NEW: Hillsong United/Zion; CS Lewis in Review; Free Song & Book
to Digital Worship News, Edition 65. This issue includes 4 different resources. First is an album review for "Zion", a bold new project Hillsong United. Second is a book review of C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity"- one of the great classic books of the last century. Third, the "Ultimate Worship Resource Guide" is available free in two places- find out where! Finally, this issue has the song "Let Everything" as the free MP3 and Chord chart download!
blessings, Kim Gentes
REVIEW: "Zion" (Hillsong United)
With the last 10 years, what has been defined as a "worship album" has become a moving target. Well friends, the target has just moved again. Hillsong United's "Zion" departs from the stadium anthems and deep grooved choruses of their previous albums and the standard mix of the 4/5 piece "praise band" is traded in for electronics, pop-production ballads and an "Owl City"-esque layering of arrangements... Experimental electronica, orchestral pad swells, breathy solo vocals, deep reverb and loop-timed guitar arpeggios all make this recording seem an almost surreal departure for Hillsong United.
I found this a very unique album to get used to. Because it is much more of an initial listening experience than a typical "worship album"... After the songs go through your head and heart enough times, you will find yourself really loving this project. Then, you are ready. Listen through it again for what might be songs that could fit and work in your local context. There will be some, perhaps several. But take the time...
...In sum, this album is a brilliant musical exploration of what worship groups and songwriters can do when the "limitations" are taken off. There is much to like here and, excepting the directionless lyrical approach of "Up In Arms", the rest of the album not only scores strongly on musical vibrancy and enjoyment, but lands some solid songs that (perhaps re-arranged) could find their way into youth groups and Sunday morning worship services. You must listen to this album. It is truly unique and truly a gift...
There are few Christian writers that have had as deep and ongoing impact in the last century as C.S. Lewis. One of his most celebrated books has been "Mere Christianity". Originally written in 1944 from the texts of various radio broadcasts, Lewis compiled and revised this collection of thoughts into his seminal work that preserves both his legacy as a great thinker and his profound skill as a writer.
While I had originally read this book in the mid-eighties, I knew it was time to revisit it. So, the last couple of weeks I re-read this classic Christian book a couple of times. In fact, reading it once actually was somewhat painful. I kept scouring the book and furrowing my brow as Lewis would make his knife sharp points at the end of each chapter. By the time I had completed one pass through the book, I knew immediately I must run through it again. The insights, and even more, the narrative flow are sparkling examples of great writing, from a master of language.
The more I read Lewis, the more it occurs to me that he is first and foremost, a writer. A brilliant writer, to be sure, but that primarily. In fact, Lewis makes this point in this book and tries to derail people who try to come at this book as theological treatise..
There are TWO ways you can get the book "Ultimate Worship Resource Guide" for free. This means literally millions of people have access to read the book for free through their memberships with either of a couple of great sources. By simply being a member of either WorshipTraining.com (a service that thousands of worship leaders, pastors, musicians and pastors subscribe to) or Amazon Prime & Kindle owner (a membership service of Amazon that has millions of users) you can download and read the book with no cost.
Click here for the details on accessing the book via each of those membership programs.
Again, if you are a member of either WorshipTraining.com or Amazon Prime (you must also be a Kindle owner), you can access this complete book for free! Check it out now!
FREE Song: "Let Everything"
This issue we are pleased to give you access to the audio MP3 (studio recording) and chord chart for the song "Let Everything" as a free downloadfor a limited time directly here, so you will find it below.
Let Everything is written by Brian Thiessen and Kim Gentes and is a "call to worship" song for congregational worship. If you haven't had a chance to here or try it out in your local church, download it here. Included is both an audio MP3 and a PDF chord chart.
Free Song Download "Let Everything" by Brian Theissen & Kim Gentes
Click here to download the free song MP3 and chord chart!