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.

Don't Waste Your Life - Free Audiobook

Every month gives away a free audiobook. This month the free giveaway is Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. This a book that God used to transform my life, and I highly recommend it. Put it on your iPod or mp3 player (or burn it to a CD if anybody still does that) and redeem the time you spend doing more mindless activities.
Here is a link to a sermon by Pastor John that can give you a taste of what the book is about.

Free PDF Downloads:
Don’t Waste Your Life (PDF)
Don’t Waste Your Life Study Guide (PDF)

Theology Matters

This short video promotes not only the study of Theology for the glory of God, but also a new book by Joshua Harris called Dug Down Deep. Here is a short comment from Josh’s blog about why he wrote the book:

    Dug Down Deep is a simple introduction to basic Christian belief. One person described it as systematic theology disguised as something readable. I wrote it so that people who might not normally read theology would be able to digest it and understand how life-giving and important it is for living the Christian life.

    One of my hopes for the book is that it would be a tool to help small groups take a first step in studying theology together. I have a particular burden to see high school and college-age students discover that sound doctrine isn’t just for old people, it’s for all of us. I also wrote it in the hope that Christians would give it to unbelieving friends as a way of starting a conversation about God, the gospel and the person of Jesus Christ.

Act Like Men!

In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul issues the men in the floundering Corinthian church with this charge: “Be watchful; stand firm in the faith; act like men; be strong.”
Below is a video that we talked about at Man School this evening. Darrin Patrick—a leader of Acts 29 and pastor of The Journey in St. Louis, MO—has just released a new book called Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission. The video below is a teaser for the book, and Patrick is calling out the men in our churches (pastors and leaders) to “act like men.” We have a generation of men who are seeking to prolong adolescence, refusing to take life seriously. Will this new generation of men lead the church to its demise, or will we turn from our laziness to courageous action so that we can be a part of God’s mission to redeem the world through the Gospel? Check out the video, and let’s act like men.

Resources, Photos & Online Giving

Additional Resources:

As we continue to finalize and tweak the website, we’ve added a Recommended Reading page to compliment our Online Resources. Use these pages to find websites, ministries and books that we recommend as great resources to help us as we strive to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel.

Photo Albums:

All of our Photo Albums have been added to the website which can be accessed under the Resources menu and from the rotating gallery on the homepage. We will continue to upload new photos to our website and Facebook for sharing.

Online Giving:

We’ve also implemented the ability to give tithes and offerings safely and securely online through Google Checkout as a supplement to go along with the giving box at the Sunday Gathering service. The Online Giving page is accessible under the Resources menu.