Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pirates, magic, and hymns...

Before I go into a lengthy rehash of a seminar I attended this weekend, I’ll share a few things with you.

First of all, the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End has been released. It was the Russian version, but even without English dialogue it looks pretty amazing. I’m not sure when the English trailer is being released. I was going to post it here, but YouTube took it down. Poo on them! Some pretty awesome stuff though ... sword fight between Davy Jones and Jack ... giant whirlpool ... ship careening off a giant waterfall. Needless to say, I can't wait and will definitely be seeing it at a midnight showing first thing.

I also finished a promotional video for my friend Brett’s magic business this weekend. I might have showed some of you one earlier, but this is much different with a ton of added stuff. Some of the footage of magic tricks doesn’t look too great, but, mind you, I didn’t shoot that footage. Let me know what you think.

This weekend here at Bryan, we had a Bryan Center for Critical Thought and Practice seminar. This time it was on the worship wars in churches, although it didn’t really talk much about the wars. Aside from the unintentionally humorous introductions by the esteemed Dr. VanEaton (Mr. Moneybags) I learned a lot of things from it this weekend and, after it was over, was very glad that I went. I’ve written a bit more about this weekend, but thought I would just point out the main thoughts that got across to me from the very gifted speakers I heard this weekend.

In today’s culture, we come to worship as spectators wanting to see a performance.

When talking about worship services he has seen in churches, Professor Pullen said, “They had the science down, but not the art. Art is where feeling and meaning is portrayed in music.”

When it comes to hymns, music bonds with words to make a complete, meaningful whole.

By taking away hymnals in churches and only projecting words, we are facilitating musical illiteracy.

In today’s society, we don’t have our bodies or minds dressed very much for worship.

Any enthusiastic Christian can write a worship song, but only the good stuff will survive the test of time.

We must worship totally, personally, and humanly.

When the Bible talks about God’s glory, it is referring to God’s beauty. Love, truth, and beauty are grounded in who God is.

Music must be grounded in a theology of worship which is grounded in the being of God.

I wish my generation appreciated hymns more. I wish that new life could be breathed into my peers through the powerful texts of some of these songs. Dr. Pullen said that hymns are not old and rusty, we just need to be willing to dust them off and make them ready to use again. He led us in a couple of hymns, explaining how we should sing some of the phrases and really mean them! It was great. My room mate came away saying that it made him want to learn more about music. That makes me very happy.

I also came away from this weekend with a favorite hymn to add to my list. The words have really gotten to me this weekend ever since Dr. Price said them yesterday. It’s called, “If All You Want, Lord,” written by Thomas Troger. It has a pretty un-original tune but amazing words.
If all your want, Lord, is my heart,
My heart is yours alone –
Providing I may set apart
My mind to be my own.

If all you want, Lord, is my mind,
My mind belongs to you.
But let my heart remain inclined
To do what it would do.

If my heart and mind would both suffice
While I kept my strength and soul,
At least I would not sacrifice
Completely my control.

But since, O God, you want them all
To shape with your own hand,
I pray for grace to heed your call,
To live your first command.


raymond said...

hey, I found your blog through the blog of the all too amazing Jeffrey Overstreet. Hope you don't mind a comment from a complete stranger. I noticed Magnolia is one of your favorites movies...that movie completely flipped my perspective of movies upside down. I need to watch it again....

---Dr. Pullen said that hymns are not old and rusty, we just need to be willing to dust them off and make them ready to use again.---

I completely agree. It wasn't until I actually started paying attention that I began to appreciate hymns more and more over some of the rather hollow pop and sentimental Christian songs we choose today. My favorite hymn is "Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing".

And does pirates not look amazing, or what? Its so good to have Geoffrey Rush back.


RC said...

i too agree that hymns are not old and rusty...BUT i also think that that every generation be afforded the opportunity to add to the cannon of worship music in words and a style that speak from their heart.