Thursday, December 3, 2009

Andrew Peterson: BTLOG

No, BTLOG is not some texting code that you must figure out. Instead it stands for Behold the Lamb of God: the True tale of the coming of Christ. Presented (and mostly written and sung) by Andrew Peterson, this album is perhaps my favorite Christmas album I own. Strangely enough, it is not an album full of classics. If you have never heard it before, the only songs you will recognize are "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and "O Come Let Us Adore Him." Don't that let that discourage you. Instead, I am EXTREMELY excited to tell you to head to THIS LINK and listen to the entire album streaming on your computer (check out Evie Coates sweet artwork, which is part of the player as you listen to it as well).

Why do I love this album so much? One, it is True (capital T intended). Seeing the story of Christ, beginning with a promise to the children of Israel for deliverance, from the Passover, to the prophets, to the kings, and then to a period of silence before the heavens are ripped open on a night when the angels cant hold back their joy at proclaiming the birth of the God-man... ahh the beauty of the story, what CS Lewis calls the "one true myth", sets my heart soaring. To have that all put to song is even more amazing. I talked about this album so much to my roommates the first year I was in Rome that all three ended up buying the album.

I love how the songs on this album echo with history, are painted with beauty and sink deep into the reality and the mystery of the story. It will even make you laugh with Matthews Begats, a song whose lyrics are mostly made up of the list of names that begins the Gospel of Matthew. If (as a Christian) by the end you are not "Singing out with joy for the brave little boy who was God but made himself nothing," I am not sure what ever will make you do that. Please, my 10 readers, please head over to and give it a try. If you like it, head on over to the Rabbit Room Store and buy the CD. Or better yet, find out if the tour is coming near you and make the trip to go witness it live. It is a concert you will never forget.

As a bonus, I found this video of Jill Phillips singing the song Labor of Love live at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (used to be the home of the Grand Ole Opry). Her husband, Andy Gullahorn, is on the guitar, Ben Shive on the keys (both amazing songwriters in their own right). The song start out with the line "It was not a silent night..." The way that she sings the song is achingly, hauntingly beautiful.

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