MUSIC: Coming Alive (Dustin Smith);
BOOK: After Your Believe(Wright); VIDEO: Why Aren't We Singing? (Kendrick)
Welcome to Digital Worship News, Edition 83. DWN is back (Digital Worship News) after several months hiatus. This issue focuses on three new resources. First is a review of "Coming Alive" a fresh collection of new songs from Dustin Smith (with a free song download). Second, is a review of the book "After You Believe" from NT Wright. Finally, "Why Aren't We Singing?" is an excellent (short) video by veteran worship leader Graham Kendrick highlighting some essential truths the modern church can definitely benefit from!
blessings, Kim Gentes
REVIEW: "Coming Alive"- Dustin Smith
SPECIAL DOWNLOAD for DWN Readers: "Who is Like Our God" FREE MP3/Chord Chart Download (see bottom of the review)
Every time a new project comes out, I hope to find one thing - great songs I can use in my local church. The new album "Coming Alive" by Dustin Smith is a treasure trove of those kinds of songs... The lyrics are straightforward, passionate and thankful.
You rescued our lives and lifted our heads up
You opened our eyes to see all Your goodness
You came in like a raging flood
Overwhelming us with Your great love
...I love this opening song. It brings the listener in touch with the sensibility of this project as a place of overflowing wonder- something birthed from a heart that is renewed. And in our cynical, tired world (and sometimes church) we are thirsty for the message of God's refreshing love coming to revive us. Without collapsing into cliche, these paradoxial twin concepts of thirst and refreshing become the synthesizing theme of this album...This is a faith-filled album with gracious and thankful language placed on singable melodies. Excellent! (read more here...)
FREE DOWNLOAD! Our friends at Integrity Music were kind enough to extend a free download to our readers of the song "Who Is Like Out God". MAKE SURE TO READ the rest of the review and get the FREE MP3 & Chord CHART DOWNLOAD (here).
REVIEW: "After You Believe"- N.T. Wright
Like all NT Wright books, "After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters" tackles a specific topic or area with an aim to provide scriptural and historical context as a foundation for the author's theological and philosophical positions on the topic. Wright always does his research and this book is no exception. "After You Believe" tackles the topic of character by looking at the ancient Aristotelian concept of virtue and how it was reimagined and reformed by the theology and practice of both Jesus and Paul.
The book is a treatise exploring a Christian virtue ethic in which the believer takes on the assumptions of character transformation through gradual surrender to God's kingdom concepts of worship and mission. More specifically, this is not a book about the "how-to's" of Christian practice.
...What you find here is NT Wright continuing his conversation about how not only our theology, but our practice, must anticipate the full appearing of kingdom of God in it's action. That is to say, Wright's vision of a Christian virtue ethic is based on eschatology (where we are headed) and how full human flourishing occurs as we make the journey there, beginning in this world, not the next.
The purpose of this book is pragmatic (explaining to Christians what they are to do in this life, while waiting for the glorious eternity in the next), but it has a powerful, perhaps eternal intent- to get us walking towards the future in the area of our character, long before the future fully arrives. It is an excellent book on, as Wright puts it "how to think about what to do". Get it. Read it. You will not be disappointed. A great book from a great thinker about a topic that is of great importance to all Christians.
VIDEO: "Why Aren't We Singing?" by Graham Kendrick
There is a lot of change continuing to pulse through the life of the local churches, and much of that change continues to be related to music.
In this blog, I've talked about the need to select familiar songs the whole church knows, about selecting songs in that normal people can sing, and even how local worship leaders can find/select a good congregational vocal range.
Along that same line, I found a new video particularly excellent in conveying some concise principles that we should all take note of.
I wanted to highlight a great new video that veteran worship leader and songwriter Graham Kendrick has done that articulately conveys the importance of a number of aspects of local church music. His reasoning and presentation are excellent and help us all see to the heart of this important issue. I strongly encourage you to watch this short (6 minute) video. Worship leaders, especially, will receive some excellent encouragement here.