Come Ye Sinners (the good one) — Worship Wednesday

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms

Welcome back to Worship Wednesday, where we now highlight the best of worship music that doesn’t get enough attention.  Perhaps the above lyrics are making you wonder about that commitment.  Give them a contemporary beat, and they will sound positively Hillsongian with a sprinkling of Harry Potter magic dust!

There’s a reason for that.

As it turns out, the original author of “Come Ye Sinners,” Joseph Hart, did not write that chorus.  As Indelible Grace Music explains on their page, the modified chorus came in the wake of the Second Great Awakening, the movement for which we know Charles Finney among others.  Let me process that down.  The original words of Come Ye Sinners were too Calvinistic, too reliant upon the sovereignty of God for their tastes.

death to calvinists.gif

Just to keep it short, I’ll stick to verse 4 to explain the effect of the Second Great Awakening revision.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requires
Is to feel your need of Him.

The response of the Finneyites to this truth is to arise to receive a big hug and a sprinkling of pixie dust.  But Joseph Hart says:

This He gives you, this He gives you,
‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.

The focus remains on God because saving sinners is the work of God, and God alone!

In terms of corporate worship, the melody of “Come Ye Sinners” is especially eligible for modernization because virtually nobody knows the original melody without the Finnyesque refrain.  Matthew Smith has done that work well.  Smith’s version does well as an opening song in contemporary worship settings.

Enjoy!

“His Robes for Mine” — Worship Wednesday

As I seek to make the blog more active, “Worship Wednesday” will likely turn much less from song critique and more towards highlighting especially edifying worship songs for the church, especially as we get over the mid-week “hump.”

Today, we highlight “His Robes for Mine,” which can be found at Church Works Media, which offers its songs for free along with sheet music and even doctrinal notes!  Songwriter Chris Anderson explains in these notes that “[t]he 4 verses focus on 4 major themes included in the doctrine of justification.”

There’s no contrived emotion here.  Rather, the emotion is drawn from the glorious truths undergirding our salvation which Christ earned by His merit alone by His perfect life and death.

Enjoy, and be edified.

Does Romans allow for the “Carnal Christian”?

TL/DR: The theology concerning the existence of a “carnal Christian” holds that a person can realistically come to true saving faith in Christ and continue to live free of repentance and sanctification for the full remainder of his or her life.  This paper examines Romans 7:14 and 8:1–14 to demonstrate that Romans knows no such concept.  In Romans 7:14, Paul identifies even himself as one who struggles with the flesh.  In Romans 8:1–14, there are only two kinds of people in view: the natural and the spiritual.  It makes no mention of a middle category.

For a more broad-based overview of “carnal Christian” theology, see GotQuestions.org, which explains that “The key thing to understand is that while a Christian can be, for a time, carnal, a true Christian will not remain carnal for a lifetime.”

This is adapted from a paper I submitted in a Romans exegesis class.  I have gone through here to make sure anything appearing in Greek script gets transliterated or translated appropriately, but it is still very technical.  Feel free to leave a comment!

Continue reading “Does Romans allow for the “Carnal Christian”?”

Patrick of Ireland — Theologian, Missionary, Social Activist

Let me also provocatively say this before you start reading the rest: Patrick was not Roman Catholic. Not even close. There.

This post is adapted from a paper I wrote for a world missions class.

A short survey of Patrick’s writings reveals a character that frankly is is in very close imitation to Paul.  Although Patrick’s beginnings were very different from Paul’s — having been “a most simple countryman” who was kidnapped by pirates at age 16.[1]— his writings reveal a humbled sinner, a deep theologian, a heart for the lost people of Ireland, a sound understanding of scripture’s admonitions against evil, a prayer warrior, a heavy fear of God, and a passion for the Gospel.  Though now seemingly lost in the cultural smoke of drunken revelry, the historic Patrick was a true theologian, evangelist, and missionary.

Continue reading “Patrick of Ireland — Theologian, Missionary, Social Activist”

USS Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll acquires a starship to help him conquer the Maricopa system, but a metaphysical problem gets in the way. Meanwhile, Creflo Dollar unwittingly shares the prosperity gospel with Nicholas of Myra with bloody consequences. Can Mark Driscoll get around the reality of his problem? And who are these mysterious, masked snowmen?

Originally published on December 24th, 2015.