Posts by Greg Michalec


Among many other ideas, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise brings a behind-the-scenes look at how these tracks are created, and how seriously they take the lyric-writing process (insert Australian accent here, PRO-cess). Joel Houston, co-pastor of Hillsong NYC and one of several lead singers in the group, makes it clear that Hillsong is not a band in the traditional sense, but is first and foremost a worship group: “For us, you’re putting words into the mouths of people. These songs are written for people to sing, not just to listen to.”

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In the Old Testament, we read of some very out-of-the-ordinary requests that God makes of people. The prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha: if we could talk to them today, all could share stories that we would consider simply bizarre by our standards. Does God call people to do similarly “strange” things today? What does that look like? Why do we think they are strange?

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The ideas posited in John Eldredge’s Beautiful Outlaw represent a pair of glasses. Glasses that, when worn, will inevitably color your reading of Scripture–certainly, the gospels. The argument for these glasses is mostly made from context. That is, it’s more “reading between the lines” of Scripture than reading the lines themselves, but the suppositions are rarely out of line. It aims to change your perspective, and is persuasive not only because I found myself wanting the sections describing Jesus’s personality to be accurate. Plenty of good stuff to chew on here.

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Don’t be put off by the title. If you are, you’ll miss out on a surprisingly thoughtful narrative of how a small church in Denver–often with nontraditional methods–serves as the hands and feet of Christ. If you’re a Five Iron Frenzy fan, there’s also some illuminating material about how the church’s growth coincided with the ska band’s growth. This is a challenging and illuminating look at gritty, in-the-trenches ministry right here in the States.

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