Bodies in a Digital World

My latest in the Christian Courier, also found here.


Who would have predicted that the vinyl LP would make such a comeback? But here we are. In 2018 you can get the latest musical release in 12-inch vinyl format, whether Ed Sheeran’s Divide or Kari Jobe’s The Garden. In our digital world, where a thousand songs can be stored on your phone, the cumbersome and bulky LP (long play) record is available again.

There are, of course, important differences between these two musical mediums. When we listen to music on an iPhone or MP3 player, the music has been stored in digital format – parts of the original musical sound waves have been captured or sampled and then converted to a series of numbers for software to interpret. On the other hand, when we listen to a vinyl record, the music has been recorded and stored in analog format. This means that the recording is shaped by the full sound waves originally produced by voices and instruments.

I would be out of my depths if I tried to say much more about analog and digital recording. I’m not even sure I can tell the difference when it comes to the quality of sound – and as you can imagine there’s an animated debate on that question in the world of musical connoisseurs! And to this whole conversation we must add the complicating factor that many of today’s vinyl albums are based on digital recordings – that is, many newer LPs don’t offer a fully analog listening experience. Continue reading


come for breakfast…

Our New Testament lesson this morning from John chapter 21 is jam-packed with activity. Full to over-flowing with interesting and even astonishing moments.

There is Peter inviting the disciples to go fishing.

There is a long night of catching nothing.

There is a stranger on the shore telling them to try the other side of the boat.

There is a huge catch of fish.

There is the disciples’ recognition of Jesus.

There is Peter throwing himself into sea.

There is breakfast on the shore.

The passage is jam-packed with action and activity – full of interesting and astonishing moments.

As we get into the passage this morning it might be helpful to set out a kind of parallel between the busyness and activity of this passage and the busyness and activity of our lives. This passage is overflowing with activity in much the same way that our lives are overflowing with activity. Continue reading