Category Archives: Musical Worship

3 excellent new albums

I was blessed in the first half of 2008 to attend three separate conferences for college students. Each of the conferences were God-glorifying and soul-edifying and each of the conferences were marked by an excellence in musical worship. And to my great delight, studio recordings of each conference band allow me to relive the musical worship. Here they are (with links to iTunes):

1) Lu, or, Looked Upon by the Na Band (Na Conference; Louisville, KY). Watching Devon Kauflin lead worship with his dad Bob supporting him on keys was a neat experience at the 2008 New Attitude conference in Louisville. The songs played live at the conference and recorded in the studio on this album are deeply rooted in the cross of Christ. Track 11, “All I Have is Christ,” is fabulous. Lu (short for Looked Upon) is Wg (that is, worth getting). A superb album. Cross centeredness: A+. [UPDATE: You can download several live recordings from the conference here.]

2) Adore and Tremble by Daniel Renstrom (Missio Dei conference; Wake Forest, NC). My first trip to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I had not heard of Daniel before the conference and really didn’t know him after the conference either. I thanked him in person for playing, and assumed he was *just* a gifted college ministry worship leader—until I returned home and received a copy of his album. I immediately recognized his songs featured at the conference. The lyrics include some beautiful, pure cross-centered statements. In the song “At the Cross” he sings, “At the cross, wrath was taken away, / and Christ was in our place. / What marvelous grace. / At the cross, justice was supplied, / by the blood of Christ.” And in the song “Where Could I Go” Daniel takes the cross and daily life and ties them together beautifully. Cross centeredness: A.

3) O For That Day by Enfield, the Resolved Band (Resolved Conference; Palm Springs, CA). The album features solid biblical lyrics and strings from beginning to end. And I listen to it from beginning to end on long drives and long walks. Hearing them play live was a great but the album itself sounds “live” too and you can get a sense of being at the conference (if you play the album loud enough). Though on the album you don’t get C.J. on drums like you do live. All said, it’s a great addition to a musical library (track 4 was written from Isaiah 6 and is worth the price of the entire album). Cross centeredness: B-.

Consider each of these three albums for your iPod as you seek to worship God throughout the day. Each will help foster worship to our gracious God. And each of these albums are reminders of the amazing depth of God’s gracious working in the hearts of a younger generation of Christians—in three diverse spheres in North America—who are writing, playing, and recording excellent God-exalting music.

How God must love to pour out the generous musical gifts (like those featured on these albums) to glorify Himself!

Savior CD from Sovereign Grace Music

Of all my favorite worship CDs I would rank Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man from Sovereign Grace Music as one of my favorites (along with Songs for the Cross Centered Life and Valley of Vision). Savior was released in time for Christmas last year, though I found myself listening to the record all throughout the year.

Our good friend Bob Kauflin explains more about the project in this video.

More information about the Savior project can be found here.

And some bloggers qualify for a free copy of the CD. More info here.

David Crowder Band – Here is Our King

This has become a personal favorite worship song. The studio recording of this song can download through iTunes for a buck.

How Great Your Name

“How Great Your Name,” a new song by Will Pavone

HT: Bob Kauflin via Tommy

Miscellaneous Monday

Miscellaneous Monday

Good morning friends! I’ve got a list of things I need to write on and figured these would be best expressed in some miscellaneous notes.

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Resources for children

First off this Monday morning I want to recommend some excellent resources for children. My wife and I made a commitment last year to package our television away. We had grown lazy and began extending our time in front of the tube so we decided to wrap it up and put it out of sight. Now we spend a lot more time together reading, listening to music, and watching DVD movies on our computer (we’re much less prone to laziness with a computer and limited DVDs). Much of what we’ve read, listened to and watched we do not recommend. But here are three resources we’ve tested and found to be excellent.

Reading. Communicating the substitutionary atonement of Christ to appease the wrath of a holy God is a concept parents must work at communicating to little souls. Yet, many resources for children fail to communicate this theme. C.S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe presents the work of Aslan (Christ) as the appeasement the White Witch (Satan) sounding more like Origen’s “Ransom to Satan Theory” than the Biblical Gospel. I think this shows just how tough it really is to present to children the substitution of Christ as the appeasement of God’s justice (even the literary genius struggles here). This is why Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos remains one of our family-favorite books. Santos succeeds at clarifying the atonement for children and keeping it within the context of the holiness of God. In the beginning a young boy rescues a spotless lamb and in the end the spotless lamb rescues the boy. It’s set in the historical time of the Exodus. We reviewed this book in months past but a book I recommend time and time again.

Listening. Our family has enjoyed Hide the Word CDs by Mark Altrogge that take biblical passages and set them to music. We just came across a new series of CDs written with the same purpose called Seeds Family Worship. After listening to two albums (Seeds of Courage and Seeds of Purpose) we are very impressed with the quality of this project. The Seeds series music was recorded with a full band and is of the same musical quality as the best contemporary recordings. It would, however, be nice to hear more songs centered on the Gospel, so I’ll continue highly recommending the Hide the Word series where children are constantly pointed back to the Cross. Nevertheless, I would put the Seeds CDs on a wishlish. You can listen to excerpts and get more information here.

Watching. As much as my children love vegetables, I try to expose them also to biographical videos. The Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith series does this very well. These are animated movies of about 30 minutes each. They contain very accurate historical details that you may not catch until you compare these movies with books. The William Tyndale Story and the John Bunyan Story are our favorites. Tyndale worked on (and died for) translating the Bible into English. The video portrays his struggles, successes and eventual martyrdom. Because I love Bunyan, The John Bunyan Story was my personal favorite. It revealed a gentle man driven out of a love for souls and firmly committed to preaching the Word of God to that end. My son loved the fight with the dragon in the Pilgrim’s Progress flashback scenes. These are children’s movies with plenty of action but also loaded with historical content and come with study guides for further use in homeschooling or Sunday school classes. In passing, I would recommend two documentary DVDs for adults. First was the interview with Dr. David Daniell titled William Tyndale: Man with a Mission. Daniell is a top Tyndale scholar and filled with interesting historical details of Tyndale’s life. The John Bunyan: The Journey of a Pilgrim DVD was an interesting tour of the life of Bunyan by John Prestell who works at the Bunyan Museum in Bedford, England. My wife and I enjoyed watching the animations with the kids and then the documentaries after the kids were in bed. Date nights the Calvinist way.

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Interview

Ever headed over to desiringGod.com and found the Piper sermon you were looking for? It’s a breeze because of the diligent work of website manger Joshua Sowin. When he’s not indexing and making accessible the life works of John Piper he directs the Fire and Knowledge blog/website. Today at his site he posted an interview with myself. We talked about life, books and reading. You can read the interview here.

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Review

Today over at TakeUpAndRead.com I published John Tweeddale’s review of Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics by Richard Muller. I would recommend you check it out. I asked John to write a review focused on how educated laypersons and pastors could effectively use this excellent work and he did not disappoint! Read the review here. Note that Monergism has dropped the price of this set down to just $79.00!

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New Winslow

As many of you know, my favorite author is Octavius Winslow (1808-1878). I like to track when his books are printed. The latest is Our God a study of the communicable attributes of God. Chapters include topics of God’s love, hope, patience, comfort, grace, holiness, peace and light. You can read many of Winslow’s books online for free here but I always recommend the dead tree version as best for posterity and reflection.

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Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Monday in Christ! Tony

Bob Kauflin on the spiritual gifts

An excellent and humble blog post from Bob Kauflin over the issue of spiritual gifts (he has a list of excellent resources as well). If for no other reason, just watch as he makes the main thing the main thing in a conversation where everything but the main thing often becomes the main thing.

And speaking of gifts and Bob Kauflin, grace-centered props on the excellent new CD, Valley of Vision.

“Only Jesus!”

Pic4: Edwards on the affections and praise

tsr

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