Ep 48: Ted Yoder at the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival

Ted Yoder is a recording artist, composer, and hammered dulcimer player. He's released five albums, has another one on the way, and regularly tours the country playing concerts. Ted Gained much acclaimed when his cover version of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" became a Facebook Livestream sensation. I sat down with Ted after his concert at the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival in Morris, Illinois. The beginning of the episode features a brief interview with Peggy Peryam, one of the organizers of the festival and herself a musician, teacher, and dulcimer player. You can find Ted's music and tour dates at: www.tedyoder.com and you can find info about the dulcimer festival at: http://www.gebharddulcimer.org/

Peggy mentioned a number of other musicians in her interview. Each of their websites can be found here:

Finally, Ted Yoder was greatly influenced by the artist Rich Mullins. Check below for links to the new Rich Mullins: Between the Songs Podcast and other PostConsumer Mullins episodes, including Mitch McVicker, the EMT Pam Destri, Joe Cook of the Ragamuffin Archive, David Leo Schultz of the Ragamuffin movie, and Caleb Kruse who wrote the book Meeting Rich

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Rich Mullins: Between the Songs—Episode 1: Introduction and Jimmy Abegg on the Be God's Project
David Leo Schultz on Directing Ragamuffin
Pam Destri—The EMT called to the accident that took the life of Rich Mullins
An Interview With Mitch McVicker
Caleb Kruse on Meeting Rich
Joe Cook of the Ragamuffin Archive
So...They Made a Movie About Rich Mullins...
Interview--Reed Arvin: Recording Rich Mullins' 
A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band — Interview With Reed Arvin


Ep 47: Dr. Lester Ruth on the history of Contemporary Worship

Episode 47 features an interview with Dr. Lester Ruth on the history of contemporary worship in the Church. The research professor Christian worship at Duke Divinity School, Dr. Ruth co-authored his new book Lovin' on Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship with Dr. Swee Hong Lim, assistant professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College in Toronto. Our interview covers numerous topics related to contemporary worship, including differences how "Mainline" and "Pentecostal" churches do contemporary worship, some of the little known figures in the early contemporary movement, and whether or not we have made music into a sacrament in contemporary worship. You can find Dr. Ruth's personal page here: https://divinity.duke.edu/faculty/lester-ruth

You can purchase Lovin on Jesus at Amazon or Cokesbury.

Check below for a list of PostConsumer Reports articles on worship and liturgy, as well as an hour long seminar taught by Dr. Ruth on the subject of the new book.

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Related Articles:


Ep 46: Artist Quinton Thomas

Quinton Thomas is a Peoria, Illinois based artist. His work is a convergence of numerous influences all at once, creating a blossoming artistic vision all his own. Our conversation covers his upcoming show at the gallery Ear in the Envelope, various possible interpretations of his work, and our thoughts on the new TV show Dear White People. You can find images of his work on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Quinton2017/ and on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/Qthomas1990/ Below are posted numerous examples of Quinton's work, many of which came up in our conversation. For info on purchasing his original works or prints of his works, please contact Quinton at: qmct1990@gmail.com

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Ep 44: Natalia and Earl of Yaku

Natalia Villaneuva Linares and Earl Power-Murphy are the founders of Yaku Peoria, an organization intent on restoring the beautiful Hale Memorial Church of Peoria, Illinois and turning it into a center for arts and culture in the city. You can find out more at their website: http://www.yakupeoria.org/ and read their magazine at: http://www.ukayzine.org/ Natalia is herself and artist whose work you can view extensively here:  http://www.nati.work/ Our interview details their ongoing work on the building and where Natalia draws inspiration for her art. Check below for one of their promotional videos.

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Love This Place, Inspiration, Opportunity from Yaku Peoria on Vimeo.


Ep 43: Jimmy Bridgeman of Rock Solid Studios

Jimmy Bridgeman is the owner and operator of Rock Solid Studio, a professional Peoria based recording studio. With his business partner Jeremy Moser, Jimmy offers a space that can take an artist through the whole recording process, from recording, producing, mixing, and mastering. In our talk we cover all our mutual friends and acquaintances as well as our mutual love of the iconic Cornerstone Music Festival. You can find out more or even book some studio time at: https://www.therocksolidstudio.com/studio
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Ep 42: Artist Alec DeJesus

Alec DeJesus is a Peoria, Illinois based artist. His works seem to come from another time while also drawing from pop culture. They are familiar and otherworldly, earthy and sacred, mythical and everyday. In our conversation we covered where he draws inspiration from and how he has developed entrepreneurial skills to become a working artist. You can stream the episode below or subscribe on itunes, Stitcher, or other podcast services. A number of Alec's works are mentioned in the interview, most of which I include in this article. You can follow Alec on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/alecdajesus/

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Let's Talk About the Benedict Option! (and talk and talk and talk and...)

Alternative Title: A working list of articles on the Benedict Option (with some brief thoughts of my own)

Maybe Rod Dreher should have shut up about it. Maybe instead telling everyone about it and sounding off his alarmist church bells he should have gone off and actually lived out The Benedict Option in humble solitude the rest of his life. Then, decades after his death we would be writing about him and how he changed culture and the Church.

But Rod Dreher is a writer and a thinker and so, after a decade of thinking and writing and continually working out his ideas in public, he published them officially in the form of The Benedict Option. It's too bad really, and yet...WOW...as a budding author if I were Dreher I would be basking in the overwhelmingly abundant attention my book would be getting. Maybe I haven't lived long enough, but I cannot remember a book that has stirred up so much thoughtful and critical conversation. Now, I also might be pretty discouraged if I were Dreher because it would seem about 2/3s of all the articles I have read have been either mostly negative or slightly positive but with serious caveats. Here is a typical criticism summed up in one sentence:

"I somewhat agree with Dreher's underlying premise about living in robust Christian community but here is what he gets wrong..." and then the author goes on to list out Dreher's inadequate readings of:
—Medieval, Enlightenment, and Modern history, culture, and philosophy.
—the philosopher Alisdair McIntyre, from whom Dreher draws the very concept of the Benedict Option.

And they then go on to criticize: 
—his alarmist and separatist tendencies that urge for Christians to withdraw from society (even though he doesn't exactly say that)
—the fact that his arguments leave out the experiences of ethnic minorities and immigrants.
—the fact that Dreher was a Methodist, then a Roman Catholic, and now an Eastern Orthodox (in other words, a "church hopper" on an epic level).
—that he's abstracted what it means to be a Benedictine from the monastic life and instead applies it to lay communal living (which a lot of people don't think is a good idea).
—And lots more! There are numerous well thought out arguments by many well-read scholars and thinkers. 

So where do I stand on The Benedict Option? At first I thought I might have something to say about it, wanting to defend it, raise it up, and inform people they're reading Dreher wrong. But after reading some 20 articles on the book I now see Dreher has numerous flaws/weaknesses/inconsistencies in his argument (see especially the Eastern Christian Books article and the "critical review" article from Patheos). Therefore, I don't exactly see any point in defending Dreher anymore, not with all the problems in his foundational arguments. And yet I am incredibly grateful that so many people are being challenged to think about and critically discuss what it means to live in Christian community in our age and time. In other words, the questions remain... I think these questions are vital for those of us who claim Christ (and are claimed by Christ) and who believe the Church is the Body of Christ and are called to live in true Christian community and not merely be a "well, we go to church and that's it" kind of people. Dreher may not have written the be-all-end-all manifesto for the Church in Post-Christian America that we were hoping for, but he sure has stirred up God's people to have an ongoing conversation about it.

Personally, this makes me want to find people on a local level to start a dialogue where we robustly challenge each other about what God is calling us to in our communities. But I also thought I might offer a service here by listing most of the numerous articles I have read. On some level I think they are all worth our time, even if a number of them are caught up in scholarly mudslinging and ad hominem attacks. It's a lot of articles, but my intention is to educate people on the spectrum of arguments about the Benedict Option before you go and start talking about it with your pastor or small group (or writing your own lengthy blog response). 

One final thought: reading all these articles has caused me to want to spend concerted time reading the works of Alisdair Macintyre, Stanley Hauerwas, and Alexander Schmemman. I mean this as no slight to Rod Dreher, but the works of those authors are calling out to me more at this point. I'm grateful The Benedict Option phenomenon conversation has become a catalyst for it all.

One final thanks: the author of one of the articles actually reached out to me and was gracious enough to send me his book on a topic in the same vein of The Benedict Option. So thanks Gerald Schlabach! I hope to get to your book Rethinking Protestantism soon!

Here now is the list of articles. One thing to be aware of is that Dreher himself is still constantly blogging and giving his own responses to people's review of the book (usually with an incredible amount of snark...): http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/





















Related PostConsumer Articles:
How the Liturgy Can Speak to Modern People (If we allow it to)
An Anabaptist Approach to Politics
Derek Webb Isn't Exactly a Christian Anymore....or is he?


Ep 41: Dialogues With Brandon—Dialogues With Brandon—on the FOMO (because YOLO)

In the latest episode of our Dialogues With Brandon series, I chat with Brandon Lulay about all aspects of the fear of missing out or FOMO. There are many layers to this phenomenon from missing out on moments with your friends or missing out on great life experiences. I become a bit manic in the process but Brandon keeps everything on balance and offers us a way out of a tortured life of the FOMO. This episode is notable as being the first dialogue we were able to record in the same room together.
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Previous Dialogues With Brandon:
How Big Is Your Soul?
On Archer and The Walking Dead
What Makes a Great Novel?

Other Podcast Episodes:
Eric Olsen with Why Every President Sucked
Musician Jared Grabb
Fitting the White Album onto 1 Record


The Rich Mullins 20th Anniversary Project is a Big Missed Opportunity

Alternative title: 
Some Thoughts and Concerns on the Rich Mullins 20th Anniversary Project

UPDATE: I have begun an podcast about Rich Mullins with Joe Cook of the Ragamuffin Archive. For our first episode we were even able to interview Jimmy Abegg about the Be God's Podcast. You can listen to the episode here or subscribe on itunes  Google Play  Tunein Radio  or  Stitcher

It has been an amazing past several years for the legacy of musician, writer, teacher, and walking human enigma Rich Mullins.