Danceable Homiletics #1: Ring Them Bells (featuring Brian Zahnd)

My friend Bram gave me an epiphany today. I asked him what I should do to a trance track I made last night since he’s from Europe and they actually listen to trance over there. He said why don’t you overlay it with vocals from a Pentecostal preacher’s sermon. And that was how the new genre of danceable homiletics was born. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. Let me know if you have any favorite sermons you’d like me to trance-late into danceable form. Track #1 was created from an awesome sermon by one of my favorite preachers Brian Zahnd of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. It’s called “Ring Them Bells.”

14 thoughts on “Danceable Homiletics #1: Ring Them Bells (featuring Brian Zahnd)

    • First I made the track using Ableton Live, an EDM producer software I’ve been working with since about 2006. I had listened to Brian’s sermon on podcast so I knew that I wanted to do something with it. It’s probably not where it could be in terms of rhythmical synchronization. I may also add a bell that actually sounds like a church bell instead of these little weeny bells. When I recorded the track, I wasn’t planning to use it for this purpose.

  1. This was a lot of fun, and an interesting message. Reminds me of the Raving Loonatics albums NSoul put out in the 90s.
    And here’s an interview I did with Moby, back in ’93. We took the interview, done at a Rave in Albuquerque, spliced it up on an old reel-to-reel, and laid it over one of Moby’s tracks.
    Re: the message. I’m not sold. Church bells to me are a lot more like the Muslim calls to prayer than what Zahnd alludes to. They are a sign of being a part of the establishment, and part of what sustains the establishment. What other group in America could have license to interrupt the rest of us sleeping in on our day off? The implication was that good *citizens* should be at church. That’s Christian-dom.
    The bells were silenced at the end of Christian-dom, like that Sunday Hauerwas snuck out to see a movie (Resident Aliens). The goal now should not be to re-establish Christian-dom, nor to get the church back into the establishment, but to look for the ways to subversively invade this world with God’s kingdom.

    • Eh… I think you can subversively use the metaphor. Did you listen all the way to the end? Brian is not calling for a return to Christendom by any means. He’s calling for prayer in place of attempted political hegemony. That’s kind of the point of his contrast along with the idea that Pentecostals should rediscover tradition and engage in ancient liturgical prayers and take communion every week.

  2. That was awesome!!! You couldn’t have choreographed it to sound so… So… So, for lack of a better word, PERFECT! It really helped me get the message too. At first I thought the music would distract me, but it had the complete opposite effect! I hope you two do some more of these. And I totally agree with Bryan’s message. It agrees with Our Lord, who says we, His children, will be known by our love. Thank you Morgan!

  3. Pingback: Ring Them Bells ~ Danceable Homiletics |

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