While preparing songs for our retreats and coffee house ministries this summer, I have come across many by secular artists -- that is, musicians who don't self-categorize as belonging to genres of religious music -- which were nonetheless powerfully spiritual. This is my top ten list from past and present.
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One of the most-viewed posts here was called "Ten Secular Songs with Religious Themes" . Now, I'm not that person who scours the pop cultural landscape with a magnifying glass looking for oblique references to a latent Christianity. But I do believe that Christ is very much alive, and can be found in the remotest corners of humanity. Sometimes the profoundest truths are not in theology books but in the lyrics of the poets and the insights of artists. Four years later, I'd say it's time for a sequel. The following songs have in common a certain degree of popular acclaim, although not be familiar to all readers. They are, I submit, beautiful songs that point beyond the mundane, offering glimpses of the transcendent -- that is to say, of God who is beyond this material world, while nonetheless present in this life as well. They remind us that we will one day see God "face to face", and generally reflect the key dispositions of faith, hope and love t
Albert Borgmann The German-American philosopher Albert Borgmann is professor at the University of Montana and author of several books on the effects of electronic media on the human person. He rejects both technological determinism -- the view that technology is a irresistible force that forces our hand as we shape our culture, and technological instrumentalism, which sees technology as a mere collective of neutral processes and structures that can be used either well or badly. Like Marshall McLuhan, Borgmann is aware that the medium “is” the message, highly transformative in and of itself, and requires critical analysis and understanding. For example, he writes: Using or not using the interstate highway system is not a matter of choice anymore for most of us, and neither are the moral consequences of long commutes and the neglect of family, neighborhood, and inner city. When we finally come home, late and exhausted, greeted by a well-stocked refrigerator, a preternaturally effi