Josh Garrels on Believing

Josh Garrels is a singer-songwriter living in Portland, Oregon. He is the founder of independent label Small Voice Records.           Garrels has released six albums, including the critically acclaimed, fan-financed 2011 release      Love & War & the Sea In Between.

The making of Love & War & the Sea In Between was completely funded through the support of listeners and offered as a free download for one year, garnering 125,000 downloads in the first year after its release.

Named the number one album of 2011 by Christianity Today, the magazine described the recording as, “prophetic, incisive, achingly human, and longingly spiritual.”


Garrels has spent more than a decade crafting music that cuts clean through. Resting in the space between accessibility and honesty, Garrels’ songs wrestle with and celebrate the mystery of faith with authenticity and heart. Cultivating a genre-blending mix of folk and hip hop, Garrels’ music explores themes of compassion, hope, longing, and liberation.

I believe that Garrels’ music is boldly prophetic, yet creatively introspective and mystical. His provocative lyrics are deeply theological and refreshingly honest. In many ways, Garrels’ courage personally reminds me of Keith Green and Rich Mullins, who were both pioneers as Christian artists.

Like Green and Mullins, Garrels’ music comes from deep within his soul, and you feel it. If you haven’t heard his music, I encourage you to check him out and see if Christ doesn’t minister to you in his rhythms.

In the following video, Garrels talks about believing in the one who created you, following the Christ who gives you the Kingdom, and committing for the long haul… “because not many people are ending well.”

Is this the first time you’ve heard of Garrels, or are you already a fan of his music? If you’re already familiar with him, what do you think about his unique style of music ministry? Do you find his words on believing inspirational? Why do you think so many people are not ending well?

D.D. Flowers, 2012.


About David D. Flowers

David received a B.A. in Religion from East Texas Baptist University and a M.T.S. in Biblical Studies from Houston Graduate School of Theology. David has over 20 years experience as a pastor and teacher in and outside the church. He currently pastors an Anabaptist congregation in Pennsylvania. View all posts by David D. Flowers

15 responses to “Josh Garrels on Believing

  • Kent Mearig

    My wife heard Josh Garrels on the local Christian radio station about a month ago. With some sense for the words from the song, “Farther Along”, we were able to find his work on iTunes, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love seing videos like this one that give insight into what artists are thinking and how they’re living.

  • john morris

    David, Josh Garrels is one of my favorite artist. I have a couple of cd’s and he is one of my primary Pandora stations. Musically and lyrically I find him right up my ally. Thanks for highlighting this brother, I also have promoted him to as many as I can.

    I am sure you have heard of most of these, just thought I would list a few other artist I listen to frequently.- Daniel Bashta, Shawn McDonald, Charlie Dodrill, Jonathan David Helser & Jon Foreman. If you haven’t listened to any of these, check them out and let me know what you think. John Morris.

  • Kelly

    What does he mean when he says “mystery of faith” ?

  • Ann

    David, I first heard of Josh on your Facebook page. I enjoy his music very much, especially Songbird.

    Yes, I do find words on believing inspirational.

    And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23

  • Kelly

    David, it is part of the bold print: and looking back it doesn’t appear to be a direct quote but rather a description from his website about his music. It says.. Wrestles with and celebrates the mystery of faith

    • David D. Flowers

      Hey Kelly, I would say that the “mystery of faith” has in mind the mysterious nature of faith. True faith involves our intellect and reasoning, but it of course goes beyond our own understanding into the realm of mystery. I think that’s what it means here.

  • Scott Ray

    This is my first time to hear Josh. In the samples used, I hear some similarities to Coldplay and Band of Horses. Really like it! There is a deepness, and simplicity, that shines through. Will be exploring his work now, thanks for the intro!

  • Clare

    What is his religion? Thanks!

  • valerie m

    I really appreciate how Josh Garrels uses the name Yahvey and Yahshuah in his music… it makes the experience so sweeet.

  • Virginia Braun

    My husband is a surfer of “the net” lol. He came across Josh’s music a few months back and what a blessing ! We are hooked !
    Just wish Josh would tour up in Canada !

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