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by Amanda Edmondson
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Mon May 20, 2013
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Mon May 20, 2013
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Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
What's Dustin Kensrue's Story
Update: Dustin Kensrue leads worship at Mars Hill Downtown Bellevue, is the worship director of Mars Hill, and led the band Thrice. He spent some time and kindly answered a few questions we had sent his way.
Will you tell us a little about your story?
I was a self-righteous and slowly despairing know-it-all who was humbled and saved by God’s sovereign mercy. I now work and rest in his calling, using the gifts he has graciously given me.
You use stories from Greek mythology and different books in your lyrics. How do you use these to talk about God?
I like working from these sources for multiple reasons. Aside from the fact that they are inspirations and springboards, a big reason is that a song is very short medium. If you work from a fairly well known source, you can do a lot more with the space you have because you have a background to bounce off of.
As far as how I use them to talk about God, I’m not sure that I necessarily always talk directly about God, but I think he is always in the room in a sense. My beliefs shape the way I handle a story, but I don’t need to do damage to the source to deal with it honestly in a way that honors God.
What is your favorite story in the Bible and why?
I would sit here for days if I tried to figure that out, so I’ll just go with one story that I like a lot and that has impacted me a lot in the past few years: Numbers 21:4–9, the story of the Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the desert. I love how explicitly and graphically it illustrates what would happen on the cross hundreds of years later. It is so telling that a hanging snake is lifted up to save them from the snakebites. Christ, who was “born in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3) was lifted up, and though he was sinless, he became our sin on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21).
One hope is that people will be able to see how theology is not, or should not be, isolated from the rest of life.
Also, the fact that all they had to do was to look is a beautiful illustration of salvation through faith alone. C.H. Spurgeon was saved after he wandered into a church to find shelter from a storm and heard this text expounded by a layman. If you can find the story, it is amazing. John Piper reads it in one of his sermons and it is riveting.
What is your favorite book (other than the Bible, of course)?
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton is up there. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Cardis a great piece of fun and thought-provoking fiction. And C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra is phenomenal and from a highly underrated and underappreciated series.
Is there a difference for you when you play shows with Thrice and when you lead worship?
Not a ton in my opinion. I look at them both as worship, though the setting is the main difference. There is an element of performance while playing with Thrice (though I’m not a great showman) that is not present at all when I lead corporate worship.
What will your session at the Resurgence College Conference be like, and what do you want people to get from it?
It looks like I’ll be playing various songs, my own and possibly others’, and then speaking on how they intersect with what Pastor Mark will be talking about. One hope is that people will be able to see how theology is not, or should not be, isolated from the rest of life. Our theology should affect everything we do, in whatever situation or profession, and should work itself out in the big picture and in the details as well.
Another hope for this would be speaking a little bit into the idea of finding points of contact with those around us who don’t yet know Jesus. We all live in the same world. On many levels we all have the same fears, feelings, hopes, etc. In every situation there is a wealth of points of contact where the rubber can meet the road, where the gospel can really gain traction in people’s hearts.
What is your favorite story from touring around the world playing music?
I’m super bad at this. In general I love the collective interaction I’ve been able to have with people through my music and following up talking to people after shows. I have seen such evidence of God moving through the music he has granted me to create.