Rediscovering Jesus’ Hymnbook

We know what songs Jesus sang: He sang the Psalms.

“You don’t have to be a seminary student or a missionary to Peru to step into the world of psalm singing. You only need to do two things. First, consider the benefits that God attaches to worship in psalm. Second, decide practically how you will begin singing the psalms.”   How interested would you be... Continue Reading

John Newton headed to Broadway?

New musical based on hymn-writers life.

Amazing perseverance! Variety reported Tuesday that a new musical, Amazing Grace, will have its world premiere this October, presented by Broadway in Chicago at the Bank of America Theatre in the Windy City. Variety said the musical “has all the earmarks of a show with New York in its sights.”   Read More.

What Macklemore Got Wrong…And Right

The big question is which God you will believe in. The false god of “same love,” or the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ?

So here’s the question for everyone watching the Grammys and wondering what God really thinks about all of this spectacle. Are you going to believe in the God of the Bible and His way of salvation? Or are you going to trust yourself to the god of “same love.” The god of “same love” says... Continue Reading

Why Christians Should Listen to Punk Rock

Classical music captures the world as it should be, Punk Rock captures the world as it is.

Whereas classical music embodies order, law, structure, and beauty, punk rock embodies–not the world as it should be–but the world as it is. Also, punk music has a social awareness that would put Beethoven and his ministry to the deaf to shame.   Punk rock music is the true Christian art form. I know it’s hard to... Continue Reading

The Holy Hip Hop Hullabaloo

Regarding recent reactions to Reformed Rap artists and their style of music

If you are part of the Reformed hip hop culture. Thank you. God bless you. Do not grow weary in doing good. Do not be discouraged. There are folks, a lot of folks, like me, who deeply appreciate you, have been (and are) blessed by you, who are learning from you and who are rooting... Continue Reading

The Presbyterian (PCUSA) Hymnal Controversy Around the Doctrine of the Atonement

Part 2: Irony and Lunacy

Instead of taking this reasonable approach, nine members of the committee decided to remove a song because they discovered that the single line reading “the love of God was magnified” originally read the very Reformed (and Biblical) notion that “the wrath of God was satisfied.” As the chair of the committee herself tells it, it was... Continue Reading

I Weep for Miley

What kind of people are we? What kind of culture have we created?

Picking up a sub sandwich today, I saw a news report on CNN about Miley Cyrus’ performance at last night’s VMA’s. I was shocked, then sickened, then saddened.   For the rest of the day, I wondered: What kind of people are we? What kind of culture have we created? What do we want our... Continue Reading

No Gospel Without Wrath

Why would a denomination want to remove a hymn’s reference to God’s wrath?

We cannot rejoice enough over what God has done for us. Let’s sing and preach about His wrath, warn the unrepentant what’s coming, and tell them that through Christ alone, as the hymn states, they can avoid it. That is the gospel   When I read that the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) decided to exclude from its hymnals the song “In... Continue Reading

‘My God, My Father, Blissful Name’: A Hymn of Patient Hope in God

Anne Steele’s poetry focuses on God who reassured her life as all around seemed uncertain

In Anne Steele’s life, the rain was falling.  She longed for the sun to warm her days, but often she was given no respite from pain and loneliness.  She felt out of control.  And the gracious, merciful Father she saw in the Scriptures picked her up, and held her, and it calmed her down.   ... Continue Reading

What You Can’t Sing Without Penal Substitution

Without penal substitution there is no salvation. And there isn’t nearly as much to sing about.

The notion that Christ died as our sin-bearing substitute who bore the curse for our sakes is considered, by some, too primitive, too violent, and too narrow. Penal substitution is only a theory of the atonement, just one idea among many, maybe not even a good theory, at the very least not the best or... Continue Reading