Category: Culture

Theological Imperialism and the Black Community

by Rick Pidcock

Over the past few years, there has been an awakening of greater interest in reformed theology from some within the Black community.  However, this interest among some has been met with a racially-influenced skepticism by others.

In the following interview, Trip Lee, Eric Mason, and Lecrae reveal a very honest and thought-provoking assessment of the struggles that they face in their communities as reformed theologians, as well as share some thoughts on how to effectively communicate reformed theology to the Black community.

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Sovereignty & The Small Stuff

by Rick Pidcock

Do you ever find yourself pondering at simple moments of connection within the Body of Christ and wondering, “Now how did that happen?”

The other day, I wrote an article entitled “Time Traveling Worship.”  Then today, I checked my e-mail, and saw that somebody named Samantha Krieger had posted a comment on the article.  Her comment began with, “Rick- you have a great blog. Somehow it popped up in my dashboard.”

I still don’t know that much about Samantha, and have never heard of her before.  But I did take a few moments to check out her blog, and was encouraged with a greater vision of Christ, much like she was with my blog.

Now, I could just go on with my blogging and think, “That was nice.”

But the more I think about it, something simple, yet strangely profound took place that I can’t just pass over as a simple coincidence of the dashboard. (more…)

Time Traveling Worship

by Rick Pidcock

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience worship in a completely different cultural context than the one that you are most comfortable with?  And by different culture, I mean more than just music style, I’m also talking about language, and even time.

Some of you might say, “Yes!  My church still worships as if they are in the 1600’s!”

Revelation 15:3 says, “And the sing the song of Moses, the servant of God.”  These are worshipers, thousands of years after Moses, worshiping God with a worship song that is much older than the hymns that many of our churches sing today.

So, I began to wonder, “What if we sang the same song that was sung thousands of years ago, in a different style and language?”  What would that look like?  Could the same song, in different cultures, communicate the same thing about God?  Or would the different setting bring out an entirely new vision of God?

Below are two recordings of the ancient hymn, “Phos Hilaron: Hail the Gladdening Light,” which dates back to 290-310 A.D.  The music in the first recording is Byzantine, even though the hymn text dates even further back than Gregorian chant.

The second recording is a recently released version by the David Crowder Band, in their album “Church Music.”

After you’re initially blown away by the difference in style, ask yourself these questions:

What does the first version cause you to reflect on God about?

What does the second version cause you to reflect on God about?

What do you get more of in one than in the other?

Do either of them seem to be missing something that the other does quite well?

What different emotions do each of these versions produce within you?

Does listening to both of them give you a more complete appreciation for the character of God, and the power of the gospel across language, time, and style?  If so, how?  If not, why not?


You Did It For Me

by Rick Pidcock

I wrote and recorded this song a few days ago for a fundraiser that is being held this December by a new non-profit organization in downtown Denver. It is based on the words of Christ in Matthew 25:34-40.

I’ll be sharing more information with you soon regarding the fundraiser.

Obama & The Age of Hope?

by Rick Pidcock

I usually tend to stay away from politics on my blog.  But in light of our nation gaining a new president, with new promises and expectations, I would like to take a few articles to discuss the implications of the gospel for some of these current issues and events.

For starters, check out this video from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

In the video, Jon Stewart shows a number of videos in order to humorously illustrate the fact that both President Bush and President Obama often speak in the same general terms of hope, peace, patriotism, and change.

Then at the end of the video, Stewart’s commentator says, “Honestly Jon, when Obama says this stuff, I don’t think he really means it. And that gives me hope.”

I know that I am rather young.  But I cannot think of a president that had such high expectations placed on him by our nation.  People everywhere are looking to President Obama to give them the hope and change that they need to be satisfied in life.

So I would like to briefly answer four questions concerning hope.  My goal in this is not to try to get you to vote one way or another, but rather simply to point out a few greater realities in light of the smaller realities that we are all so very focused on in our nation today.

(more…)

The Inferior Art of Christian Music

by Rick Pidcock

If I had a dollar for every time a Christian told me that they do not listen to Christian music, I’d be a full-time corporate worship leader.  As somebody who is passionate about worship, it always saddens me to hear this.  If God has given us a new song, then why would we not want to listen to music that expresses our grattitude to Him?

The main reason that people tell me they do not listen to Christian music is that it is inferior to the music produced by the world.  They say that Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is inferior to today’s rock music because its lyrics are bad poetry and its music is cheesy.  On the other hand, they also say that Traditional Christian Music (TCM) is inferior to most classical music because its lyrics are bad poetry and its music is dull. (more…)

Freedom From Religion

by Rick Pidcock

Have you ever heard somebody say, “We don’t need freedom OF religion!  We need freedom FROM religion!”

Organizations all over this nation have been formed either to enforce or to fight this idea.  One such organization is the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The FFRF is a group of 12,000 members and supporters that exists “to promote freethought and defend the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.”  Since 1978, it has been involved with many legal battles including the following:

Winning the first federal lawsuit challenging direct funding by the government of a faith-based agency.

Overturning a state Good Friday holiday.

Removing Ten Commandments monuments and crosses from public land.

Ended a 122-year abuse of commencement prayers at a Top Ten University.

The homepage for this organization says, “Freedom depends upon free thinkers.”

As a commited Christian whose entire life is based on the gospel, my initial reaction to such statements is to think, “What a bunch of crazy liberals!”  And then the more I think about the condition that they are in, I begin to think, “How sad that somebody would miss out on the joy of knowing and worshiping their glorious Creator.”

But as I dig deeper into these statements and really evaluate them in light of the gospel, I find it amazing as to how right these people actually are. (more…)