional early…

commonplacing

More new titles of interest in the library: Michael D. Bush, This Incomplete One: Words Occasioned by the Death of a Young Person (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006). A moving compilation of funeral and grave-side messages given on the occasion of the untimely death of a younger person, this short work includes contributions by sixteen different…

commonplacing

At the behest of Russ (who himself has a blog, but, alas, I know not where), our resident computer genius, and in response to his passing chastisement concerning the recent inactivity here at CommonPlaces, I  give you these new and interesting book acquisitions in the library: Nancy Kalikow Maxwell, Sacred Stacks: The Higher Purpose of…

theo-musicology, two blokes, and a song in my head

I recently read (but didn’t understand) much of Jeremy Begbie’s Theology, Music and Time. I have many questions and comments to make about this book, but you really don’t need to be subjected to that. Begbie (BLOKE #1) is Vice Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge University, where he teaches systematic theology. He is also an…

a hymn by him?

This is my first attempt at hymnwriting. Please be kind. To the tune of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” Righteous Savior, holy splendor, pre-incarnate Deity; Pure and holy, pre-existent, molder of Eternity. Chorus: He is Risen! He is Risen! Jesus Christ, alive today! God embodied human nature, Glory to humility; As His blood was…

jazz, theology, and improvisation

Cynthia Nielsen over at Per Caritatem always has something insightful to say, be it on history, philosophy, music or art, and her posts are frequently an horizon-broadening experience. This brief post on Benson’s The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue contains: I wholeheartedly agree with Benson’s take on jazz as “premeditatedspontaneity.” That is, contrary to the common…

the soundtrack to my research

Before I begin writing after the culmination of a research project, I purchase some new music to be the soundtrack and provide encouragement to persevere. Its a good way to keep my writing moving forward and also broaden my musical horizons. You see, I can’t play a thing. I can’t even sing. So listening is…