Hymn Stories: Onward, Christian Soldiers

Onward, Christian Soldiers” was written in 1865 with no intention of ever being published, especially in adult hymn books. Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, its author, was at that time the curate of a parish in Yorkshire county in the north of England, and he recounts how and why he wrote it: It was written in a very simple fashion … Whitmonday is a great day for school festivals in Yorkshire, and one Whitmonday it was arranged that our school should join …

New & Notable Book Reviews

I love writing book reviews and I love reading them. Since I cannot possibly read and review all of the interesting books out there, I publish occasional round-ups of reviews written by other writers. Or even if I am able to review the book, it’s always good to get a second opinion. So here are a few notable links I’ve collected recently: The Call by Os Guinness. Here is an oldie but a goodie reviews reviewed by Drew Bratcher: “In a …

A La Carte (8/15)

What’s Wrong with Patriarchy – D.A. Carson: “In their defense of complementarianism, several Council members in The Gospel Coalition have been known to preface their remarks with the insistence that complementarianism is not to be confused with either patriarchalism or with mere traditionalism in men/women relationships. To some observers, however, all three expressions are roughly synonymous. So why do we insist on the difference?” Gospel Fellowship – Be sure to read this short article from Dane Ortlund. Good News for …

What I’ve Learned Along the Way

This is an article about preaching that is meant to be read by non-preachers. I am an unlikely preacher, a guy who was paralyzingly shy through high school and college and into later life who rather suddenly found himself speaking at conferences and preaching at churches. As someone who is rather new to the pulpit, I thought it might be helpful to tell you what some of the surprises have been as I’ve somehow transitioned to a person who preaches on …

New & Notable Music

While most of what finds its way into my mailbox is books, I also receive a surprising amount of music. This works out well since I happen to love listening to music while going about my daily work. Here are four recent releases I’ve been enjoying–two albums of acoustic traditional and modern hymns and two albums of Christian rap music. A Thousand Amens – This may well be the only Anglican modern worship album on the market. It’s a good …

A La Carte (6/13)

The Hymn Sing – To celebrate a successful Kickstarter campaign that has funded a new album, Indelible Grace has released their live album The Hymn Sing on NoiseTrade. It’s there for free or for a donation of any amount. Polygamy in the Bible – The Briefing has an article about polygamy in the Old Testament. “Sure, the narrators never pause to say, ‘Oh by the way, please, don’t be a polygamist.’ But why should they? The stories make the point all …

Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal

Some of the best writing, the writing that is most heartfelt and true, finds it source in life’s deepest valleys. This is exactly the case with Michael Kelley’s Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal. Wednesdays were normal days for the Kelley family until they received the shocking news that their son Joshua, just two years old, had been diagnosed with leukemia. The normal life of this normal family was suddenly turned all around and upside down as their little boy battled for his …

A La Carte (4/13)

TBN Again – “A $50 million jet. Chauffeurs. Mansions in California and Florida. Clandestine affairs. Crimes and cover-up. Even a $100,000 motor home for the pet dog. These are just a few of the allegations directed against the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and its directors in a pair of lawsuits filed in February by former employees of the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting network.” Denver Moore – If you’ve read the bestselling book Same Kind of Different As Me, you may be …

Grieving, Hope and Solace

Is it bad form to review a book I was involved in publishing? Perhaps so. Either way, I intend to do just that this morning. Many months ago I read a draft of Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Albert Martin, a book that was subsequently published by Cruciform Press (of which I am a co-founder). It wasn’t until this weekend that I thought to read the final product that had emerged after the editing process. I was so blessed by this …

Christians Get Depressed Too

One of my favorite conference moments to date has been an interaction between John MacArthur and John Piper. The details are a bit hazy, but if memory serves me correct, they were participating in a panel discussion and the moderator asked them about depression. Piper described some of the darkest hours of his life and ministry, saying that for a long period of time–months or years–he wept every day. Then it was MacArthur’s turn to speak and he said, “I’ve …