Thursday, August 26, 2010

John Mark McMillan

I've been listening to John Mark McMillan for the last few weeks and have really been enjoying his new CD The Medicine. He's a worship leader that has a refreshingly different style. He's less polished and his lyrics are much richer than a lot of stuff out there right now. Some of my favorite songs off the album are Death in His Grave, Skeleton Bones, Carolina Tide, and My Only.

Check out this video for his song, Death in His Grave:

Death In His Grave (Performance Video) from john mark mcmillan on Vimeo.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus and bridge:
On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

He has cheated
Hell and seated
Us above the fall
In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to be Truly Reformed

Ray Ortlund:
What unifies the church is the gospel. What defines the gospel is the Bible. What interprets the Bible correctly is a hermeneutic centered on Jesus Christ crucified, the all-sufficient Savior of sinners, who gives himself away on terms of radical grace to all alike. What proves that that gospel hermeneutic has captured our hearts is that we are not looking down on other believers but lifting them up, not seeing ourselves as better but grateful for their contribution to the cause, not standing aloof but embracing them freely, not wishing they would become like us but serving them in love (Galatians 5:13).

My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, do you learn from them? What is the emotional tilt of your heart—toward them or away from them?

If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level. Let it reduce you to Jesus only. Let it humble you. Let this gracious doctrine make you a fun person to be around. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed. Amazing people. Heroic people. Blood-bought people. People with whom we are eternally one—in Christ alone.
Read the whole thing

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What is the Bible Really About?

Tim Keller explains what the Bible is really about:(via)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Garrett sings "Beautiful"

Here's the full version of Garrett singing the Phil Wickham song "Beautiful" at his wedding a couple of weeks ago. So good. Sorry that it's a little shaky, especially in the middle. I was pretty much dancing in my seat:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inventing Contexts for Diversion

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 76:
“the crossword puzzle become a popular form of diversion in America at just that point when the telegraph and the photograph had achieved the transformation of news from functional information to decontextualized fact...Where people once sought information to manage the real contexts of their lives, not they had to invent contexts in which otherwise useless information might be put to some apparent use”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great songs from Garrett's wedding

I thought I'd post a couple videos from Garrett's wedding. Garrett sang the Phil Wickham song "Beautiful" as the bridesmaids came down (I think this is called the processional or something? I should probably know this by now). It was amazing. Here's a little taste of it as the crew is practicing:

Garrett Moore - Beautiful (practice) from David Wilhite on Vimeo.

Also, Evan wrote a new song specifically for the wedding. It was really good. Here it is:

Evan McHugh - Song for the Redeemed from David Wilhite on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to Improve Seminary Education

Together for the Gospel asks a few noted seminary professors, "What one thing you would change about seminary education?" Here are two great responses:

Al Mohler:
"I would want to banish forever the idea that the mission of the theological seminary is to turn out newly minted professional ministers. Far too many Christians—and this includes many who should know better—think of the Christian ministry as a profession. Thus, they assume that a theological seminary is directly analogous to a medical school training physicians or a law school teaching those who will be attorneys. The idea that ministry is a profession is disastrous. The very idea of a profession is alien to the minister’s calling. Central to the concept of a profession is the idea that there is an identifiable body of knowledge and a profile of expertise that, once mastered, renders the candidate a professional. But, as the New Testament makes clear, there are persons who can master such knowledge and acquire the skill set and yet never be called nor qualified for the Christian ministry.

There is a body of knowledge to be mastered and a set of ministerial skills and practices to be developed, of course, but these do not a minister make. The ministry is a calling, and the most important qualifications for the Christian ministry are spiritual. We must aim for something far higher than the preparation of professionals, and our real challenge goes far beyond knowledge and skills.

In a similar and equally important vein, I would remind us all that seminaries, even at their very best and most faithful, can only do so much. The local church is the most important school for ministry and the faithful pastor is the crucial professor. The seminaries that serve best will be those who understand this."
Richard Pratt:
"If I could wave a magic scepter and change seminary today, I’d turn it into a grueling physical and spiritual experience. I’d find ways to reach academic goals more quickly and effectively and then devote most of the curriculum to supervised battle simulation. I’d put students through endless hours of hands-on service to the sick and dying, physically dangerous evangelism, frequent preaching and teaching the Scriptures, and days on end of fasting and prayer. Seminary would either make them or break them.

Do you know what would happen? Very few young men would want to attend. Only those who had been called by God would subject themselves to this kind of seminary. Yet they would be recruits for kingdom service, not mere students. They would be ready for the battle of gospel ministry."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Enjoyment of Dancing

And David danced before the LORD with all his might. - 2 Samuel 6:14
I really love to dance. This past weekend I was in West Virginia for the wedding of my good friends Garrett and Allison. It was a special and memorable time and I was glad to be able to celebrate with them. And I think I most enjoyed and best took part in that celebration on the dance floor.

I probably should clarify what I mean by dancing. I don't mean swing, box step, or other similar styles of dance. These are fine and I take part in them from time to time. But what I'm talking about is when an upbeat song gets a hold of a person deep within them and causes their body to ebb and flow with the beat. Whether in my room, in my car, or on a dance floor somewhere, this is what I mean by dancing. And lately, many trips to MJQ along with some rocking wedding receptions have provided the ability to let loose in this way.

I can look over the last several years and see great evidences of God's work in my life through my enjoyment of dancing. Because my idol of choice is seeking approval, I've struggled a lot with anxiety and a lack of confidence in front of people. But sometimes, with the right company and the right music, I'm able forget where I am and just dance with unreserved passion. And it is a freeing thing, something that makes me feel full of life and grateful to God for such a wonderful invention.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Consequences of the Clock

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 11:
"'The clock,' Mumford has concluded, 'is a piece of power machinery whose 'product' is seconds and minutes.' In manufacturing such a product, the clock has the effect of disassociating time from human events and thus nourishes the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences. Moment to moment, it turns out, is not God's conception, or nature's. It is man conversing with himself about and through a piece of machinery he created.

In Mumford's great book Technics and Civilization, he shows how, beginning in the fourteenth century, the clock made us into time-keepers, and them time-savers, and now time-servers. In the process, we have learned irreverence toward the sun and the seasons, for in a world made up of seconds and minutes, the authority of nature is superseded. Indeed, as Mumford points out, with the invention of the clock, Eternity ceased to serve as the measure and focus of human events. And thus, though few would have imagined the connection, the inexorable ticking of the clock may have had more to do with the weakening of God's supremacy than all the treatises produced by the philosophers of the Enlightenment"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The unBeautitudes

Ray Ortlund:
Congratulations to the entitled, for they grab what they want.
Congratulations to the carefree, for they shall be comfortable.
Congratulations to the pushy, for they shall win.
Congratulations to the greedy, for they shall climb the food chain.
Congratulations to the vengeful, for they shall be feared.
Congratulations to those who don’t get caught, for they shall look good.
Congratulations to the argumentative, for they shall get in the last word.
Congratulations to the popular, for this world lies at their feet.

The gospel of Jesus is more than a few handy tips for improving our lives this week. It is a new outlook on everything, with a glorious future renewing the creation through his death and resurrection. But he is not the only one making us promises. The world has its own version of events, its own eschatology, its own promises of reward. We must choose. And either way, we will be living by faith.

But have you ever met one person who believed this world’s unBeatitudes and came to the end a satisfied, radiant, wise person? Even one?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

John Mayer Summarizing Life

John Mayer blogged a couple weeks ago about how he wishes he could go back in time and explain life to a younger him. He came up with the following explanation and I thought it displayed quite a bit of self-understanding. He just doesn't seem to have figured out where the answer to the longings lies yet.
People want to be liked. We all crave attention and affection and we all reject shame. When we get embarrassed we send a thug version of ourselves to the forefront to do our fighting for us. We’re at the top of the food chain just under fear. We don’t want to be in a relationship to hear the words “I love you,” we want to be in a relationship to say the words “I love you.” We want to feel needed, and exceptional and we hate feeling insignificant. We want to ace a hearing test. We are binary creatures; if we’re the plaintiff, we want to win every dollar. If we’re the defendant, we want guard every penny. We want to make more money than last year. We don’t want to get cancer or die in our cars and we want the same for our loved ones. We go out on weekends to try and have sex while trying not to get punched in the face. We drink so we can be ourselves and not mind it so much. We’re desperate to be understood. We want to know someone else has felt it, too. We hate being judged unfairly. We want to make the person we heard wasn’t all that into us change their minds and admit they had us wrong. We want sunny skies with a chance of killer tornadoes, just to keep music sounding good. We take hours upon hours to admit to self consciousness. We don’t know exactly how to pleasure each other. We just want love. In any and every form.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Real Waking

In a letter to a suffering American woman named Mary Shelburne on June 28, 1963, five months before he himself died, C. S. Lewis wrote:
Think of yourself as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half-waking. We are here in the land of dreams.