Archive for January, 2009

14
Jan
09

Disciple: What a concert!

So Sunday night, my good friend Wade Hester and I made our way down to Greenville, SC, to see one of our favorite bands in concert:  Disciple.  They are a very unusual band, with thoughtful, reverent lyrics and a sound something like early Metallica – very heavy and with vocals that sometimes are more scream than sing.  (That last aspect I’m not so crazy about, but it’s part of the package.)

The concert was awesome.  They said there were more than 300 people there, and the venue was totally packed, so you can tell this wasn’t a big setting.  The opening acts were fine, but really it makes such a difference when you actually know and love the songs that are being played.  Disciple came on and they were really awesome.   I wish they had played “Worth it All”, but that’s OK — the show was awesome and I can’t complain about any of the tunes they chose, which were fairly well balanced across their three most recent albums.

The most impressive part of the show, however, was not the music.  It’s hard to imagine effective evangelism being done from the stage, especially at this sort of concert where the whole place was basically a big mosh pit, but really, it was extremely powerful.  Lead singer Kevin Young spoke to the common dispair that all believers feel when we have fallen and feel unworthy to be known by God.  Later, he talked about the Prodigal Son.  The most impressive thing, though, was after the encore was over and the rest of the band had left the stage.  Young stayed at the mic and delivered a far more passionate, far more compelling Gospel presentation than I have ever heard.  Ray Comfort would have been proud with how he layed out the case that all of us are undeniably trapped by sin; our conscience testifies to this, and we know that we stand guity before a holy God.  Then he proceeded to effectively and repeatly point to the cross, calling unbelievers to faith and calling believers out of hypocrisy.  When he asked for a show of hands of how many people acknowledged that they were without Christ and needed him, I would estimate that 30 hands went up — perhaps 10% of the crowd.

It was stunning, and perhaps the saddest part is that most of the people there knew they were coming to a Christian concert and probably considered themselves Christian on some level.  They probabably had never heard a full presentation of the Gospel – to realize that salvation is no just a matter of showing up at church and punching the clock, but rather is a matter of life and death, a matter of dying to self and rising in Christ as a new creation.  I applaud Kevin Young and Disciple for the courage to lead a 15 minute Bible study as part of the concert.  It would be easy to just leave the stage, knowing they had played music that exalted God and be done with it, but they didn’t leave it there.  Obviously, they feel a burden to use the “stage” they have for an even higher purpose, and it was awesome to see.   Well done, guys.

04
Jan
09

Book Review: Faith and Culture Devotional


I agreed to read and blog about A Faith and Culture Devotional: Daily Readings on Art, Science, and Life, by Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington, so Zondervan was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of it.   I had hoped it would be the thinking person’s devotional, one that would spark new thoughts or perspectives, and from which I could really learn.  I think it did that, although to a lesser degree than I wanted it to.

The devotional is broken up into fifteen weeks, and then each week has seven devotions on the topics of Bible and theology, history, philosophy, science, literature, arts, and contemporary culture.  The purpose of the devotional is to reveal God in all subjects, all areas, every part of life.   The contributors are scientists like Michael Behe and writers like Chuck Colson and Philip Yancey, and cover topics from creation to God in Picasso’s art to Shakespeare to U2.  The scientific accuracy of the Bethlehem star is addressed, as well as the reasons why the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were canonized and the Gnostic gospels of Thomas and others are heresy. It disproves evolution through the study of mutations caused by malaria, as well as Bono and U2’s Christian roots.  Its range is very broad and the contributors are well-suited to write their chosen topics.

I feel that this devotional is a good supplement to (but should not replace) your Bible study, as any scripture in this book is incidental rather than the focus of any devotions.  The Bible is defended, appluaded, supported, and authenticated, but God’s fingerprints in the world rather than the Word itself is the focus of A Faith and Culture Devotional.  That being said, I definitely recommend it as a way to see and worship and learn about God in every aspect of life.