Category: Worship

The missed opportunity of Duke’s Muslim call to prayer

Last week, Duke University reversed its decision to allow the traditional Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast from its historic chapel tower. The permission for Muslim students to recite the prayer on Fridays for three minutes from the bell tower was rescinded following strong criticisms from Christians and a “serious and credible security threat.” Evangelical public figure Franklin Graham, in…  [more]

Andraé Crouch and making every minute count

Andraé Crouch passed away yesterday and I’m still processing it. I’ve been listening to his records since I was a little kid. For the last couple of years I’ve been honored to serve as the creative director overseeing his incredible song catalog at Capitol CMG Publishing. So no, I am not objective about his legacy in the slightest. Andraé was certainly one of the most influential…  [more]

What price glory? Parsing the mixed messages of sports celebrations

This week the NFL spawned a heated debate about who can be worshipped in the end zone. During Monday’s routing of the New England Patriots, Husain Abdullah, a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, intercepted a Tom Brady pass and returned it for a touchdown. His performance was the talk of social media. No, not his athletic performance, but rather the fact that he fell to his knees after scoring and bowed his…  [more]

America’s most epic churches?

Editor’s note: After clicking on one of the photo links below, give your browser a few seconds and the corresponding image should load. In an Internet of endless clickbait, an article promising “Divine Photos of America’s Most Epic Churches” threatens to be just another BuzzFeed list of Worst Celebrity Facelifts, only more uplifting. But the piece, in Wired, features stunning photography by…  [more]

Binge-watching TV and seasons of the church

I grew up in a worshiping community that was big on church seasons. Our sanctuary and children’s ministry rooms were decorated to match the color of the season and we aligned our worship and programming around those seasons. I remember the excitement of Pentecost, with the flame symbols and bright red décor, and then the seemingly unending season after Pentecost, or “growing season,” that…  [more]

Amazon and delivering on the Lord’s Day

Retail giant Amazon garnered big headlines this month by partnering with the United States Postal Service to offer Sunday delivery. Some might ask why this is even a story. After all, it’s not news for retailers or restaurants to be open on Sunday. And the USPS actually did deliver on Sunday until 1912. Perhaps this story has made waves because it represents the further symbolic colonization of our culture…  [more]

A sober look at the beer church trend

I’m a Christian and I like beer. Judge me if you must. But it helps explain why I was naturally drawn to a recent NPR story about churches bringing in new members through booze.  The story starts in a pub where regular patrons looking for trivia night stumble across a full-blown church service, communion and all. It’s the ultimate “go where the people are” gesture in reaching out to…  [more]

What AT&T can teach us about children’s sermons

You know the familiar scene. The pastor or another church leader invites the children to the front. He or she sits on the steps with them and the entertainment begins. Kids Say the Darndest Things, as the old TV show was called. We hope for that during our children’s sermons. Sort of like those adorable kids in the recent AT&T commercials. R. B. Kuiper, president of Calvin Theological Seminary in the…  [more]

From Passion Week to Fashion Week

I am captivated by the pageantry of Passion Week. The week begins with purple, the color that’s in season. Purple accentuates the pulpits, the bulletins and the banners in churches (not to mention my shoes and my fingernails). In one week the color in season changes to the black of Holy Friday. The pulpits, the bulletins and the banners in the church (and, yes, my shoes and fingernails) are quickly changed…  [more]

NASA’s canticle of the sun

We’re sending you into the weekend with something lighter – and we mean that literally. Earlier this week, NASA released a video compiling three years’ worth of continual observation of the sun in about three minutes. According to the agency, two images per day were used to create the video. NPR reported on the music used for the production – it’s “A Lady’s Errand of…  [more]

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