To Christ The Ransomed Sinners Run - Video

At our gathering on Sunday, we sang ‘To Christ The Ransomed Sinners Run’ written by Wesley Randolph Eader. Here are the lyrics:

To Christ the ransomed sinners run
Their burdens cast aside
In grief, the crowned and only Son
With glory shed would die

What blessed death unique and pure
To drain the powers of hell
The Spotless Lamb, the perfect cure
For Satan’s flickerin’ spell

Great sins I had and shackled pride
Unmovable by man
Fought by works and sacrifice
The law’s imperfect plan

Though dark the stain upon the soul
And countless are it’s crimes
To Christ the challenge is so small
He gives His blood Divine

Temptation may it have a way
Upon this narrow path
Old Adam’s hand may still have swayed
And haunt the sinner’s past

But Christ our Brother had no sin
Though tempted more than we
the guilty freed forever by
His guiltless Majesty

Heaven is our sinless sphere
Eternal source of light
Judgement sits upon the throne
Where none escape his sight

Though impossible to enter in
The hands of labor try
The grace of Christ must pull them through
The needle’s narrow eye

His righteousness is not removed
by earth or hell or law
Its fixed upon his cross he proved
to stand without one flaw

In life the cross will be our guide
In death our victory
Where else can sinners come to die

to live eternally

Heidelberg Cat

I was telling a few friends about a book that I received as a Christmas (or birthday?) gift last week (that’s a subtle plug for my recent birthday in case you missed it… haha, but seriously).  Anyway… I mentioned my excitement for this book about the Heidelberg Catechism.  Yes, “my excitement.“ Without much goodwill, my friends (ehem Joey and Max) began to mock me and the book. I told them that they couldn’t hate on a book they had never read. So here is my attempt to defend the enjoyability, and devotional value of a book that I am VERY excited about (and so is my wife, who doesn’t put up with “boring” books).
The book is The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, by Kevin DeYoung. Here is a plug from Kevin’s blog:

I’ve written before about how awkward it can feel to plug your own books. But I press on nonetheless, because you all are kind and I believe this book is important. My newest book, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism will be available at the end of March. If the topic itself doesn’t thrill you, just look at the sweet picture of Ursinus. He’s part professor, part Santa Claus, part back-from-Davy-Jones’-Locker Pirate of the Caribbean.

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of the Reformed confessional tradition in general and of the Heidelberg Catechism in particular. But even if you are not Reformed or have a “no creed but the Bible” aversion to catechisms and confessions I encourage you give the Heidelberg a try. It is better than you think.

And here’s a snippet from the intro:

If you’ve ever found understanding the Bible a bit like exploring America on foot, interesting but overwhelming and slow-going, why not use the Heidelberg Catechism as a map? The Catechism can help show you the main attractions others have discovered in the Bible and lead you to the best, most important truths of our faith. As the saying goes (to change our metaphors once again), you can see farther when standing on the shoulders of giants. And the Heidelberg Catechism is a giant of mind-sharpening, Christ-worshiping, soul-inspiring devotion. Stand on its shoulders and see more of Christ who saves us from our guilt by His grace and makes us, through His Spirit, wholeheartedly willing and ready to live for Him.

And last—for those of you who persevered through this post—here is a link to a rap song by Curtis Allen (aka Voice) about Kevin’s book: The First Ever Rap Song About the Heidelberg Catechism. Voice wrote the rap in response to a challenge by C.J. Mahaney at the 2010 NEXT Conference. Enjoy.

Behold The Lamb of God

Without a doubt, my favorite “Christmas CD” is a non-traditional album from Andrew Peterson. Andrew’s genre is probably best described as folk. He is a great storyteller, and his Christmas album, “Behold the Lamb of God,” is sort of his magnum opus. Andrew describes the CD as “the true tall tale of the coming of Christ,” and this musical and worshipful presentation of the biblical story line—climaxing at the incarnation—was one of the first things God used to open my eyes to the reality that the Bible is one grand story, an epic with a massive plot about a glorious God and His mission to redeem the world. The song below, “So Long Moses,” (track 3) is my favorite song on the CD. It will take you on a journey with Israel from Moses to David and into the prophets, all the while building anticipation for the coming King. Listen to the whole album online and then buy the CD.

From Andrew’s website:

    Named one of the 10 best albums of the decade, Behold the Lamb of God is a collection of songs about Jesus. Since 2000, Andrew Peterson and his friends have performed Behold the Lamb around the country, telling again and again this “true myth”, as C.S. Lewis called it, this tale that’s bigger than life, but is—astonishingly—true. The tour has become a yearly tradition not just for Andrew and the other artists on the tour, but for families and churches who attend the concert each season. The live concert, like the album, is a community effort, featuring singer/songwriters Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Ben Shive, Andrew Osenga and more, and over the years has featured artists such as Alison Krauss, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Buddy Miller, Phil Keaggy, Sixpence None the Richer, David Wilcox, Pierce Pettis, Mindy Smith, Ron Block, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, Stuart Duncan, Eric Peters, and Randall Goodgame—all in the name of proclaiming the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.