Monday, December 31, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Advent in Charleston

(excerpt from a recent conversation in my apartment)

John: "Deirdre, do you think I've been ontologically changed?"

Deirdre: "No."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ministry is:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Best Commercial Ever:

Check It!

It's a 12" recor, and it kicks off with one of my edits... I've finally come home to fresh pressed vinyl!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Gerhard Forde quote:

"If you start from freedom, you will end in bondage. If you start from bondage you are more likely to end in freedom." (p. 52, The Captivation of the Will)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Savage (live in the 1980s)

I love the middle portion of this one, where the guy does a little "acting":

Excellent hand motions on this one:

More incredible live footage (features "acting") -- Click Me!

Upon seeing these clips of live footage, two things become obvious. First, hedonism ultimately has to be a light-hearted affair, and, second, that (the band?) Savage were about much more than just great, great songs; Savage was about performance; and Savage was/(is?) about love! -JAZ

one more:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Double Spiritual Warfare:

Double: Captain of her Heart (1985)

Spiritual Warfare:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Electric Light Orchestra: Last Train to London (1979)

Gene Veith quotes from "The Spirituality of the Cross":

"Many people assume that moralism is, in fact, what Christianity is all about...Moralism, however, involves a host of impossibilities and contradictions" (pp. 18-19)

"Instead of insisting that human beings attain perfection, Lutheran spirituality begins by facing up to imperfection. We cannot perfect our conduct, try as we might. We cannot understand God through our own intellects. We cannot become one with God (via mystical routes). Instead of human beings having to do these things, Lutheran spirituality teaches that God does them for us...We do not have to ascent to God; rather, the good news is that He has descended to us. Most philosophies and theologies focus on what human beings must do...Lutherans insist that there is nothing we can do, but that God does literally everything." (pp. 17-18)

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Episode 1 - Part 1

more available on youtube.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Amazing Fitz Allison quotes from 1962!

(taken from pp. 53-56 of "Fear, Love, & Worship")

"One reason for the joy in heaven over a sinner's repentance is the unique power which comes with forgiveness. The repentant sinner, having been forgiven and having been taken back like the Prodigal Son, learns a lesson of love that the righteous do not know. On his return the Prodigal knows the power of the father's love much better than he did before he left. This curious and alarming spiritual fact, that a forgiven sinner has experienced a measure of God's love he did not know before he sinned, has upset many people...From the very beginning this fact led some to ask St. Paul, 'Then should we sin that grace may abound?' Of course not, but the alarming quality of this part of the Gospel has led the principle of forgiveness to be denied and the consequent power lost...Christ's burden is light and his yoke is easy only when we ourselves are carried by his forgiveness.

"A sergeant told a grim joke to his trainees during the Second World War, which shows the real flaw in the Pharisaic understanding of Christianity. a man stopped on a dirt road to help get another man's car our of the ditch. The latter was beginning to harness two small furry kittens to the bumper of this huge car when he was asked, 'Mister, you aren't going to try to get those kittens to pull that car out of the ditch, are you?' His reply was, 'Why not? I've got a whip.' The lash of the Law is used in similar spiritual situations. Without the principle of forgiveness our conscience acquires a quality of cruelty that makes the Gospel of Christ anything but the Good News.

"It is perfectly incredible how the unmistakably clear and simple fact of God's forgiveness of sinners has been so frequently denied throughout the history of Christianity. There is a story of a clergyman who had an argument with a vestryman about whether a woman of bad reputation should be made welcome in the church. Finally the minister said,'Well, didn't the Lord forgive the woman taken in adultery?' 'Yes,' replied the old gentleman,'but I don't think any more of him for having done it.' ...the resistance is always so great that every age needs to discover anew the experience and power of God's free forgiveness which is continually available to all. We can generally assume, regardless of our tradition, that we have not been adequately 'let in on' this part of the Good News."

Lio: Sage (Comme Une Image)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

AA & Antinomianism:

For a long time I've been wondering if AA's co-founder Bill W. ever addressed the issue of antinomianism (read: spiritual and moral anarchy supposedly caused by the absence of Law) directly. Sure enough, he does, in a rather unpopular portion of the "Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions" known as AA's Twelve Traditions, "Tradition 9" in particular, which states: "AA, as such, ought never be organized: but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve." Here follow some fantastic quotes from the brief four pages written by Bill on "Tradition 9":

"When Tradition Nine was first written, it said that 'Alcoholics Anonymous needs the least possible organization.' In years since then, we have changed our minds about that. Today, we are able to say with assurance that AA should never be organized at all...

"Did anyone ever hear of a nation, a church (!), a political party, even a benevolent association that had no membership rules? Did anyone ever hear of a society which couldn't somehow discipline its members and enforce obedience to necessary rules and regulations? Doesn't nearly every society on earth give authority to some of its members to impose obedience upon the rest and to punish or expel offenders? Power to direct or govern is the essence of organization everywhere.

"Yet AA is an exception. It does not conform to this patter. Neither its General Service Conference, its Foundation Board, nor the humblest group committee can issue a single directive to an AA member and make it stick, let alone mete out any punishment. We've tried it lots of times, but utter failure is always the result.

"At this juncture, we can hear a churchman exclaim, 'they are making disobedience a virtue!' (i.e., read: should we sin more that grace may abound?) He is joined by the psychiatrist who says, 'Defiant brats! They won't grow up and conform to social usage!' The man in the street says, 'I don't understand it. They must be nuts!' But all these observers have overlooked something unique in AA. Unless each AA member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery (read: acknowledges that he/she is powerless and therefore in need of a saving grace), he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles (read: his/her sin).

"...So we of AA do obey spiritual principles, first because we must, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are AA's disciplinariean; we need no others.

"...Though Tradition Nine at first seems to deal with a purely practical matter, in its actual operation it discloses a society without organization, in its actual operation it discloses a society without organization, animated only by the spirit of service -- a true fellowship."

Let it be said that, in the face of true sin , God becomes extremely real and the human will becomes utterly insufficient to solve any deep problem. --JAZ

The Lives of Others (2007)

Watch this movie, ...and then tell me that the single word "atonement" doesn't summarize the entire core of the Christian faith. This brilliant film (and I) begs to differ. Also worth noting is the director's wonderful name: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

David Zahl marries Cate West!

A wonderful weekend was had by all!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Beard Science update:

Vinyl comes out in mid-October (featuring my "extraterrestrial love" edit as well as three other bangers!)!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

James Nestingen quote:

"The humanists were generally moralists, seeking ways to motivate proper behavior."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bill Wilson (AA co-founder) and Steven Paulson quotes:

"Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one of course." (The opening sentences of Bill W.'s "12 & 12")

"There are not many who have been willing to follow Luther as he is 'forced to confess' the captivation of the will...Yet what a vast difference it makes for a preacher to stand before a congregation and assume their will are bound rather than to stand before a group and assume their wills are merely in need of motivation." (Paulson, from p. xi of Forde's "The Captivation of the Will", introduction)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hot Blood: Soul Dracula



Saturday, September 01, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gino Soccio: Try It Out (1978)

Here's one from Montreal's Roman Catholic disco set. Gino says an appropriate thanks to "Jesus Christ" on the "Closer" lp album sleeve from which this track is taken.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Dedicated to David Zahl -- the (hilarious) opening paragraph of Stephen Fry's "The Liar":

"Adrian checked the orchid at his buttonhole, inspected the spats at his feet, gave the lavender gloves a twitch, smoothed down his waistcoat, tucked the ebony Malacca-cane under his arm, swallowed twice and pushed wide the changing-room door."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Working on my sermon...feeling a bit like this:

Kraftwerk: Antenna (1976)

"I'm the antenna (i.e., preacher), catching vibration. You're (i.e., God) the transmitor, give innovation (please)."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cranmer quote:

"Surely [God is] raising them up if they think he is bringing them down, and laying them low; surely glorifying them if he is thought to be confounding them; surely making them live, if he is thought to be destroying them."
- Thomas Cranmer to Peter Martyr, written from prison in 1555, not long before his execution

Obviously the band Fashion were inspired along the same lines when they recorded their song: "Love Shadow"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Polyrock: a great band!

Romantic Me

Working On My Love

Laurie Anderson and Don Matzat on "Superman":

Laurie Anderson: O Superman (1981)

Don Matzat:
"Living in a theology of the Cross never makes you any 'better' than anyone else. Every day in every way you are not getting better and better. In fact, the preaching of Law and Gospel will not lead you to an awareness of your holiness, but rather to greater awareness of the depth of your sin. As a result, you will develop an ever-increasing faith in and appreciation for the redeeming work of (Superman) Jesus Christ."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

JAPAN: a great band!

Life in Tokyo

Gentlemen Take Polaroids

Friday, August 03, 2007

Buck Rogers Disco:

Now there is a record worth having! Can anyone ID the song?

You can hear my sermon from this past Sunday...

Here -- Click Me!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Monkees: Porpoise Song

Some more quotes from "Grace in Practice":

"It is crucial to examine the human will...Is the human will an engine for self-help? To put it classically, is the will free or is it bound? To preface this survey of the will, we have to admit that traditional Christian theology is swimming upstream against the surrounding culture. Traditional Christian theology, Catholic and Protestant, rooted as it is in the pessimism of Paul and the radical pessimism of Augustine, understands the will as bound, not free. Everyone else today understand the will to be free. For American people, this is almost a point of personal honor." (p. 103)

"If the will is free, then we do not need someone to save us. We may need a helper, but we do not need a savior. We may scan the horizon for 'a little help from my friends' (lennon/mccartney), but basically life is a matter of 'God helps those who help themselves.' This theology disagrees entirely with that concept of life." (p. 104)

"If you believe in people's free will, you will always judge them when they 'choose' wrongly -- or, as we say today, when they make 'poor choices'. If you understand, however, that these people are not free in their will, then you are able to summon some compassion in your dealings with them. One of the reasons we need to embrace the fact of the un-free will is for the sake of its effect on love... The relation of the un-free will to compassion is that the un-free will enables compassion. You can see this in the various sorts of Christianity encountered in the world. Forms of Christianity that stress free will create refugees. They get into the business of judging, and especially of judging Christians." (pp. 108-109)

"'Free will' creates judgement creates rejections creates flight. The un-free will creates sympathy creates mercy comfort creates change. Actually, there is only despair and hatred in the concept of free will. There is hope and mercy in the concept of the un-free will." (p. 110)

David Elsewhere

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New mix (from me) posted at!

Click Me!

Ashley Null quotes:

"With reason and will both captive to the concupiscence of the flesh, only the intervention of an outside force, the Holy Spirit, could give humanity a new set of godly affections... Confidence in God's gracious goodwill towards them reoriented the affections of the justified, calming their turbulent hearts and inflaming in them a grateful love in return...when Cranmer came to the conclusion that any human goodness followed rather than preceeded justification, he crossed the Rubicon, with Rome behind and Germany ahead." (pp. 100-101)

"A sinner was considered sufficiently 'good' to be a son of God only because God first imputed Christ's goodness to him, not because God made him sufficiently 'good' in his own right beforehand. Thus, by faith in Christ's redeeming work a sinner was justified, and because he was in right-standing with God he was then granted the gift of the Hly Spirit in his heart which brought forth good works in his life." (p. 105)

"the Reformation was certainly a debate over the authority of Scripture but equally a debate over the interpretation of Augustine; for the Lutherans believed that the 'true theology' was essentially Scripture as interpreted in the anti-Pelagian writings of Augustine." (p. 103)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Live from the Coloseum (1983)

Gaz Nevada: I.C. Love Affair

Sandy Marton: People from Ibiza

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mike Oldfield: Five Miles Out (1982)

Luther quote:

"Here I warn all such as fear God, and especially such as shall become teachers of others, that they learn out of Paul to understand the true and proper use of the law, which I fear, after our time, will be trodden underfoot, and abolished by the enemies of the truth. For even now there are few, even among those who make a profession of the gospel with us, who understand these things rightly." (Commentary on Galatians, p. 205)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Songs about the self from 1983

Will Powers: Adventures in Success (note: this one is pure unadulterated Pelagianism)

Raf: Self Control (note: this one is explained in Article 9 of the 39 Articles where it is stated that "man is far gone from his original state of righteousness. In his own nature he is predisposed to evil, the sinful nature in man always desiring to behave in a manner contrary to the Spirit.")

UK Disco Dance Finals (1979) -- Pure Nazareth!

Notice the professions of each contestant (factory worker in Whales, welder in Bournemouth, etc...), almost like something out of 1984. This little video documents a true (and stirringly tragic) picture of the hopes and dreams of secular industrial England in the late 1970s. One of them got through to the finals.

...and along the same lines, check out this short film about Wigan Casino and the Northern Soul phenomenon:

Supermax: Love Machine (1978)

Mike Francis (casting a Balearic spell in 1984)


Let Me In

Tornados - Robot (1963)

This one has the gospel all over it: robots making out with humans, the fire burning in the midst of life representing the presence of the Holy Spirit, the law comes in at the end and chases away the love (after it has removed its mask), but the hope remains burning thereafter...

Fox the Fox: Precious Little Diamond (1984)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Amazing Italian Animation from the Eighties!

La Bionda: Wanna Be Your Lover (1982)

Rondo Veneziano: La Serenissima (1983)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Peter Enns quote:

"The way NT authors handle the OT “is somewhat troubling, for it seems to run counter to the instinct that context and authorial intention are the basis for sound interpretation" (114).

(taken from "Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament")

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Mystery Edit (w/ Love from Me to You)

Click Me!

(note: for some reason, the divshare media player plays the file at a slowed-down speed. Click the "Download Original" button to hear it at the right speed in your itunes after downloading it.)

Quote from The Book of Homilies (1)

"He saith he came not to save but the sheep that were utterly lost, and cast away. Therefore, few of the proud, just, learned, wise, perfect, and holy Pharisees, were save by him; because they justified themselves, by their counterfeit holiness before men. Wherefore good people, let us beware of such hypocrisy, vainglory, and justifying of ourselves. Let us look upon our feet; and then down the peacock's feathers! down proud heart! down vile clay! -- frail and brittle vessels...the true knowledge of ourselves, is very necessary to come to the right knowledge of God."

(taken from "Of the Misery of All Mankind and Condemnation by his Own Sin")

Sun Ra: Space is the Place (1974)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dorothy Martyn quote:

This phrase, "beyond deserving," may be a bit puzzling at first glance. After all, the idea of "deserving" permeates our language and is taken for granted in much of our daily life, from grades at school to rewards for exceptional performance -- such as whether one "deserved" a gold medal or the Nobel Prize -- to our ideas of criminal justice. "He got what he deserved," we might say about some poor wretch sentenced to execution for a foul crime, or about a child who received a humiliating failing grade in English for plagiarizing his term paper. Or, on the positive side, one might say to a friend, "A nice person like you deserves to have such a lovely necklace."

My own fascination with the truth that there is something very important beyond our dewerving began some decades ago when I heard a sermon on the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt 20:1-6), who all received the same pay from the master, though some had worked a long day, some a half-day, and some just a short part of a day.

The unforgettable gift from that sermon was a new understanding that the major biblical message is about something that cannot be earned. In this parable, "fairness" and "merit" utterly disappear in an in-breaking of a powerful force that transcends "deserving" altogether.

In my decades of working with children and families, the significance of this force has become incarnate before my eyes, as I have seen the superior potency of an approach to a "misbehaving" child that has no element of "this-for-that" implied in it. Thus gradually, over the years, there grew in my head following discovery, which provides the fundamental thesis of the book:

Parental love, and, by extension, all mentoring love, is authentic and effectual in proportion to the degree that it transcends the commonly assumed principle of the circular exchange, that is to say, "this for that." All true love is a stranger to that kind of thinking. The "justice" idea of reward according to what is deserved is replaced by the much more powerful force of noncontingent, compassionate alliance with the essential personhood of the other, however small that part may appear to be, againste the destructive forces opposing that person's good.

(taken from "Beyond Deserving", pp. iv-v)

Friday, July 06, 2007


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Dee D. Jackson: Automatic Lover (1977)

Bill Wyman (1981)

(Si Si) Je Suis Un Rockstar

A New Fashion

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Yukihiro Takahashi: Something in the Air (1981)

Droids: The Force (1979)

Something in the Water (1979)

Tommy Seebach Band: Apache

Orlando Riva Sound: Indian Reservation

Space: Magic Fly (1977)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dennis Parker: Like An Eagle (1979)

Obviously this guy's outfit, and the song's content give tribute to the Holy Spirit; "Never perching!"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Recent interview with your's truly on Viva-Radio

Bench Press of Love (JAZ's Ordination Disco Mix)

1. Who’s Who: Dancin’ Machine
2. Supermax: Fly With Me
3. Major Swellings: Pole Vaulter’s Delight
4. Discotheque: Disco Special
5. Peter Brown: Burning Love Breakdown
6. Gonzalez: Just Let It Lay
7. Mantus: Slidin’ To The Music
8. Stargard: Keep Knockin’
9. Giorgio Moroder: Knights In White Satin
10. Dennis Parker: Like An Eagle
11. Gene Farrow: Can You Keep It Up All Night?
12. Suzy Q: Get On Up And Do It Again
13. Gino Soccio: Try It Out
14. Tony Orlando: Don’t Let Go
15. Demis Roussos: I Dig You
16. Rinder & Lewis: Anger
17. Nightlife Unlimited: If I Gave You More
18. The Osmonds: Steppin’ Out
19. K.I.D.: Don’t Stop
20. Black Gold: C’mon Stop
21. J.T. Connection: Butterfly Suite (pt. 3)
22. Five Letters: May You Can
23. Space: Carry On, Turn Me On
24. Mantus: Dancin’ Freestyle
25. Quantum Jump: The Lone Ranger

Friday, April 13, 2007

The John Zahl (somewhat definitive) mix-tape selections.

Mix-Tape Classics (Click Me!)


that thing, supermax, jan hammer group, phil & friends band, ganymed, monks, vivien vee, liquid mask, kazino, will powers, gina x, love international, fern kinney, nightlife unlimited, voyage, demis roussos, osmonds, skatt bros., yoko ono, czukay wobble & liebezeit, electric chairs, & prince

(Taken from my Viva-Radio show's 4th installment)

Also, for those of you wanting to survey some classic Italian pop from the early 80s, Click Me!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Newton quote:

“Whenever and wherever the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith have prevailed in the Christian Church; and according to the degree of clearness with which they have been enforced, the practical duties of Christianity have flourished in the same proportion. Wherever they have declined, or been tempered with the reasonings and expedients of men, either from a well meant, though mistaken fear, lest they should be abused, or from a desire to accommodate the Gospel, and render it more palatable to the depraved taste of the world, the consequence has always been, an equal declension in practice. So long as the Gospel of Christ is maintained without adulteration, it if found sufficient for every valuable purpose; but when the wisdom of man is permitted to add to the perfect work of God, a wide door is opened for innumerable mischiefs.”

A Review of Ecclesiastical History

(Courtesy of Mary C. Zahl)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Cosmic 101 mix is now on the Cosmic Disco blog (see link below)

Click Me!

A great quote from "Grace in Practice"

"It is the a priori claim of this theology: God saves the helpless. The identity of God, which is an immense mystery, has a single point of clarity. God is merciful. We know this for only one reason, which is the life and death of Jesus Christ. But that knowledge is something. As a result, we lean on the everlasting arms (Mercury Rev). This is the grace of saving, which is the plea, month to month, and day to day, of every marriage, at every point of sin's entry." p. 162

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Click the link to hear my show on Viva-Radio (archived under "JAZ")


Quote from "Grace in Practice"

"Not long ago I read a newspaper article about an executive at Boeing. The reporter asked him to name the secret of his success, and he said, 'There is nothing I can do about the past. The only thing you can do anything about is the future.' Christ saw life differently. For Christ, the only thing you can do anything about is your past. God alone can deal with your future. If you have repented of your past, if you have taken an inventory of the full extent of hurt, victimhood, malice, and self-service that describe your achieved life, if you have said the one single needful word, 'sorry,' then that is all. There is nothing more. The future, which Paul would later call the 'fruit of the Spirit,' flows totally from the 'sorry.' The past resolved gives the present its only chance. The future is the Spirit's job." p. 11

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Developments:

Most importantly, Dad's new book for which many of us have been waiting a very long time, has just arrived. I am reading it now, engrossed, and eating up every page! It can be ordered from via the following link:


Also, I have a new two-hour radio show starting this Wednesday on Viva-Radio. It will air every other Wednesday, from 10pm-midnight, though, if you miss it, the show will be available from the Viva web-site's archives for two months after the initial show is broadcast. Do check it out, and pass the word on. There are many other great people contributing to the content as well, so maybe browse the archives a bit. I personally am especially fond of the sets by Bumrocks, Dan Selzer, and Jaques Renault, for starters.

Here's another link: CLICK ME!

Lastly, I have a mix going up on on the 31st of this month. This mix collects many of my favorites of recent years. It's more intellectual and less dancey than some of the others I've posted here.

Here's a link to CosmicDisco: CLICK ME!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jan. 6, 2007