Category Archives: Practical Christianity

Paul’s Exhortation to the Colossians: An Ordinary Christian Life

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Christ Presbyterian Church of Oxford, Christ's Person and Work, Christian Worldview, Colossians, Practical Christianity, Salvation, Theology

Remember Why You Do This

Having now spent over twenty uninterrupted years in university music departments as a student or faculty member, I have observed and have come to expect certain rhythms of life which are more or less uniform at all of the institutions … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Career Choices, Education, Higher Education, Music, Music and Theology, Music Education, Performing, Practical Christianity, Teaching Low Brass

Scripture, then Creeds, then Confessions, then Self

Americans can be a strange people, and this is perhaps especially true of American Christians. Although the percentage of the population claiming a Christian identity has fallen in recent years, the majority of the population still professes adherence to some … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Christian Education, Christian Worldview, Church, Confessionalism, Creeds, Denominations, Doctrine, Practical Christianity, Theology, Truth

It’s Okay to “Go Through the Motions”

Several times in the past few weeks when I have asked students how they could have improved their performances of various playing assignments I have heard responses something like “Well, I could have put more emotion into it.” To be … Continue reading

Posted in Christ Presbyterian Church of Oxford, Christian Worldview, Lord's Day, Music, Music and Theology, Music and Worship, Pedagogy, Performance Anxiety, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practical Christianity, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Theology, Worship

“Counterfeit Detection Training:” A Short Reflection on Colossians 1:15-20

I mentioned in my last post that this year I am sharing responsibility for an adult Sunday school class at Christ Presbyterian Church on the letter to the Colossians. Given that this is the focus of any focused theological study … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Christ Presbyterian Church of Oxford, Christ's Person and Work, Christian Worldview, Colossians, Practical Christianity, Reading and Study, Salvation, Theology, Truth

You’re Never Going to Know Everything (But You Still Should Try), Part Two

Last week I wrote discussing how I had come to terms with—and in fact really embraced—the idea that my knowledge of music, brass pedagogy, and basically everything about my profession should be always growing but will never reach completion. There … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christian Education, Christian Worldview, Church, Doctrine, Practical Christianity, Prayer, Reading and Study, Salvation, Theological Education, Theology, Truth

When Contextualization Diminishes Meaning (Or, Missing that Sweet and Awful Place)

Over the past several years I have carved out an interesting role in planning and executing the musical elements of corporate worship at Christ Presbyterian Church in Oxford. Having long ago determined that I would rather spend most Sunday services … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Music and Theology, Music and Worship, Practical Christianity, Presbyterianism, Worship