RIP Rich Mullins 17 Years Ago Today

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

So today is the 17th anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins.  Outside of David in the book of Psalms, I don’t know of another poet who so accurately expressed the feelings of my soul.  I can remember during an exceptionally difficult time in my life listening to such songs as “Hold Me Jesus” and “Jacob had Two Women” to help express myself.  While I have always loved songs like “Awesome God” and “Step by Step” I have to say my all-time favorite song from Mullins came from his unfinished album released after his death.  The song is “Hard to Get”in which Mullins wrestles through his struggles to understand God and His leading.  I so get that!  My favorite lyrics which have helped me through many a sorrow are:

I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

I would highly recommend the recent movie that was made about his life, Ragamuffin.

Thank you, Rich.  Looking forward to worshiping with you one day…

Categories: Uncategorized

Music Review – Hymn Revival by Gold City

I will always have an affinity in my heart toward Southern Gospel music!  I love the blended harmony of a gospel quartet.  There are few things that can get this conservative, straight-laced Baptist’s toe to tap than an ole’ fashioned gospel tune.

This week I was excited to learn one of my favorite gospel groups, Gold City, was releasing a new album.  What made me even more excited was the revelation that this album would be a hymn collection.  So, let me share with you a few thoughts on Gold City’s latest album (out today!) – Hymn Revival.

This is just classic gospel at its best.  The harmony, the beat, the down-home feel – it’s all there.  The fact that these are all familiar hymns (old and new) make it an easy cd to sing along with.  I first listened to the album in the car with my family.  From the very first song, (“Nothing but the Blood”), my two year old began dancing in the seat.  It’s just that good.  The harmony in “He Hideth My Soul” is just awesome.  “Victory in Jesus” was my favorite hymn growing up and Gold City did not disappoint me in this rendition.

I really appreciate the fact that two newer hymns were included, “Power of the Cross” and “In Christ Alone.”  “In Christ Alone” is clearly my favorite song on this cd.  It’s a powerful song sung in such way that might have you on your feet or in tears by the time it’s over.

My only criticism would be the remake of “Farther Along.”  That is one of my favorite gospel songs and I was disappointed with this version of it.  You can’t sing along with it and there’s no great harmony to be heard.

But, don’t let that one minor issue stop you from purchasing this album.  If you are a Southern Gospel fan, go out and get your copy today.  I would lend you mind, but I have a feeling it will be in my car CD player for a little while to come…

Click here to purchase this album from Family Christian Stores.

The album was given to me by Family Christian Stores for the purpose of a fair and honest review.  I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Categories: Music, My Thoughts

This and That 08-16-14

Depression Can no Longer be the Elephant in the Room – I chose to fight, and I won that day. That’s the deal. You fight depression day by day.  But here’s the thing: I don’t always have a choice to fight. And I want to try to help people understand that others don’t always have a choice either.  Sometimes my depression is just too strong. It is a tsunami wave and I am a toddler. I get knocked down before I even realize what is happening.  Because depression is an illness. – Gillian Marchenko

God’s Not Dead! My Thoughts – Where there are many real challenges to being a Christian in college, we shouldn’t paint college like this dark and evil place where its only aim is to indoctrinate our children with anti-Christian thought. This is fundamentalism and this is why no one takes Christian culture seriously anymore (if they ever took Christian culture serious in the first place). – Casey Ehlers

To Those Who of You Who Don’t Like Singing on Sunday – If all the universe sings loudly and passionately to God, maybe the problem is with us. When we don’t feel like singing, the problem isn’t a singing problem, but a seeing problem. If we could see God as he truly is, we would be utterly undone. We would be singing for joy, kneeling in adoration, and weeping in gratitude. If we saw Jesus in his resurrected, ascended glory, there would be no talk of, “Well, I’m more of the quiet type.” – Stephen Altrogee

 

Categories: This and That

This and That 08-09-14

9 Reasons We Can be Confident Christians won’t be Raptured before the Tribulation – The wording of 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7, when read carefully, shows that Paul expects to attain rest from suffering at the same time and in the same event that he expects the unbelievers to receive punishment, namely, at the revelation of Jesus with mighty angels in flaming fire. This revelation is not the pre-tribulational rapture but the glorious second coming. Which means that Paul did not expect an event at which he and the other believers would be given rest seven years before the glorious appearing of Christ in flaming fire. Vengeance on unbelievers and rest for the persecuted church come on the same day in the same event. – Justin Taylor

What’s Wrong with the Wrong Side of History Argument – Furthermore, it’s not as if nineteenth century Christians were the first ones to object to slavery. This is why the analogy with the church’s view of homosexuality falls wide of the mark. The church has always believed homosexual behavior to be sinful. The church–and not the whole church–can only be found to be supporting chattel slavery in a relatively brief historical window. Even if we look at slavery of any kind, it’s not as if Christians never spoke against the institution until the nineteenth century. As early as the seventh century, Saith Bathilde (wife of King Clovis III) became famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all the slaves in the kingdom. In 851 Saint Anskar began his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade. In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas argued that slavery was a sin, and a series of Popes upheld the position. During the 1430s the Spanish colonized the Canary Islands and began to enslave the native population. Pope Eugene IV issued a bull, giving everyone fifteen days from receipt of his bull, “to restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands…these people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without exaction or reception of any money.”[5] The bull didn’t help much, but that is owing to the weakness of the church’s power at the time, not indifference to slavery. Pope Paul III made a similar pronouncement in 1537. Slavery was condemned in papal bulls in 1462, 1537, 1639, 1741, 1815, and 1839. In America, the first abolitionist tract was published in 1700 by Samuel Sewall, a devout Puritan. Meanwhile, Enlightenment bigwigs like Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, and Montesquieu all supported slavery. – Kevin DeYoung

Categories: This and That

Book Review – Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook

Title: Interpreting the General Letters
Author: Herbert W. Bateman IV
Publisher: Kregel Academic
Publishing Year: 2013
Pages: 315
My Rating: 4 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Interpreting the General Letters is a valuable tool in unpacking all the great and wonderful truths found in these sometimes difficult to understand books of the Bible.  First, let me point out this book is not necessarily a commentary so to speak.  If you are looking for a verse by verse exposition of each of the General Epistles, this is not it.  Neither is this book an easy to read, gospel-saturated look at the Scriptures.  But, this was not the intent of this book either.

Instead, this book is one you would do well to read before picking up any commentary.  Before you start trying to interpret and apply the content of the General Epistles, this book gives you a pretty clear foundation upon which proper interpretation and therefore sound application can take place.  This book tackles both the historical, textual and biblical context of each book.  It also takes the time to discuss some of the more technical and grammatical issues brought up in each book, material that may be ignored in most popular commentaries and works.

This work is academic in nature, and that must be expected in order to benefit the most from this title.  I was especially blessed by all the historical detail in the discussion of context.  It really does help one understand the background in which these letters were written.  To get into the mind and world of both author and audience is of the utmost importance.

So, I would highly recommend this title to anyone preaching through or studying the General Epistles.  Go out, get this book, and set aside a few uninterrupted hours to give this book it’s due!

Purchase the book here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Categories: Book Review, Books

Free E-Book Alert – Schizophrenic Christianity: How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths, Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters

Note – I have not read this book so I am not sure if I can recommend it or not (I have some hesitancy) but I pass this along because I know this is a subject many readers of my blog will be interested in…

Now updated with more cases and more insights into the scandals of prominent Fundamental Baptist churches and schools, SCHIZOPHRENIC CHRISTIANITY shows that child molesting is embedded into the culture Christian Fundamentalism.

Using case study after case study of Independent Fundamental Baptist pastors accused, indicted, or convicted of child molesting, the author shows that these men continue to serve in the ministry unhindered. With surprising quotes from public leaders of Christian Fundamentalism such as the late Jerry Falwell, the author shows that many ultra-conservative Baptist churches grant their pastors total immunity and blame and isolate their victims instead. In easy to understand language, Massi explains the theology of American Christian Fundamentalism and shows how it has departed radically from historic Christian belief into a gender-based, externalized pietism that evaluates spiritual success in terms of numbers and political power. She paints a frightening picture of a religion gone horribly wrong, in which child molesters can easily pick up the lingo, amass a following, and hold themselves above accountability by merging into a system that refuses to police itself or institute rules of behavior for its clergy.

Download the book here.

 

Categories: Books, Free E-Book Alert

Free E-Book Alert – Replant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again

Grow Where You’re Replanted

Today’s spiritual landscape is littered with churches on their last legs, forcing us to reconsider how we keep the Body of Christ alive and strong. The solution, according to visionary pastors Darrin Patrick and Mark DeVine, is to infuse new blood into the body and by seeking God’s presence and guidance. Avoiding cookie-cutter steps or how-to formulas, Replantdescribes the story of a church resurrection, a story that offers a multitude of divinely inspired, and practical possibilities for church planters. The result is a harvest of inspiring ideas on how to inspire new church growth. Discover a new openness to churches merging with other congregations, changing leadership, and harvesting fresh spiritual fruit—inviting us all to re-think how churches not only survive, but thrive.–

Darrin Patrick is pastor of the Journey, a church he founded in 2002 in the urban core of St. Louis, Missouri. Darrin is vice president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He also serves as the chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned his doctorate of ministry from Covenant Seminary and has written three books, including The Dude’s Guide to Manhood,Church Planter, and For the City.
 
Mark DeVine is a professor at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He has taught at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City and also served as a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand. Mark has pastored churches in five states and speaks regularly at conferences around the world.
Download the book here.
Categories: Books, Free E-Book Alert
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