Archive for October, 2011
Decyfer Down’s hard rock style is mixed with excellent vocals that lend to a hard rock/metal to a folky slower sound. This diversity is reflected in Crash, the second studio album from the four man band from North Carolina. Crash received a lot of playtime on local radio stations, but the rest of the songs reflect the band’s reliance and dependence on God’s grace and perseverance with them. This band is great if you like hard rock, and in all honesty they sound like a slightly manlier version of Rise Against and Skillet, with hard rock sounds but a very strong voice from the lead vocalist TJ Harris. Crash is a great album, but check out a new studio album coming from Decyfer Down very soon.
Gospel of Mark Mark was writing to the Romans, and I bet he was a Type-A personality. The gospel of Mark is very organized into clear sections. Mark followed Jesus Christ and wrote down exactly what he did. Mark’s gospel is easy to read and easy to follow.
Style: Mark wrote his book like a television series. There are clear episodes that culminate in the resurrection of Christ. The stories each have a clear beginning, middle, and end. They have resolution and then the story continues on.
Who was Mark’s gospel written to, specifically? Mark wrote his gospel to the Romans. This is why it is so set and chronological. This is also why it does not place such a big emphasis on fulfilled Christianity. It is very clear and very easy to read, just like a good Roman would’ve wanted.
Growing Faith Meets a Wall
The church in Thyatira was, by all indications, thriving. In his letter to them Jesus opens up by commending their works, love, faith, endurance, and service. Jesus even adds that they have been growing spiritually, as their first signs of faith have been exceeded by their most recent ones. There was a problem with this church. They tolerated a woman named Jezebel in their congregation. They allowed her to seduce members of their church into false teaching and sexual immorality. God says that he called her to repentance in verse 21, but she has decided to keep sinning. These kinds of people are in churches. They seduce young Christians with fledgling faiths into believing lives, leading them away from faith and into deceit. (more…)
Church Music is the fifth original album from the ever creative David Crowder Band. Church Music has a very creative sound, focused on the more electronic sounds then the traditional blue grass and acoustic sounds that DC*B has always used. This is the second to last album from DC*B, with their last album coming out the fall of 2011. Church Music’s most popular single is How He Loves, but any listener will love Oh Happiness, all about grace, All Around Me, a cover of a popular song by the same name, and Shadows, all about how life is hard and sometimes we need to wait on the Lord. This is the kind of album that you want to play on full volume in the car, and it has 17 solid tracks. It is a great testament to the joy that we have in Christ. You will enjoy this one.
Faithful in the Modern City
The people of the church of Pergamum understand a lot of the issues that face Christians today regarding multi-cultralism, relativity, and a plurality of religions. The church at Pergamum was where Satan’s thrown was. They were at the heart of several different religious movements and philosophies. One mentioned in verse 14 is the teachings of Balaam, who was a false prophet that turned into a true prophet when his donkey started talking to him. They also turned to the teachings of the Nicolatians, who are believed to hold to the heresy that when one is saved one has grace to keep on sinning without doing war against their sin. In short, the church at Pergamum, though faithful to Christ, had been indulging in sinful attitudes. They had true believers, but they still embraced sexual immorality. (more…)
Luke was a doctor who served Jesus for many years. He is credited for writing the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the apostles. We know that he was a personal physician because he served Paul through medicine. He was not Jewish, but was probably a Roman Citizen. The gospel of Luke was written to a man named Theophilus, which means lover of God. Luke was charged by Theophilus to go collect information on this dynamic new group of people called Christians. Reading through the gospel of Luke you can see that Luke was a detailed note taker. The gospel of Luke was written based on interviews by eyewitnesses and it focuses on the whole of Jesus’ ministry from start to finish. (more…)
Oftentimes when we don’t want to look so bad we will say, “At least I don’t do (fill in the blank).” If I sometimes get mad at my parents I could say, “well at least I don’t do crystal meth.” I would be right in saying that I don’t do crystal meth, but of course it would be false justification. The good things that I do are not a reflection of how good I am, but how good Christ is. That realization hit me again as I was reading through Deuteronomy 1. The book of Deuteronomy is the last of the Pentateuch, the books of the bible that were penned by Moses. Deuteronomy summarizes what has been going on with the people of Israel and where they are heading. It includes a final speech of a dying leader, Moses, and a lot of laws, as well as a history of what the people of Israel had been going through up until that point.
The recap of the history of Israel at the point of when Moses penned Deuteronomy was centered around a singular event. That event was the proceedings after a report from twelve spies Moses had sent into the land that the Lord promised to give to Israel. Ten of the spies advised the people not to go into the land, and two of them said they should go in and possess the Lord had given to them. The people were so scared they refused to go into the land that the Lord had given them. The Lord was so angry that he led the people of Israel to wander in the desert until all of that generation had died. (more…)
In response to Love Wins by Rob Bell, Francis Chan wrote Erasing Hell, a book on what Jesus thought and said about hell. This is a great read on the reality of hell and why God can send people to hell. Chan’s humble approach to the issue of hell is refreshing, and you will walk away feeling sad. Hopefully that sadness transforms into passion to see your neighbors and friends impacted by the truths of the gospel. This is a book in reaction to Love Wins, but it doesn’t focus on an argument against Rob Bell, but on the truths of scripture.
Buy, Rent, or Own: This is a book to buy and to have. There is too little written well about hell, and Chan does a very good job.
In chapter two of Velvet Elvis, Pastor Bell, seeks to answer the question of how the bible is applicable to people. Chapter two is essentially a guide on how to find personal meaning in biblical text. He emphasizes personal interpretation and understanding of biblical texts. He shows how the bible emphasizes his point by speaking about a word that is live and active, how bible interpretation from ancient texts works, and what it means to wrestle with the scriptures. No doubt that this chapter is in response to Christians who never read the word, but are spoon fed ideas by their pastors. Pastor Bell uncovers what it means to be deep in the word. Finding personal meaning in the scriptures requires that one be saved. There are a lot of bible that are not Christian. Last year at college I saw a flier for a lecture by a former Christian who was preaching about the bible. Certain teachers are not to be trusted. When we are saved we receive the Holy Spirit and he helps us interpret scripture. Without the spirit we cannot understand what the bible says. The first step to understanding what the bible has to say is the Holy Spirit. The next step is respect for the nature, authenticity, and glory of God. If you do not think that the bible is the word of God then you have a problem with the one true God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is breathed by God. So either God breathed scripture and we can trust it, or he didn’t and we can’t trust it. God is not a liar, so Paul must have then be lying. If Paul was lying, how can we trust anything else he says? (more…)
John’s gospel is the most personal of all the gospels. It is written more like a journal, giving very specific details about parts of the story of Jesus’ life and not even mentioning some. John was a very close friend of Christ. He is called the beloved disciple. He was also part of Christ’s closest three disciples, with James and Peter. This is reflected in the gospel of John.
Style: John’s gospel is not a definite style. However, it is written like a close account. John’s gospel does not mention a few stories of Christ, and completely ignores his birth. That is not to say that John is ignoring these other stories, just that he pays a lot more attention to the cross of Christ, the main focus of his account.
Who was John’s gospel written to? No one, at least no one specifically. It is a personal retelling and a personal account from John. John also wrote four other books of the bible: John 1-3 and Revelation.