Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I was recently directed to this article in The Banner (for those outside CRC heritage, the denominational magazine of the Christian Reformed church). It asks some interesting questions, but in my opinion, answers them weakly. I want to take a few small issues with the article:
1. The article talks about how often when young adults get married and have kids they come back to the "family-oriented" church. Let me make something clear. Family-oriented alienates single twenty-somethings. I'm fairly happy with my life. I have a fulfilling career and social life. I don't think I will get married for at least four more years. And I don't need "family-oriented" making me feel like my current life moment is unacceptable. If a church focuses a lot on parenting, marriage, and kids, is it really a surprise that single people in their twenties don't think it's for them?
2. The article mentions divisions and infighting. Sure, that's part of it, but from my perspective it's foot-dragging. I believe the church should be ahead of society on justice issues like women in leadership and gay rights. Instead I find that even this year, when great strides were taken, synod allows classes to still hold women back from participating in denominational governance. On gay rights issues, the CRC is frustratingly ambiguous.
3. I find the very idea that young people joining churches in other denominations is a "problem" a bit offensive. The CRC has been a part of an insular dutch community for generations, and young people find that ethnic identity less important, and a spirit of eccumenicism appealing. So what?
Friday, August 17, 2007
Many fans of the band were disappointed with their third album, Why Should the Fire Die, because it is less straight-ahead bluegrass. It has a bit of a sharper edge to it, and blends into other genres. I, on the other hand, love genre-blending, and found this album innovative and engaging. I have had it on my ipod nano since I purchased the gadget in December, and I’m still not sick of it. Pretty much everything else in my collection has gotten cycled in and out of my “ipod favs” playlist, but I just can’t get enough of this album.
Really each song on this album has had a moment of being my favorite, I think they are all strong for different reasons. I particularly love the haunting melody of the title track, and I often find myself singing “Doubting Thomas” to myself. I love the sarcastic edge that some of these songs have, like “When in