Thursday, December 05, 2013

Apology from Beeke About Rap Panel

I really had no intention of continuing to post about this issue, but because I have, I thought it appropriate to include the recent apology from one of the panelists:

Monday, December 02, 2013

Al Mohler Reflects on the Question of Reformed Rap

Yesterday I posted some thoughts on the recent panel discussion concerning reformed rap.

Al Mohler provides his excellent insights here.  The last paragraph is golden:

Bach’s English Suite No. 3 in G Minor is playing as I write this. It makes me happy to hear it. But knowing that the Gospel is being taken to the ears and hearts of new generation by a cadre of gifted young Gospel rappers makes me far happier.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Can Christian Rap Honor God?

And we wonder why our churches are as segregated as they are on Sundays . . . This video literally made me feel like I had been punched in the gut.  It made me angry (and I don't even listen to Reformed Rap).

The Worship of God Q&A: Holy Hip-Hop from NCFIC on Vimeo.

This reminds me of the missions movement when they thought making a tribe "christian" meant making them dress like Europeans.  The reasoning of this panel basically sounds like this to me, "We don't like Christian reformed rap because everyone who raps is egotistical, we can't understand the words, and it doesn't sound like our Christian tradition."

Though I know it is a serious charge, these men sound a lot like the Pharisees to me; holding up their tradition as the only way to approach God.  While I'm certain these men genuinely want God to be glorified in the church, I have to wonder what they would do on the mission field.  How would they handle music among brand new believers in a previously unreached tribe.  Would they force Western styles on that tribe, or would they find ways for that tribe to express praise to God in their own ancient musical styles?  I'm not sure how they would answer that question, but my guess is that they would glory in that tribe's particular cultural expression and not force another style on them.  So, why treat this particular American cultural expression any differently?

I'm struggling to find an answer to that question? The only answer I can come up with is that they are guilty of some form of American cultural elitism where they believe their expression is the only legitimate American Christian expression.  Now, I don't think they wear that reasoning on their sleeves, but it must be hidden somewhere in their heart for these arguments to find such expression.

The church will remain a place of segregation until we agree that God loves and embraces cultural diversity and, therefore, diversity of musical expression also.

Justin Taylor has a great round up of some other responses on his blog.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"I can see that you do not understand what I am saying to you. What I am saying to you is that you do not live life as Martin Luther lived life. You do not wake up in the morning as he did, nor do you go to bed at night as he did. You need to understand something about changed conditions of belief.  Do you not understand that in the time of Martin Luther, almost every single human being in European civilization woke up afraid that he would die before nightfall?  Eternal destiny was a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute thought.  Every night, as the late Medieval or early Reformation human being closed his eyes, he feared that he would wake up either in heaven or in hell.  You do not live with that fear.  And that means that your understanding of these things is very different from Martin Luther's.  That's why he threw ink pots at the Devil, and you close your notebook and sleep well at night."
- from "Atheism Remix" by Dr. Al Mohler quoting Dr. Heiko Obermann

Saturday, September 14, 2013

He Gives What He Commands

"You give them something to eat" was Jesus' command to his disciples after they asked him to send the 5,000 men and their families to get provisions.  Can you imagine being in their position?  It would have been laughable.  With a straight face, Jesus was commanding these 12 guys, with essentially nothing, to feed 5,000 men and their families. He knew they couldn't do what he was asking.

But, Jesus never intended them to obey in their own strength or with their own provisions.

He took the five loaves and the two fish, said a blessing, "then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd" (Luke 9:16).  He gave what he commanded.  He handed them what they needed to do what he asked.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Church History Resources

It's been a joy to walk through Church History with Christ Community Church on Wednesday nights!

I've come across a few helpful resources for the group and am listing them on our church website.  The timeline is a great resource to have in hand as we move through the first 6 centuries of the church.  Also, the series on the NT Canon was really helpful.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

He Disarmed the Rulers and Authorities (FF Bruce on Colossians 2:15)

"The very instrument of disgrace and death by which the hostile forces thought they had him in their grasp and had conquered him forever was turned by him into the instrument of their defeat and disablement.  As he was suspended there, bound hand and foot to the wood in apparent weakness, they imagined they had him at their mercy, and flung themselves on him with hostile intent.  But, far from suffering their attack without resistance, he grappled with them and mastered them, stripping them of the armor in which they trusted, and held them aloft in his outstretched hands, displaying to the universe their helplessness and his own unvanquished strength.  Such seems to be the picture painted in these words."   - F.F. Bruce

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Well-known Scientists Admit Validity of Intelligent Design

We're all familiar with the debate.  The mainstream world of science says that Intelligent Design is inadmissible in the realm of real science.  It can't be tested, therefore it can't be proven.

But, what if I told you that there is an entire scientific organization funded by:

NASA Ames Research Center
NASA Headquarters
National Science Foundation
Department of Energy
US Geological Survey
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
International Astronomical Union
Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
Pacific Science Center
Foundation for Microbiology
Sun Microsystems
Hewlett Packard Company
(right hand column on this page)

 . . . and the entire organization is based on looking for Intelligent Design.  It would be hard to believe, wouldn't it?  But, it exists.  SETI, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a well-respected, well funded organization who believes that Intelligent Design is an extremely important scientific concept.

I heard one of their scientists on NPR just the other day.  He was  asked, "How will you know if what you're observing is from aliens?"  To which he responded, "It will have evidence of intelligent design."  I almost ran my car off the road, blown away by the hypocrisy.  So, intelligent design can be observed in the universe as long as it's designed by aliens and not by God.

Almost too hard to believe.  But, in case there's any question, here it is in the FAQ section of their site.  They say they are looking for transmissions that are "purposely built," which is a synonym for intelligently designed.

Anybody else see the double standard here?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ashton Kutcher Admits to Taking the Creator for Granted

A few days ago on Jay Leno, Ashton Kutcher admitted that when he learned of the creator's death he realized that he had been taking him for granted.  Kutcher told Leno, "I realized all the relationships I have in my life are held together by glue that he laid down."  Kutcher look around at all the things in his life that were made by him and realized that all this time he had not appreciated him like he should have.  Here's the full transcript:

It was actually the day that he died... for me, I hear people talk about they knew where they were the day Kennedy died. And for me, I'll never forget the moment I heard that he died. And I pulled my car to the side of the road, and kind of took a moment. I got home and I realized, I sat down on my computer and started doing some work and I realized all the relationships I have in my life are held together by glue that he laid down.
And all the work that I do, in whatever capacity that I do it, and all the entertainment I consume.. here I have my Apple computer and my iPhone... all these things, and I realized that I had taken him for granted, and taken for granted the contributions he actually gave to society.  (transcript and video here)
So, no, it's not the Creator you're thinking of, but that's just the point.  We should learn from Kutcher here, but take it all the way back to God, the creator of all things.  Kutcher realized he had taken Steve Jobs for granted.  We need to realize we take the creator of Steve Jobs for granted.  All the work we do, in whatever capacity that we to it and all the relationships we have are from Him.
And, the only way we'll ever see it is if he graciously opens our sin riddled eyes.  Otherwise, we remain blind to the glaring light of his glory all around us:

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things." Romans 1:19-23