Friday, March 8, 2024

A bookmark for the ages

With this bookmark, a number of aggregated posts pertaining to free speech (which is rather important for the integrity of preaching) and others that bear on the prophetic voice of preaching (specifically on whether preachers are fully informed of contrarian perspectives and certain demonstrable facts, whether they are aware of the need for social criticism that can reach above and beyond the categories we normally associate with that enterprise, etc.) ... these posts have at this juncture "reverted to draft" (as least back to the short essay on why it is important for preachers to "monitor" counter-narratives on current events).

The reach of this website is not sufficiently broad to warrant keeping up material that may distract those who wish to consult it for its foundational reason for being. But I will mark the occasion by putting a hypothetical scenario to the preacher/reader (even though I don't closely monitor comments here, so I cannot promise a reply): 

Imagine a sermon based on the following texts: 

  • Ezekiel 3:16-21 (the prophet will be held accountable for failure to warn)
  • John 16:12-15 (Jesus says there are some things his disciples are simply not ready to hear)

What would you call such a sermon? What would its focus statement be? What would you try to achieve by way of a sermon function? What would your main points be or your outline look like?

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Psalm 7 [Shiggaion Chadash]

This psalm is designated a "Shiggaion" in its superscription, whatever that is. Strong's Concordance suggests it is "perhaps a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm." Admittedly, this new setting—("Chadash" simply means "new")—has no dramatic rhythmic changes, but the intervals are a bit wild, and the sassy Dsus4/D trill (I'm talking chord shapes here, not actual notes) lends it a feel that seems worthy of the designation: shiggy. [But, please, let's not confuse it with the "shig" that is going on in west coast cities right now. Lord, have mercy.] 

Year D, by the way, recommends Psalm 7 for the Great Vigil of Holy Saturday and for 11th Ordinary.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

5th Sunday in Lent

Here is the "official video" — that sounds so impressive, doesn't it? — for a new setting of Psalm 101 (my paraphrase), the setting of which I have entitled, "Royal Resolve." The instrumental sections are punctuated by a roll call—inspired by the line: "and the blameless I shall choose for my close companions"—naming those 24 worship leaders who are listed in 1Chronicles 25. Notice who appoints them and then ask yourself: Just how important is this business of singing the psalms? 

As a matter of historical (and perhaps even ominous and prophetic) interest, the short, blurry video clips of a sundog were taken on Sunday morning, January 3, 2021.

Year D recommends this psalm for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Ash Wednesday Psalm (Year D)

Psalm 102 is one of the seven penitential psalms, three of which are unused by RCL, four if you count Psalm 143 as unused, which is only read at the Easter Vigil (ABC). Since Psalm 102 employs the imagery of ashes (for bread) and tears (for drink), it seemed an obvious choice for use on Ash Wednesday (which comes early this year, on February 14, 2024). 

Here, once again, is the new musical setting (with my paraphrase and chords), but this time with a few images and the text for congregational singing, if you and your flock are so inclined. 

This, BTW, is one of several singles released in advance of the forthcoming Revenant Psalms, Vol. III. That, eventually, is where (I hope) you will find it one day soon, but other duties call and there is no telling when a final grouping will be ready to go. So I'm floating these out there one at a time, for now. I hope you and yours find ample comfort and inspiration here.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Psalm 102 [Martyrs on the March]

UPDATE: Streamers now added. Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Pandora, Deezer. Watch for YT, Tidal, and others soon.

Just released, this epic 10-minute track for an epic psalm. If there was ever a psalm for a blue Christmas, this one is it.

And in case you are wondering what all these psalm recordings have to do with Year D, well, it is these very individual lament psalms (those excluded from the lectionary) that started me on this Year D project in January 1999, during a course on the Psalms with Walter Brueggemann, going on a quarter century now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Psalm 141 [Prayer Walk]

...  is also available at Amazon.

You can read more about this track below.

This Friday, December 1, marks 500 years from the first sermon delivered in this pivotal series on 1John


Cloth w/ DJ                                      Kindle                                      Paperback

Friday, December 1, 2023, marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of this sermon series of twenty-one sermons by Oecolampadius preached every evening during Advent in December 1523 (leaving out Sundays, but leading upon toe Christmas Eve). Though it was a weekday (evening) series, the lectio continua style of straightforward, comprehensive Bible teaching (1) represented an historic reclamation of patristic expository preaching, and (2) set the standard that would be implemented by ordinance in all the pulpits of Basel some five years after these sermons were published. Though Oecolampadius was gone by the time Calvin arrived in Basel, every church in town was ringing with the form of preaching offered here. There can be no doubt that Calvin will have had a copy of the series, which sold through several editions in multiple languages very quickly. Surely for this reason, among others, Oecolampadius can be called, and indeed he has been called, Calvin's "spiritual father." 

Not only are the sermons lively, accessible, and illuminating, Oecolampadius' selected book of the Bible, The First Epistle of John, proves a perfect focal point for this Advent series, for a fresh approach to the then-current debates over the doctrine of justification, and as he himself says, the book is a veritable "Handbook for the Christian Life." 

Here is the playlist of videos consisting of one 30-minute introduction to "The Reformation of Preaching" and 16 very short intros to the individual (or occasionally groups of) sermons:

Kindle available at Amazon:

Paperback available at Amazon:

Hardcover available at Barnes & Noble:

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The First Year in Basel (corrected edition is up)

Corrected edition is up, just as the last days of 2023 (500th anniversary of Oecolampadius' first year in Basel) tick down. 

The First Year in Basel contains the earliest German mass (published three years before Luther's), the next nine letters between Oecolampadius and Zwingli (the first two having appeared in previous volume: The Sermon on the Vernacular and the Correspondence with Hedio), excerpts from the famous Isaiah lectures, three prefaces to his Chrysostom translations (including those to the Psegmata and the 66 Genesis homilies), the four Theses for a Disputation, a painful rant from Capito against his colleague Hedio and Oecolampadius' pastor response, and his long letter to Bernhard Adelmann On the Distributions of Alms (or not discriminating among the poor). All (or most of it) "first-time-in-English" stuff. Perhaps the latter might make for instructive reading in Basel at the Bank of International Settlements? That may be too much to hope for. But certainly Presbyterian "Matthew 25" churches should read this.