(to be sung to the traditional tune: MUELLER, by James R. Murray, 1887)
verse 1 by anonymous – verse 2-4 by Don A. Elbourne Jr. 2008
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
Hear angels proclaiming, our dear Saviors birth,
His life brings salvation, to children of earth.
He walked in great wisdom, among mortal men,
All God and full human, without any sin.
The pain of temptation, rejection and strife,
He suffered with joy as He laid down His life.
Perfections of heaven, He gladly did leave,
Securing salvation, for all who believe.
He calls for repentance, and faith in His name.
Great glory to God for the spread of His fame.
Rejoice in King Jesus, we gladly make known.
We praise Him this season, from manger to throne.
Trinity Baptist Church in Baton Rouge Louisiana took a significant hit from Hurricane Gustav. Yesterday I went by to check on my friend Pastor Dale Crawford and the damage to their building. Gustav blew the roof off, soaked their fellowship hall area, Sunday school classrooms, nursery and offices. Dale lost his library to water damage. Their insurance responded quickly and a clean up crew was already onsite gutting the buildings. Dale predicts they may be back in full operation in little over a month. Meanwhile, they plan to hold joint services with a sister church.
Dale and most in their congregation do not have power. Electricity may be down in Baton Rouge for over a month. Please pray for these folks as they clean-up, regroup, and persevere to the glory of God.
I just listened to a great series of sermons by one of my favorite preachers, Dr. Steve Lawson. He explains the Doctrines of Grace, otherwise known as Calvinism, following the familiar acronym TULIP, with crystal clarity, Biblical integrity, and contagious passion. Download the mp3s. Highly recommended:
Last week the National Founders Conference met in Owasso, Oklahoma. Speakers included Ed Stetzer, Andy Davis, Voddie Baucham, Tom Nettles, Don Whitney, Ted Christman, and Phil Newton. They have graciously made the audio available. I’ve already downloaded the mp3s to my iPod and look forward to hearing them all. While traveling yesterday, my wife and I listened to Andy Davis and his challenge to memorize scripture.
- Ted Christman on “An Exposition of Psalm 1?
- Andy Davis on “Dangers in Reforming a Church”
- Tom Nettles on “Biographical Sketch of Daniel Marshall”
- Voddie Baucham on “Building a Solid Doctrinal Foundation”
- Ed Stetzer on “Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes, Part 1?
- Don Whitney on “Reforming Through Discipline”
- Ed Stetzer on “Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes, Part 2?
- Andy Davis on “The Importance of Filling Your Life With Scripture”
- Phil Newton on “From Planting to Reforming”
btw, the mps do not appear to have id3 tags, so you may need to manually add them to find them on your player. I find it helpful to put the speaker in the artist field, the sermon name in the song title field and “Founders Conference 2008” in the album field. For fun, add the Founders logo as the album art.
Last year I reviewed Richard Philips’ book, “Jesus the Evangelist. I just read his latest work, “What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace.” I highly recommend the book, even though I don’t particularly care for the unfortunate title. Usually the line, “What’s so great about…” expresses cynicism and Philips endeavors to do the exact opposite. A better title would have been “The Great Doctrines of Grace,” or “The Thrilling Doctrines of Grace” or some other fitting adjective.
Philips explains and exalts over the doctrines of grace, commonly referred to as “the five points of Calvinism.” He opens the book with his main theme:
I LOVE THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE. I love them as doctrines, that is, as biblical teachings that are sublime and wonderful beyond all human expectation. There can hardly be thrills greater to the mind than those produced by the central doctrines of the Reformed faith. But I especially love these doctrines because of their marvelous theme: the sovereign grace of God for unworthy sinners. For even greater than their enlightening effect on the mind, the doctrines of God are utterly transforming to the believing heart. To love the doctrines of grace is to love God as He has revealed Himself in His Word. He is “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), and unless we anchor our faith in the fullness of grace taught in Scripture, we will never glorify God for our salvation as He so richly deserves.
Later, in speaking of the purpose of the book, he adds:
This purpose is to help believers feel the power of these precious truths in their lives. In other words, I aim not merely to teach the doctrines of grace, but to show what is so great about them. And how great they are! If we really believe the Bible’s teaching on the sovereign, mighty, and effectual grace of God, these doctrines not only will be dearly beloved, they will exercise a radical influence on our entire attitude toward God, ourselves, the present life, and the life to come.
Philips accomplishes his goal by spending one chapter for each of the five points and begins with an overarching treatment of the sovereignty of God. These six chapters explain theological truth in a manner that communicates practical application to the life of the believer. Non-Calvinists often criticize discussions of the doctrines of grace as being cold calculated systematic theology irrelevant in the day-to-day life of the believer. Philips explodes this erroneous notion by boldly drawing the lines between deep theology, high worship, and wide expansive application to Christian discipleship.
With Father’s Day this Sunday, let me highly recommend the book, “Disciplines of a Godly Man” by R. Kent Hughes. Saturated with biblical wisdom, Hughes calls men to godliness in their relationships, soul, character, and ministry. He overviews 17 areas of a mans life, purity, marriage, fatherhood, friendship, mind, devotion, prayer, worship, integrity, tongue, work, perseverance, church, leadership, giving, witness, and ministry. Each chapter stands alone and serves as a great introduction to the particular discipline. Its a field guide to practical Christian living from a masculine perspective. Every Christian man would benefit from the book. It would also work great to facilitate small group discussion.