Archive for the ‘ Church ’ Category

The Soul of Hip-Hop

I cannot exclaim how excited I am to add another book about Hip-Hop to my library. Not only will The Soul of Hip Hop sit well next to Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, The Hip Hop Wars, Total Chaos Where You’re At (which I plan to someday review), and  others on my office shelf, it will add vital insight to the rich spirituality and faith within Rap music and, more broadly, hip hop culture. Full disclosure , the author, Daniel Hodge, is a friend of mine and I had the honor to have him for a professors while I was studying in Los Angeles.  Nevertheless, I truly believe this book will – for those to take it seriously – provide a strong apology of the compatibility of hip-hop and Christianity. Additionally, Hodge’s analysis will opens us hip-hop to be understood and approached as a culture – with then all the positives and negatives – rather than just a popular phenomena portrayed within popular media.

I just received by book in the mail this afternoon and it has quickly jumped to the top of my reading list. Anyone interested in understanding the depth of hip-hop and its relationship to faith would do well to pick up this ethnomusicological examination.

To get a glimpse of the book find it on google books and check out Hodge’s article on the Fuller website.


Thoghts about pop-culture, ethics, morality and value ispired from a conversation on facebook.

Although we have moved away from overtly signing songs and telling folk tales or myths as ways to convey ethics, values and meaning in our culture, popular culture has become the town square, campfire and village gathering that the contemporary person covertly learns societal values through. The tragedy is not the vehicle of information. The tragedy is that the stories and songs are no longer mediated by elders seeking to guide the community they are mediated by some guys trying to make a buck.

Vince Campbell

Here are three youtube clips of great commentary on the early church – specifically the divisions that emerged from different cultural perspectives and cultural philosophies.  The video is from a workshop he and Soong Chan Rah led at this year’s CCDA (which I was unfortunately unable to attend).

Vince is currently a PhD student at Catholic University, studying the early African church.


Giving Thanks,Together: A Prayer for Unity

Turkeys being dressed this eve
Norman Rockwell table setting
Families sitting elbow to elbow
Gestures preparing the moment

Conversations link to yesterdays
A time when time was breathing
Prayerful celebrations of thanks
Snapshots of where it all began

Empty chairs of of lost feelings
Ceilings echoing voices passed
Nodding dreams sleeping away
A photographic gallery of family

A season of trimming windows
Window shopping for a purpose
Finding quality in mere quantity
Lighting roof lines with promise

Hands to chin mosaic reflections
Colored fragments, introspections
Framed into a thanksgiving feast
Humanity harvesting a collection

A symposium of what is worthy
Where humility should find rest
A monumental gesture of prayer
Putting each member to the test

It is not in the fare of the harvest
Where Thanksgiving finds her heart
It is in the careful considerations
That every human has their part

Let nothing divide family meaning
As a house on sand will not stand
It is in the foundations of God’s love
Where thankful hearts will understand

Thanksgiving is the grace of understanding
That together we can provide provisions
For a world longing to know the true meaning
Of the First Thanksgiving, a prayer for unity

Kathy Paysen 2009

Thank you to my friend Bob Henry who made me aware of this poem.

Are We There Yet?

Urban Faith recently published my article on Christianity Today International’s newest short-term missions curriculum, Round Trip.


Round Trip includes the typical information that likely can be found in a variety of training manuals for short-term mission candidates. But unlike many of those programs, this documentary and handbook bring an intimate, real-life narrative to the exciting but often uncomfortable experience of traveling to another country to share the gospel. [read more]

Desiring To Write

I have been pretty absent from the blogging world recently. Graduate work has taken up a great deal of my time, but I do plan to start writing again soon.  I am actually realizing that writing on this blog and about  non-Grad School related topics helps me persevere through my Graduate work and stay sane and balanced

As a start back into blogging, I will probably start posting my outlines from the commuter chapels that I lead on the campus of Huntington University. Perhaps that will help me get back into the habit of occasionally posting. I will post my outlines from last semester when our focus was the story of Daniel and I will begin to post from this semester, in which we are focusing on the Parables of the Christ.

I hope all is well out there and look forward to discoursing with folks in the future weeks.


Interview with Soong-Chan Rah

I wanted to pass this article. It is an interview with Northpark University professor Soong-Chan Rah about diversity in the church and his new book The Next Evangelicalism.  Several of the questions of from me and the others come from Ed Gilbreath and some others at Here are some of the questions asked.

Practically speaking, do you think the strong tone and language of your book will change the mind of someone who isn’t already passionate about diversity in the church?

You seem to suggest a connection between the Korean/Korean American church and the African American church. Where does this come from, and why do you establish such a connection?

How do ethnic minorities begin a conversation amongst themselves about reaching out to other racial and ethnic groups?

You offer a blistering critique of the emerging church movement, suggesting that it is overhyped and lacks diversity. Is diversity possible in the “emerging” or “emergent” churches”? It seems as if Christians involved in that movement are extremely cultural bound, even more so than “mainstream” evangelical Christianity?

It seems that often the conversation is how white churches can become more diverse, which can come off as an expression of white dominance or perpetuate the phenomenon of “white guilt” as a motivator. Would you suggest that some white and minority churches serving in the same neighborhood merge rather than having white churches glibly trying to be diverse?