Brandenburg Concerto #1 and the Broken Beauty of the Cross

J. S. Bach’s set of six concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg (simply known as the “Brandenburg” concertos) are among the high points of Western music.  If you’re not familiar with the first Brandenburg concerto, have a listen to this haunting selection, which is the second of the concerto’s three movements: It has an other-worldly […]

On New Hymns & Seeing the World through the Gospel

Editor’s Note: CGC is often blessed with reflective contributions from Ben Shute, but today we have opportunity to share one of his original compositions and hymn texts. Here, Ben demonstrates that music–whether classical or jazz, indie rock or hip-hop–has the potential ability to meaningfully communicate the gospel and stir the affections for Christ. What follows […]

Entertainment and the Functional Hope of the Heart

As a performing musician, I have often wondered why it is that the classical concert scene in Europe (or at least many parts of Europe) generally has so much more vitality than in America, in terms of both the volume and quality of public participation.  For example, I can never forget how German audiences, packing […]

Reflections from the Top of the World

I was humbled and convicted by my recent encounter with the reflections of a dying Linds Redding.  He had it all: as an artist and executive he was talented, passionate, and successful.  But with the devastating clarity of eyes saturated with impending mortality, he saw and exposed the contemptible hollowness of the promises of success […]


I Spy With My Metaphysical Eye

Episode in the Life of an Artist[1] A good friend of mine, a fellow musician, often remarks that musicians are “flaky.”  He’s not referring to all musicians or all artists, I think, but to a particular kind of person who seems more often to be found in the arts than elsewhere.  We probably know the […]

Acts of Art

Acts on Art (2 of 2)

In part 1, we observed that God is an artistic God, and that our being made “in the image of God” denotes not only a certain likeness to Him but also the fact that we are (and were made to be) visible representatives of the invisible God and his promises. This good news for the […]

Acts of Art

Acts on Art (1 of 2)

Today I decided I was going to start Acts.  With morning commitments hanging over my head, I asked God that something in this passage I had read so many times would yield new insight or at least encouragement.  So, hopeful if not particularly expectant, I dove into Acts—and almost drowned on the very first verse: […]

Christ My Treasure

Christ My Treasure

Here’s a demo of a new song by Castle Island Hymns. The song was written by Bobby Krier and Justin Ruddy for potential inclusion in The Gospel Coalition’s “Songs for the Book of Luke” project. The words and music are original, and focus in on some of the scriptures’ financial imagery for describing the redemption and […]

The Grace of Jesus in Bach’s Mark-Passion

J. S. Bach’s Mark-Passion [1] concludes with a tone of intense personal devotion that is the unique product of recognizing something of such worth that it overwhelms our perception and dominates our values. Bei Deinem Grab und Leichenstein, Will ich mich stets, mein Jesu, weiden Und über Dein verdienstlich Leiden, Von Herzen froh und dankbar […]

Old Testament

  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi

New Testament