Feynmanian Virtue

The man himself.

Supposedly Richard Feynman, the great 20th Century physicist, used to give advice on how to be a genius. His recommendation? Keep a dozen or so problems constantly in the back of your mind. Every time you meet a new trick or result, test it against each of your problems. Eventually, something will click, and people will think “How on earth did he do it? He must be a genius!”

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Five Reasons to Sing Somber Songs in Worship

I like sad songs. I don’t mean sappy love songs or My Chemical Romance or anything like that, but more somber forms of instrumental or sacred music—take the Agnus Dei sung after Samuel Barber’s Adagio, for example. I know that makes me a minority, but I think there’s good reason for the evangelical church to depart from its quest to happify everything it touches and reclaim some of the more somber, minor, reflective songs in its worship. Here are five reasons:

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Romans 8.20

I wrote this last September, while feeling weary. It seemed that creation, too, was tired, and waiting for consolation. 

The stones of the eastern wall are weary;
Dew drips from the roof with resignation:
Come, come; when will he come?
The bones of the trees ache with age
And the wind grows weak and cold.

Pale light sweeps the battered creation—
It is John the Baptist, come with his lamp.
Knees aching as he climbs the horizon, 
Still he ascends to his pulpit.

one more day, one more day.
He will come, he will come soon.

“Two roads diverged in a wood…”

Walking out of the theater after seeing The Greatest Showman, Kara asked me what I thought. I told her I’d like to see it about a half-dozen more times, and then write a mixed review. Of course, I didn’t need to see the movie to know that. We had already listened to the soundtrack more times than I can count, and had watched a few interviews and videos of the actors workshopping their songs. I knew I would love the film, and I knew I would be troubled by elements of it. Continue reading ““Two roads diverged in a wood…””