|Pilgrim Days (CD) Indelible Grace Vol.2|
RUF: Belmont University (Nashville)
Reviewed by: (Publishers Synopsis), Indelible Grace Music
| Worship is always formative. It
shapes us as a people of God and thus it matters what
we sing. We have found that the
great hymns of the church have unparalleled power to
mold us in our calling to “live
our lives as strangers here in reverent fear” (1Pet 1:17.)
These hymns are indelible
reminders that God’s people can know the transforming
power of the gospel in the midst
of sin and sorrow. We can find “joy in every station,
something still to do or bear”
if by grace we are able to head the hymnwriter and
“Think what Spirit dwells within
thee, think what Father’s smiles are thine, think that
Jesus died to win thee - child
of heaven cans’t thou repine?” |
In an age of instant gratification, we need the help of these poets of the church to help us live and think as genuine Christians, and to embrace the vital truths captured in these hymns. It is not easy to believe that the gospel of God’s grace has power to so transform our hearts that we could actually cry out “Go then earthly fame and treasure, Come disaster, scorn and pain, In thy service pain is pleasure, With thy favor loss is gain.” It is difficult in our culture of personal peace and affluence to really believe (and enjoy) the fact that “Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days, Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight and prayer to praise.” But we have found singing these hymns has helped us. We pray that you might find the same.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Rev. Kevin Twit
College Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin TN
Campus Minister, Reformed University Fellowship at Belmont University
|Lectures on Calvinism|
Reviewed by: Jim Bachmann, Pastor
|One opens the pages of this classic book and expects to find
a treatise on the "five points of Calvinism," or at least an
in-depth study of predestination and election. Instead the
topics covered are politics, science, art, the
future,religion, and a life-system. The latter subject best
defines the contents of this book as Kuyper masterfully
shows that Calvinism is indeed a life-system and not merely
an ecclesiastical or dogmatic movement.
Regarding science for instance, Kuyper maintains that "faith leads to science" and therefore no conflict exists between the two. Have we realized that "predestination is the strongest motive...for the cultivation of science?" In the field of politics we learn that Calvinism alone recognizes the derived authority and sovereignty of the state as a gift from God designed to promote justice and restrain sin, the source of all human misery. Yet the emphasis upon the glory and majesty of God and His sole authority over man rightly led to the Netherlands rebellion against Spain, to the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, and also to the American Revolution against the British.
These are but a few examples of how Calvinism, rightly understood and applied, has ennobled man and benefited believers and unbelievers alike. These lectures, delivered at Princeton in 1898, are an exciting reminder of the breadth of the faith we cherish, eloquently expressed by a man who lived his faith as a life system, serving not only as pastor, teacher, author, editor, and scholar, but also as the founder of the Free (Reformed) University of Amsterdam in 1880 and even as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.
|The Attributes of God|
Arthur W. Pink
Reviewed by: Ann Shearer, Campus Ministry, Assistant to the Coordinator
"A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest
need of every human creature. God is only truly known in
the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His
authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His
holy precepts and commandments." These are Pink's
introductory words to his wonderful book that summarizes the
distinctive attributes of God. We must know who God is in
order to appropriately give Him the glory and praise due to
This small book succinctly analyzes 17 attributes of God. Based on fundamental scriptural truths, each chapter clearly communicates the reality of who God is in both his nature and his character. The Attributes of God presents refreshing reminders and concise explanations of God's love, holiness, foreknowledge, sovereignty, wrath, solitariness, grace, and more.
I would highly recommend The Attributes of God as a reference guide, a small group study, a gift, or simply an encouraging quick read. Pink writes, "As God alone is the Source and Fount of holiness, let us earnestly seek holiness from Him; let our daily prayer be that He may 'sanctify us wholly; and our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ' (I Thess. 5:23). [We must] live to Him in living like Him."
|A Christian Manifesto|
Reviewed by: Jonathan Barlow, Student
|In this excellent introduction to the proper interaction
between Christianity and the State, Schaeffer argues that in
general Christians are bound to follow the laws of the
state. If these laws ask them to do things that oppose God's
law, however, Christians are to handle this moral opposition
by a threefold process: 1. They are to work within the
political system to try and change the law; 2. Failing
change, the Christian should try to find a place to live
where he or she will not be asked to violate God's law; 3.
If moving is impossible, the Christian is only then
justified in committing civil disobedience.
Schaeffer's book is not just about Christianity and the State, however. It is a good general introduction to the notion of Worldviews and will serve to help a new Christian learn to properly recognize the problem of finding common ground between believing and unbelieving thought.
|Indelible Grace (CD) Vol.1|
RUF: Belmont University (Nashville)
Reviewed by: Matthew Smith, GoodTheology Music Editor
|Kevin Twit, college pastor at Christ Community Church (PCA)
in Franklin, Tennessee, is the producer and primary
songwriter of the worship album Indelible Grace, a
collection of hymns put to new music. Kevin recently sat
down with goodtheology.com to
talk about how the songs for
Indelible Grace came to be, his view of worship, and the
modern worship movement. |
When and why did you start writing new music for old hymns?
After seminary, maybe around '95 or '96. "Arise, My Soul, Arise" is the first one I did, which came as a result of being at a conference…Jack Miller, the teacher, had us turn in our hymnals to "Arise." We tried to sing it, and it was horrible. It sounded like a funeral dirge. [The song] captured so well the themes of that week, the things we were learning about the Gospel, so I thought it needed new music. I wrote it that afternoon when we had some free time…[it took] about five or ten minutes. In general, for all the other songs, I would be getting ready to teach on something, so I would look in the hymnals to find songs that would go along with the topic on which I was teaching, and I would try to figure out how we were going to sing them. The new music was just a means to the end of getting people to sing those words. It's part of the idea that worship is formative.
What do you mean by worship being formative?
That's a phrase I got from Marva Dawn. How we worship shapes us, what we worship shapes us. It's the flipside of the coin of the idea of idolatry. You do worship something, and if you worship a false view of God, it enfeebles you. If you worship the true God, it transforms you, it changes you, because we become like what we're worshiping. Therefore, in the worship service, it's not just about responding to God and telling Him what we think about Him. We are also filling our minds with truth that transforms; it's the whole idea of being transformed by the renewing of our minds. And not just our minds, but our affections, as we see Jesus as beautiful and believeable, and I think the hymns do that so well. Worship forms us either way; it either gives us a shallow view of God or a richer view of God.
What do you see as the positive and negative aspects of the modern praise and worship movement?
Positives…well, people are really taking worship seriously, in one sense. They're spending a lot of energy on it, they're working at it. On the other hand, the negatives are that sometimes it can be shallow. Another negative is that we can equate worship with singing, and worship is bigger than that. But the positives--there is a lot of direct address of God in modern praise and worship songs, a real emphasis on His imminence, His closeness, maybe not as much on His transcendence, but imminence is important, so I'm glad they highlight it.