Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #302: Brian Zahnd – PostCards From Babylon
Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian and his wife, Peri, founded the church in 1981. Brian is also the author of several books, including, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Water to Wine, A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness. His new book, Postcard From Babylon: The Church in American Exile, releases on January 14th.
Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian and his wife, Peri, founded the church in 1981. Brian is also the author of several books, including, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Water to Wine, A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness.
In his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards shaped predominating American theology with a vision of God as angry, violent, and retributive. Three centuries later, Brian Zahnd was both mesmerized and terrified by Edwards’s wrathful God. Haunted by fear that crippled his relationship with God, Zahnd spent years praying for a divine experience of hell. What Zahnd experienced instead was the Father’s love—revealed perfectly through Jesus Christ—for all prodigal sons and daughters. In Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Zahnd asks important questions like: Is seeing God primarily as wrathful towards sinners true or biblical? Is fearing God a normal expected behavior? And where might the natural implications of this theological framework lead us? Thoughtfully wrestling with subjects like Old Testament genocide, the crucifixion of Jesus, eternal punishment in hell, and the final judgment in Revelation, Zanhd maintains that the summit of divine revelation for sinners is not God is wrath, but God is love.
My guest this week on the Voices In My Head Podcast is Pastor, Author, and Mountain Climber Brian Zahnd. Brian is the Lead Pastor of Word of Life Church on St. Joseph, Missouri and has written several books including A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save The World, and Unconditional. His latest book, Water To Wine: Some of My Story, tells his story of disenchantment with pop Christianity and his search for a more substantive faith. www.BrianZahnd.com
This episode of the Voices In My Head Podcast was recorded live at the Empower the Church conference in Lima Ohio on Saturday October 24th, 2015. This workshop on spiritual formation deals with the following:
Leading worship requires just as much practice as playing an instrument, learning to sing, and writing music does. This goes not only for the worship leader, but it also applies to the other singers and musicians on your team. In order to do our calling well, it requires practice. As the leader of a worship team in a church I have found that one of my most challenging tasks is not just teaching the congregation to worship, but teaching our musicians to worship. This workshop will focus on the practice of intentional spiritual growth in your praise band members as a regular part of your practice times. Practicing the presence of God together is as essential as practicing your music together.
What a treat it was to have Dr. Walter Brueggemann on the Voices In My Head Podcast. We had such a great discussion talking about theology, music, and where we will go if we die tonight. This episode was recorded on location at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Cincinnati Ohio on Wednesday September 30th.
sell all of It’s 2015 and for that reason I need to sell all of the Rick Lee James products that didn’t sell in 2014 or else be charged a storage fee from Amazon.com. Everything Rick Lee James is drastically reduced until February including DVD’s Hardcover Books, Paperback Books, and CD’s. This is the most inexpensive place to buy my stuff on the web until the end of the month so please tell your friends. Maybe even buy some for your friends. Enjoy!
I hope that this update finds you well. The advent season is upon us again and with it, as always, is much busyness. In addition to the normal Yuletide events this year, This year I add recording a new album to the schedule. This Thursday I will begin my drive to Nashville Tennessee and on Friday morning we will begin tracking the new album. I am so excited about this as I’m sure you are well aware. I have dreamed of an opportunity like this for so many years and God is finally open the door. I am so blessed to work with Lifeway Worship, Producer Craig Adams, A list musicians, and the top engineers in Nashville on this project.
I believe we have come up with a title that encapsulates this project. We think the title will be Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations. I am so blessed by so many of you given how did your resources to make this album the reality. Make God bless you in this holiday season and renew your faith in Christ. I covet your prayers as we begin this recording process and I ask you to pray for others will be renewed in their faith as a result of this endeavor. While we want to make great music, the goal is to reveal Jesus and the present reality of the kingdom of God.
I’ll do my best to update you on line through Facebook and Twitter (@RickLeeJames) while I am in Nashville with pictures and more as I am able. I feel very blessed today and I can’t wait to share the songs with you as a complete collection.
I have some incredible news to share with you about the record I’ll be recording this December in Nashville. I’ve only shared this news with investors and some family up to this point, but am now ready to share it with the rest of you.
A few weeks ago, I initiated a partnership with LifeWay Worship that will get me a long way down the road toward the accomplishment of a new album. Because of LifeWay Worship’s involvement, I will be able to record this album at one of the best studios in Nashville with A-list players and engineers. The investment of LifeWay Worship, alongside funds donated via GoFundMe.com and my own personal investment, is making the dream become reality!
Here’s What This Means:
Funding to record and mix the album has been secured in full.
All songs recorded will be featured on my solo album and will be be repurposed by LifeWay Worship to introduce songs and arrangements at lifewayworship.com (charts, tracks, lyric files will be offered there).
All songs included on the project will be pitched to a variety of publishers, labels, and artists for placement in choral print and/or on any number of 3rd party album releases.
All this is to say, through God’s provision and generosity expressed through LifeWay Worship and an amazing team of partners at www.gofundme.com/hymns, we’re going to make an amazing record which has the potential be used as a music resource for churches internationally. I can hardly believe that God has blessed me with this opportunity 7 years after I accepted His invitation to make music for the church on a broader scale. 7 is the number in scripture that represents God so I see this as a tangible sign of His guiding hand.
These songs were birthed out of my local congregation’s times of worship at First Church of the Nazarene in Springfield Ohio. I am so blessed that we will be able to share our musical expressions of worship on a larger scale using ancient and modern hymns. I can’t thank my producer, Craig Adams, enough for investing so much of himself into this project. He and I share a common calling to equip churches for worship. Authentic worship is what we pray will be experienced by congregations worldwide as they sing these songs.
Additional funding is still needed in order to accomplish album design, photography, printing costs, manufacturing, and miscellaneous expenses. Any additional funds collected atGoFundMe.com/hymnswill help us achieve completion of the entire project. Thank you to all of you who have already given to this project and to those of you who still plan on partnering with us. I give all praise to our Glorious God and I pray He will use these songs of worship to glorify Himself and to further His Kingdom here on earth. Bless the Lord at all times!