10 songs in 2 days on the Goodson Chapel piano

I had a bit of a creative explosion this week while I was attending the Duke Divinity Convocation so I wanted to share the fruit. Basically I wrote two raps and one praise song from Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon. Then I played hookey from several of the lectures at the Convocation to sit down at my favorite piano in the world in Goodson Chapel and record these three songs and seven others with my iPhone propped on the music stand. The sound quality is actually not too bad. Because of time constraints, I did almost everything on the first take, mistakes and all, unless I completely shut down. So almost all the songs have two or three mistakes. Anyway I’m sharing them below. Some of them might sting a little bit because God is giving me a prophetic word to call out some things about the American church right now. As there’s always a mix of flesh and spirit, some of my cynicism and arrogance may have found its way in. That’s where I depend on you to call me out so I can refine this and make it more glorifying to God. So please critique and offer suggestions!!! (And don’t laugh too hard at the goofy expressions on my face on this page.) Continue reading

Legion (The American Exorcism): a rap

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post about a phenomenon I’m witnessing among American evangelicals that seems like a massive reenactment of Jesus’ exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac in which he casts a bunch of demons from a man into a herd of pigs who storm off a cliff and drown. As the tinfoil hat types among us get more and more obviously ridiculous and start racing towards a cliff, many of us are turning back in disgust as Jesus exorcises our demons. So this song is the rap version of that blog post, basically mixing imagery from Mark 5 with the parable of talents. Continue reading

Pigs to the water: the American exorcism

One of the most dramatic exorcisms of Jesus’ ministry takes place in Mark 5 when Jesus casts a legion of demons out of a man chained to a graveyard in the region of the Gerasenes by sending them into a herd of pigs who run with fury to a cliff and throw themselves in a lake. For the last several years, as certain aspects of the evangelical corner of American Christianity that I inhabit have looked less and less Christlike, I have had a single prayer that I have written probably several hundred times in my journal: “Lord, let their fruit be made plain.” I’m not sure who the “they” in the prayer is — probably people who earnestly hunger after God no less than I do. But it’s hit me this week that God really is answering my prayer. I really think American Christianity in the age of the culture wars has been like that tortured Gerasene demoniac ranting and raving in the graveyard and finally that legion of demons is starting to reveal itself in a herd of pigs who are racing furiously for the water. Continue reading