‘Hillsong’ Casts a Secular Lens on an Evangelical Band

It took only one Hillsong service for Mr. Warren. 43, to overcome his knee-jerk prejudice

Mr. Wagner acknowledged that Hillsong risked being criticized for participating, but said the documentary “fits right into the church’s M.O.,” which includes the evangelist knack for “being right at the forefront of using every kind of media possible to bring God to the secular popular consciousness.”   Michael John Warren, the director of MTV documentaries... Continue Reading

Songs for a Hard Road – The Resurgence of Psalm Singing by God’s People

A growing number of Christian musical groups from around the world are composing new melodies for singing the Psalms in corporate worship. Here's a quick review of Psalm singing - old and new.

Augustine, our great North African father, said that each Psalm had a ‘single body of feeling that vibrates in every syllable’. As Peter Brown has noted, Augustine believed that each Psalm could be presented as a microcosm of the whole Bible — the clear essence of Christianity refracted through in the exotic spectrum of Hebrew... Continue Reading

This Rapper Might Be America’s Next Evangelical Leader

The image of a superstar rapper — his last album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — preaching to a bunch of white evangelical pastors isn’t the only seemingly contradictory scene in which Lecrae appears

“Cruising Manhattan in the back of a stretch black SUV on a recent afternoon, pin-balling from one corner of the American culture war to another as he promotes his book, Lecrae Devaughn Moore knows he presents a new evangelical archetype. And he loves it.”   The black rap star came on the white evangelical’s radio talk show... Continue Reading

A New Hymn for Difficult Times: “Hear Us, O Father”

A new hymn-meditation written for congregational singing; to calm fears and turn hearts to God.

A new hymn-meditation written for congregational singing: It can be sung anytime but especially when there is emotional and mental confusion when tragedy strikes, whether from senseless terrorists killing people at a nightclub in Orlando, a tsunami overwhelms land and people, or wars and rumors of war that break out and upset the soul. So... Continue Reading

The Mockery of Christ in Tyler Perry’s Passion

A review of Tyler Perry’s presentation of “The Passion.”

The gospel is a timeless message, and by the work of the Holy Spirit it still and will continue to save the lost of this world. It needs no modernization or relevancy, for it is forever relevant. Unfortunately, this musical confirms the destructive reality of cultural Christianity, where the good news of the gospel is... Continue Reading

When Worship Music Is Neither

Plugging in the amps has unplugged the purpose of musical worship

“Too many of us are going to shows, not church. We savor presentations, not prayers. We are presented with performers, and we are less concerned with seeking the Savior. People are encouraged to love the worship… but how often to love Jesus?”   My wife and I were a little late for church one Sunday... Continue Reading

The Gospel According to Taylor Swift

Here’s the crucial turning point, the good news according to Taylor Swift. “She found herself.”

The end of “Out of the Woods” makes sense to people today. If the highest purpose of life is to discover yourself, then everything – including our relationships – must be reoriented to that view of self-discovery and self-exploration. The dissolution of the relationship is now a good thing if it prompts that crucial moment of... Continue Reading

The 12 Best Christmas Music Videos of 2015

God laughs from His throne as Google and Facebook spread the good news of Jesus birth.

I’m not recommending that these songs replace any of the songs in your favorite psalter hymnal. However, I’m in awe as I reflect on what God did in Bethlehem — when an army of angels interrupted the silent night to announce Christ’s birth to the shepherds. And I’m amazed at what our Heavenly Father continues to do to glorify His... Continue Reading

5 Reasons We Should Sing Passionately & Loudly in Church

Music, for millennia, has been an integral part of corporate worship

“Singing together is a picture here on earth of the hope of heaven where every tribe, tongue and nation will sing to God. Throughout history, God’s people have both discovered and affirmed their solidarity in times of celebration and in times of tragedy through singing.”   Each week, upwards of 100 million people in America... Continue Reading

Perhaps The Best Contemporary Worship Song Ever Written

In a day and age when most traditional churches exclusively sang psalms, Isaac Watts (1647-1748) became a fervent contemporary writer of hymns

Many of his hymns, which are now very traditional, have richly blessed the church. Perhaps none has been so beloved as his famous song written to assist men and women in preparing for the table of the Lord, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” This hymn was based on the doctrine found in Galatians 6:14, “But far be... Continue Reading