FREE SONG: "O My Soul"; Review: The Fire (Samuel Lane); Book: Simply Christian (NT Wright); Software: "Worship Backing Band"
Welcome to Digital Worship News, Edition 76. This issue includes 4 different resources. First is a book review of "Simply Christian", a book by historian and theologian N.T. Wright. Second is an album review of the new recording from the UK, "The Fire" by Samuel Lane! Third, "Worship Backing Band" is software for using backing tracks to supplement your local church band with instruments you don't yet have. Finally, we have a free song "O My Soul" (by Samuel Lane) for you as our download of the week- available in both MP3 audio and chord chart!
blessings, Kim Gentes
BOOK REVIEW: "Simply Christian"- N.T. Wright
"Simply Christian" is... a book that presents the Christian faith in a clear and understandable format to any who might be interested.
Within its pages, Wright poses a thoughtful progression that examines the human experience to point to an unspoken awareness in ourselves, and our world, of something missing. Wright's "echoes of a voice" elements are justice, spirituality, relationship and beauty- all things which tell us that the universe (and our place in it) are meant for something different than we have come to. But more than a sense of lack, they point to something that exists that we can't name. And in his development of what that is, he names it. The Jewish God, YHWH.
...boiling Christian faith down to a few short lines of innocuous (and fairly un-actionable) statement is precisely what Wright avoids by taking on all the salient points in life-breathing detail. I want to make that point because this book is not "Simple Christianity", as if everything intelligent about it could be reduced to a set of polarized truisms. In fact, the author puts to use his own varied, and sometimes extended, metaphors throughout the book to help us grasp the nuance of key concepts and moving narrative of the story of God, creation, man, Jesus, and eventually, the church. Simply Christian is a very well written book, but it also has significant historical and rhetorical ammunition in its muzzle...
Simply Christian is an excellent book with mountains of good points and very few detractions. The delightful surprises I found are the excellent highlighting he does in correcting the dozens of common misconceptions that people (Christians and non-Christians alike) have of what being Christian really means. His theological stature here helps immensely, as he grasps at "truisms" and debunks them cleanly. Playing with language and logic, he clarifies many incorrect and unhelpful misunderstandings of who Jesus is, what he said and (not the least important) what happens after we die...
With subtle motion and smooth tones begins the "The Fire". Like the starting crackle of a freshly lit hearth, this is how Samuel Lane begins to fuel the fire that is this new album from Vineyard Records UK. The intro song, "Take Me With You", doesn't rip a hole out of your speakers. Rather than pouring gasoline onto a bursting bonfire, it sparks, rumbles and gently ignites the rhythms, vocals and instruments that will build into a warm and engaging experience of songs and lyrics that call out passionately to God...
...And so it goes with this album-- ebb, flow, rise, refrain, response, recede and restart the progression. This is not a formula, it seems, for Samuel Lane. It feels more like a discourse of authentic prayers, each one drawing closer to the person of God and surrendering more deeply the person of the worshiper. I have to admit, I was struck by the intimate language and conversational approach that Lane takes on some of these songs....
In many situations, having a compliment of skilled musicians for a full band is not possible. Church plants, special events, youth nights and other situations sometimes leave you standing there with your guitar, playing away, worshiping your heart out... as your community is gathering you can sometimes find yourself with parts of a band (such as a drummer and keyboardist, but no bassist). These people are ready to serve, but it would be helpful to be able to "sub" in that missing player until a person arrives at your church who can serve in that role.
Enter "Worship Backing Band" (WBB for short). Version (1.5) comes available for the Mac or PC. I choose to do my testing and using it on both a PC and a Macbook Pro so I could get the feel for both environments interactions. Downloading and installing it was simple enough. Once installed, I went and acquired a few songs to do my testing (I chose "Bless The Lord/10000 Reasons", "How Can I Keep from Singing", "Let God Arise" and "You Alone Can Rescue")... Compared to the hundreds of dollars you might spend on Ableton Live (which I have and use, as well) on just the software, this is very, very affordable..
...That along with the the minimalist approach on the interface of this tool makes Worship Backing Band simple, clear and easy-to-use. The nice thing is, you don't have to spend any money to try WBB out. Musicademy has a functional demo version of the software that you can download for Mac or PC...
This issue we are pleased to give you access to the audio MP3 (studio recording) and chord charts (regular key and capo chord chart) for the song "O My Soul" as a free download for a limited time directly here, so you will find it below. Special thanks to our friends at Vineyard Music UK and Integrity Music!
O My Soul is written by Samuel Lane and is a deeply worshipful song for congregational worship. If you haven't had a chance to hear or try it in your local church- download it here. Included is both an audio MP3 and a PDF chord chart.
Free Song Download "O My Soul" by Samuel Lane.
Click here to download the free song MP3 and chord chart!