As a follow-on to my rants from the past couple of posts – and perhaps as God’s response to them in a certain way. I just bought a new “album” (of MP3s) from a band called The Ember Days – which is very good, by the way. While of late I certainly have found myself drawn to the theological heft of hymns and the contemplative mystery of Taize, I still have a soft spot in my heart for a well-crafted bit of emotional praise music. And while The Ember Days mix things up with a bit of indie, atmospheric, rock, this album is clearly a praise and worship album.
In any case, while reading N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope (the chapter where he discusses concepts such as hell and purgatory – completely engrossing) and listening to The Ember Days, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and compelled to cross myself (another one of those “strange” post-evangelical practices I have taken on).
I can only say that the sense of the Lord’s presence and his peace was overwhelming as I prayed through the remainder of the song – “you’re holy… you’re holy… you’re holy.”
Maybe there’s a way to reconcile all of my contradictory feelings about Evangelicalism after all. Certainly, the Lord seems to be willing to combine my evangelical past with my post-evangelical present in surprising ways!