Monday, February 16, 2009

A Touch of Folk/Bluegrass Music

Here are two videos of fantastic performances. Even if you are not much of a bluegrass listener, the instrumental prowess on display here should both arrest and amaze.

1) Alison Krauss and Union Station playing "Choctaw Hayride"

2) Dobro legend Jerry Douglas and band playing "We Hide and Seek"

And most Americans settle for "pop." How ludicrous. (This goes for "pop country" as well, with repeat offenders such as Rascal Flatts and Shania Twain.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Faith with Conviction

"If we are really convinced of the truth of our message, then we can proclaim it before a world of enemies, then the very difficulty of our task, the very scarcity of our allies becomes an inspiration, then we can even rejoice that God did not place us in an easy age, but in a time of doubt and perplexity and battle. Then, too, we shall not be afraid to call forth other soldiers into the conflict. Instead of making our theological seminaries merely centres of religious emotion, we shall make them battle-grounds of the faith, where, helped a little by the experience of Christian teachers, men are taught to fight their own battle, where they come to appreciate the real strength of the adversary and in the hard school of intellectual struggle learn to substitute for the unthinking faith of childhood the profound convictions of full-grown men."

-J. Gresham Machen, "Christianity and Culture," 1912

The essay in its entirety can be found here:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Abide With Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

-Henry Francis Lyte, 1847