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Lauren Daigle’s Christmas Cheer Doesn’t Pause for a Pandemic

Ahead of her first televised special, the chart-topping Christian artist told CT her music has taken on special meaning in 2020.

This is Lauren Daigle’s third year reigning as Billboard’s top Christian artist. But her music—from powerful reminders of God’s presence to the comforting nostalgia of Christmas—has struck her differently in 2020.

In an interview with Christianity Today, the singer talked about seeing her recordings in a new light, describing the songwriting process as a “prophetic exchange” with God. She marvels at how the Lord has used her songs, which broke records on the Christian charts, to speak into a moment she never could have imagined.

“It’s wild how sometimes God will write through you. You don’t necessarily know what’s on the other side. When you see the time in which [a song] was meant to live, you know you couldn’t have done this if you tried,” the singer said.

Daigle points specifically to “Rescue,” from her 2018 Grammy-winning album Look Up Child, which begins, “You are not hidden / There’s never been a moment you were forgotten / You are not hopeless / Though you have been broken, your innocence stolen.” She said a forthcoming release, “Hold On to Me,” was written before the pandemic but will take on new meaning for weary listeners when it comes out next year.

Christmas music has always been special to Daigle and some of her favorite to sing. She says the texture and character in traditional Christmas songs make it easy to get lost in the wonder of the season. This year, fans have cued up their Christmas playlists early and are eager for familiar holiday cheer after a difficult year.

In 2016, Daigle released Behold: A Christmas Collection, which reached the 29th spot on the Billboard 200. Her versions of Christmas ...

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Thomas Jefferson Tried to ‘Fix’ the Bible. He Only Succeeded in Making It Sad.

The third president’s attempts to revise Scripture offer a warning about our own tendency to “edit” the truth.

I first heard of Thomas Jefferson’s Bible as a warning. I was a teenager in a Bible study, and one of the pastors of the church brought up the third American president and his effort to “fix” the Scripture. Jefferson—who wrote the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and are “endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights”—took for himself the liberty of editing the Gospels. He cut them up, using a sharp knife to excise what he saw as the problematic parts of the sacred text.

But, the pastor said, don’t we all kind of do that? We have our favorite verses. And there are other parts of the Bible we ignore. Whether or not we wield actual scissors, we have to be careful, because it’s so easy to mutilate the Word of God.

There is certainly some truth to this, but it turns out it is not as easy to “fix” the Scripture as that pastor imagined. Jefferson, at least, had a hard time of it, according to a fascinating new book by Peter Manseau, the curator of American religious history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The Bible resisted Jefferson’s cuts, and the truth is stronger than its would-be editors.

The Jefferson Bible: A Biography is part of an excellent Princeton University Press series on the “lives of great religious books.” This installment follows titles on John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison, and C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, not to mention “biographies” of the biblical books of Genesis, Exodus, Job, Song of Songs, and Revelation. ...

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