Monthly Archives: September 2007

Another Puritan quote

“He who prays as he ought will endeavour to live as he prays.”


This quote is truly a challenge and conviction for me. Do we pray as if we are content? Do we live our lives in such a way that it reflects a lack of trust in God? Do we trust that He is sovereign, and do we live like He is? Most of us pray as if we believe God is sovereign but when it comes to the other aspects of our life is this the same case? This statement by John Owen is so profound. Our prayer life and the life that we live should be the same.


Posted by on September 30, 2007 in John Owen, Puritan, quotes


Is this really a church?

After reading all of the bloggers comments surrounding the John MacArthur and Doug Padgitt debate on Christians and Yoga, I found a little video of Doug Pagitt introducing his church. I use that term church loosely of course. I remember someone at Shepherd’s Conference asking John MacArthur if he was offended by a local church with the same name as the one he pastors, Grace Community Church? His response was “I don’t care so much that they use the same name what I do care about is that they use the term church.” This would be the case here. Please watch the video at the link below, and comment it you like.

Solomon’s Porch

HT: fourpointer


Posted by on September 27, 2007 in Doug Pagitt, emergent, John MacArthur, Solomon's Porch


Music review Tuesday

I have had today’s music review waiting in the wings since it’s release last month. Due to the exclusivity of the release andCollective Sould - Afterwards the new digital format of the downloadable tracks (which are currently incompatible with my MP3 player) I have had to delay this review until now. The name of the band is Collective Soul and they are from Stockbridge, Georgia. They have been recording great music for about 12 years now. The band name was derived from a term used in Ayn Rand’s book “Fountainhead”. As Ed Roland, the band’s singer/songwriter, puts it “we’re not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything….we just dug the name…it could’ve come out of Motorcycle Magazine.” Collective Soul consists of original members and brothers Ed and Dean Roland, Ed on lead vocals, guitar, keyboard, and producer, Dean plays rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on bass percussion and vocals, Joel Kosche on lead and rhythm guitars, and Ryan Hoyle on drums and percussion. One final note before I get to the album. The brothers Roland grew up pastor’s kids. Their dad was a southern baptist pastor for many years, this must be why their songs are full of elements of Christianity.

The title of Collective Soul’s newest album is “Afterwards” and is the seventh studio album from the band. It was released August 27th, 2007. Collective Soul has been characterized by heavy guitar riffs with catchy melodies and this album is no exception. The first track “New Vibration” is definitely both heavy and melodic. It has a heavy guitar groove rhythm while Ed looks for a “new vibration.” The next track “What I Can Give you” will no doubt be the second single for the album behind “Hollywood”. The song is very catchy, and makes you hum right along. “Never Here Alone” is such a unique and upbeat song. I read a review on where the reviewer liked all the songs but this one. The guitar riff played throughout with it’s synthesized effect is very cool. I like it just fine. The next track is called “Bearing Witness”. The lyrics look so personal, like he is writing to his wife or girlfriend while he is on the road, “I’m promised here, you’re precious there”. The following track “All That I Know” is such a great song to sing along with. It is a slower song with some very nice lead guitar work that flows into a cool jazzy sound. The first single from the album is “Hollywood” and the song could be a song of love expressed to someone named “Hollywood” or a somewhat sarcastic tone for the “movie town”. It is a very likable song and it rocks.

Album highlights are “New Vibration”, “All That I Know”, “Hollywood”, “Good Morning After All” for it’s use of lyrical contrast by expressing pain and hurt but when it’s all said and done you still encourage folks with “Good Morning!”, “Never Here Alone”, “Persuasion of You” and it’s super cool use of guitar sounds and great solo, and finally “Georgia Girl” and one of my favorite lyrical verses on the album:

She offers up fellowship
To those that come from broken homes
Yeah she laughs in the crowds
While her heart is alone

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 25, 2007 in Afterwards, Collective Soul, Music Review


Evangelism and the sovereignty of God (Part 2); Apologetics

This past week we looked at the various forms of apologetics. But first I’d like to just throw in something from the first week. In the first week we looked at the definition of apologetics and the goal of apologetics. The short definition is the defense and proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The goal for using apologetics in evangelism is to glorify God by formulating an approach to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ that is consistent with both biblical theology and biblical example. Now we can move to the various forms used in evangelism.

The “Classical” Method

A classical apologist uses a two step process by first using natural theology to establish the existence of God by observable data in the universe. Only after God’s existence is proven do they move on to presenting the case for Christianity, namely the person and work of Jesus Christ. All of this in an attempt to make Christianity the only viable religion. This method is called “classical” because it is assumed to be the style of apologetics of the early church fathers. The key assumptions for this style of apologetics is that man is capable of openly and honestly evaluating the claims of Christianity. The second assumption is that man’s heart is fully depraved, but his mind is fully functioning. The last assumption is that the proof of miracles are without equal in their defense of Christianity.

The “Evidential” Method

This method is much like that of the “classical” method in that it uses “proofs”to stimulates man’s ability to reason and search for religious knowledge. But unlike the “classical” method, “evidential” apologetics only needs one step to accomplish their goal. They will use historical “proofs” to prove Christianity, and the existence of God. A good example of the “evidential” method would be to begin the defense by arguing the historical factuality of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, thus proving that God exists as well as Christ’s authenticity. Key assumptions would be; the believer and the unbeliever can communicate effectively with each other, and the miracles of Jesus are compelling enough to provide the needed proof to reach the goal.

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Posted by on September 25, 2007 in apologetics, evangelism, God's sovereignty


Was Abraham a fanatic?

Yesterday Dr. Albert Mohler blogged about a recent article in the Chicago Tribune that discusses Genesis 22. ThAbraham and Isaace offering up of Isaac by Abraham. I have provided the link to the blog posting here or you can click on the picture to the right. He has provided the link to the article in the Chicago Tribune. You should check that out as well. I simply love what Dr. Mohler points out toward the end of the post. Who is represented by the ram that God provided Abraham?


Music review Tuesday

Do you know what a “Panhead” is? If you do then maybe you are one. A “Panhead” is a fan of the Christian rock bandComatose Skillet. According to a former band member “Panheads are those who come to three of four shows traveling up to 10 hours, bringing skillets, banners, writing on their cars…etc, we have a special place in our hearts for Panheads.” I have traveled for almost 3 hours to see Skillet, I wonder if I would qualify? The two original members, John Cooper and Ken Steorts preferred different styles of music. Ken was an old rocker and John liked the newer stuff. Their pastor encouraged them to make music together and actually suggested the name Skillet because they could throw all of their musical tastes into it and see what comes out. The band Skillet has gone through many changes since their forming in 1996. The current line-up is John Cooper on bass and lead vocals, Korey Cooper (John’s wife) on keyboards, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals, Ben Kasica on lead guitar, and Lori Peters on drums.

Skillet’s current album release is titled “Comatose” it was released in October of 2006. The album title, says John Cooper, is a challenge to the American Church to awaken from the sleepy apathy we have toward one another and enter into relationships with people. Not just online but face to face time. The album punches the accelerator right out of the gate with the first track “Rebirthing” about, you guessed it, being born again. I believe this is the first song where Korey Cooper’s vocals are actually heard in a big way. Her voice is fairly prominent in several songs on the album. The next track “The Last Night” is a ballad about Jesus’ love for the person who feels outcast and alone. I think John Cooper and the band have a passion for kids who are experiencing these kinds of things. I remember when they came to Lincoln, Nebraska I watched them come down from the stage after their set was done and engage kids in conversations about what was going on in their lives and how much Jesus loves them. The third track “Yours To hold” is about that special someone God has sovereignly created for you. The song’s bridge is so cool it goes:

I’m stretching but you’re just out of reach
You should know
I’m ready when you’re ready for me
And I’m waiting for the right time
For the day I catch your eye
To let you know
That I’m yours to hold

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Posted by on September 18, 2007 in Comatose, Music Review, Skillet


Evangelism and the sovereignty of God (Part 1)

One of the most controversial aspects of Christianity is evangelism and the sovereignty of God. As believers we all know that we are commanded to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”. (Matthew 28: 19) But understanding the sovereignty of God quite often creates a percieved paradox. In reality the bible teaches that these two doctrines are not in opposition to each other but allies. The sovereignty of God (and mind you the bible) teaches that a man is elected by God for salvation. That a man is dead in his sins and is made alive to righteousness only by the work of God. Many evangelicals claim that teaching the sovereignty of God in salvation deters Christians from evangelizing. This is actually the opposite for those who follow the doctrines of God’s sovereignty. If you understand that God is the One who saves and we are called to be obedient servants in this endeavor, we are more free to evangelize and let God do the calling.

In order to defend this doctrine and understand how to effectively evangelize I am attending an IBS (Institute for Biblical Studies) course at my local church Omaha Bible Church. Along with the bible we will also be using a book by J. I. Packer called “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God“, go figure. The first session, which was last Wednesday, we focused on the introduction and the importance of evangelism for the believer. We were introduced to the reference materials we will be using and we went through the course syllabus.

This past Sunday I purchased “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God” in the church bookstore and used the time during our adult bible hour to read the first couple of chapters. Packer lays the foundation of God’s sovereignty by going over some common beliefs in Christianity through prayer that are attributed to the belief in a sovereign God. When we take the time to pray to God, how do we pray? Do we pray with the belief that God will act in his sovereignty? Do we ask God to save John and Suzi down the street or do we pray that John and Suzi will figure it out for themselves and in so doing save themselves? When we pray do we ask God for our daily bread? Do we thank Him for our salvation? Indeed we do. Because deep inside we know that God is the one who saves. God is the one who sustains our life. We know through scripture that these things are true. God gives us the very breath we breathe. If God is sovereign in these things would it not hold that He is also sovereign in the salvation of men and women?

Next posting we will get into the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, an apparent contradiction. Rock on!


Posted by on September 18, 2007 in evangelism, God's sovereignty, IBS, J. I. Packer


This just in…. (humor for your Friday)

As reported by TBNN, one church in Brattleboro, VT is getting honest about their church building room names.
Go to “Church Gets Honest About Room Names” to read the whole story.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 14, 2007 in Christian satire, TBNN


Black days, storm, and Psalm 42

Sometimes in life you experience overwhelming emotional darkness. As a believer in Jesus Christ the son of the living and sovereign God I may remember to cling to this knowledge of Him. Other times I get lost in my circumstances and my heart feels like it is in black days. In the middle 90’s the grunge rock band Soundgarden came out with a song called “Fell On Black Days” the first verse of the song is:

Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I’m doing time
Cause I fell on black days

The song lyrics are depressing and do not provide even a glimmer of hope. But they sound very personal and have much in common with the human heart in times of despondency. Hence the popularity of the song when it came out.

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Posted by on September 12, 2007 in Lifehouse, Psalm 42, Soundgarden


Music review Tuesday

Today I am reviewing an album by an artist that I have honestly just recently started listening to. The band is called Paramore and they are from Franklin, Tennessee so they can’t be all that bad right? The band name comes from the bassist’s moms maiden name. They just though it was cool. In Latin it means “more love”. How did I hear about this band? I have my lovely teen aged daughter Crysta to thank for introducing me to their music. She has been asking me to listen to them and possibly review their music on this site. Paramore is known as a punk rock band but I have found their music to be a bit more diverse than what I would call typical punk rock. For one thing their music is optimistic which flies in the face of the typical rebellious nature of punk rock. Paramore is headed by singer/songwriter Haley Williams who is only 18 and has a very mature attitude toward the bands most recent success and their songwriting. The band is also Josh Farro – lead guitar, Jeremy Davis – bass guitar, and Zak Farro – drums.

Paramore’s new album is entitled “Riot” and it was released June 12th, 2007. I would describe the music as pure, honest, energy. From the first track to the last. From what I have read and been confirmed by my daughter the band members are believers in Christ and some of their songs depict this hope. The first track is called “For a Pessimistic I’m Pretty Optimistic”. I love the song title. In my estimation the song title totally describes the attitude for the album. The music is very fast paced energy. The next song “That’s What you Get” has some theology although I don’t know if was their intention. It speaks about how your heart can deceive you into making the wrong decisions. The chorus says “That’s what you get when you let your heart win”. “Hallelujah” is the next track and showcases Haley Williams’ vocal talent as she sings screaming Hallelujah! with great enthusiasm. The next track on the album is the first single release and called “Misery’s Business” and according to Haley Williams, “more honest than anything I’ve ever written, and the guys matched that emotion musically.” The song is about how girls learn to manipulate guys, and deal with past romantic rivals, hence the song title, “Misery’s Business”.

For the most part this band and album rocks and they have a presence that is much more mature than some of the other bands I’ve heard my daughter and her friends listening to. The lyrics are startlingly mature for an eighteen year old young woman. Album highlights are: “For a Pessimistic I’m Pretty Optimistic”, “Hallelujah”, “Misery’s Business”, “Miracle” the music reminds me of Relient K, “crushcrushcrush” I love the bridge to this song, “rock and roll baby”. “The soft spoken “We Are Broken” from a heart crying out to be made whole again, and the pleading “Born for This” that says “we want the airwaves back” that makes me think she is looking for more honesty in today’s music. There are two additional hidden tracks including a live version of “Emergency” that is pretty good too.

I will have to admit that my daughter does listen to some good music, Fall Out Boy excluded. Sorry Crysta. 🙂 I will give this album four stars out of five.

Check out the video from “Misery’s Business” and watch it to the end. Thank you.


Posted by on September 11, 2007 in Music Review, Paramore, Riot