Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Curtis Allen Live!

Not to brag, but I saw it live. And you have missed out, until now. Now you get to watch the video. Who else would rap about the Heidelberg Catechism? (You should have seen Kevin DeYoung's face during this performance. . .it was priceless!!)

Heidelberg Catechism (Live) from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tim Keller: Plant Churches in Cities (how, why, what, etc)

I love Tim Keller. I almost never agree with everything he says and does, but I'm almost always thankful that I took the time to listen to him. He's thought-provoking and insightful, and I believe he's a 'must-listen' for Reformed Church Planters, because he combines rigorous Biblical theology with rigorous contextualization and strategy. I often wish he would say less or more. In the following talk on strategically reaching people in cities through contextualized church plants, etc, I wish he at least began with a disclaimer that our greatest need is men and women of God who are earnest for holiness and desperate in prayer. Maybe I'm nit-picky, but maybe not. Isn't it the tendency of the human heart to omit these and move on to strategy? The latter is certainly much easier, and it can be masked as piety when it is engaged in church work. But having said that, if holiness and worship and prayer are one's foundation, Keller's voice must be listened to, with discernment. He has shaped me as much as my other hero, John Piper. Take 17 minutes and be spurred on in your love for, and your ability to, engage the city with Christ's gospel!

Tim Keller Argues For Churches In Cities [Lausanne] from Kenny Jahng on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favourite New Song

My favourite new (to me) song from the Sovereign Grace Ministries' Pastor's Conference. . .

I was glad to find it on iTunes - search for Aaron Keyes. The song is called 'Psalm 62' and is found on his album entitled, 'Not Guilty Anymore'.


HT: DeYoung

Friday, November 19, 2010

The New, Updated, NIV Bible, 2011

The NIV Bible is about to change. This is no surprise. The one you have on your nightstand is a 1984 revision of the original (from around '78 or so?). Over time language changes and develops and new translations are needed. A few years back the TNIV was introduced, not as a replacement but an alternative. It used gender inclusive language, and it was a bit smoother than the NIV, but a bit less literal. Last year it was announced that the TNIV would be discontinued and the NIV would be completey revised. But like the 1984 revision, the 2011 NIV is intended as a replacement. In other words, in a few months you will only be able to buy NIV Bibles like the one you own at second hand bookstores and clearance shelves. In a few years your Bible will be a relic.

Again, this is needed (theoretically, anyway). Language changes and develops over time. But this new NIV Bible will force a decision, because it's going to use gender inclusive language. John Dyer put together the following graphic, outlining words omitted from the 2011 NIV (the bigger the word the more it is omitted):
A study of verse comparisons is also helpful (and also provided by Dyer):

This is not meant to be alarmist or anything. I'm simply trying to point us to a fact. The entire flavour of the NIV will now be different. The following is a sample of comparison texts from John 1 (again, Dyer is my man):

Aside from the fact that a whole lot of your memorization is going to go down the drain (ha, ha), these changes are going to force us all to make a choice: is a gender-neutral Bible the most faithful bridge between the original and the current culture/language? It seems clear that this new NIV will force a polarity of sorts. I predict that more people will go to the ESV, with its relative readability and gender specific language, or the NLT, with its amazing readability and gender specific language. It seems bound to happen. Trevin Wax agrees with me (and puts it much more eloquently):
The problem I see with the NIV 2011 is that the publisher (Zondervan) seems to be putting churches and church leaders in a position where they are forced to make a choice. A few years ago, upon considering the resistance from some evangelicals toward the TNIV, Zondervan assured Bible-readers that the 1984 NIV would remain available. But no such assurance is given now. In fact, the publisher has expressly indicated the desire for the NIV 2011 to replace both the original NIV and the TNIV.
Anyway, the new NIV is now on-line at BibleGateway. If you choose the NIV in your search, the 2011 version is what you are searching in. If you go to the menu you'll see that 1984 NIV is also still an option.

Having said all that, I'm excited to buy and read a print version of this new NIV. I love the way the current NIV reads and I always like the way a new translation gives a fresh perspective on an old passage. I tend to steer clear of the NIV when I'm doing in-depth study or meditation. The ESV is far superior for that. But when I'm reading large chunks of God's word the NIV is far less clunky, and I'm guessing that the new NIV will be even more smooth!

As I close I'll point to this post, where my friend Darryl Dash interviews Douglas Moo, who is the head of the translation committee. Moo is a solid evangelical and one of the premier Bible commentators alive today. His commentary on Romans has been my constant companion since labour day and I'm loving every minute of it!

The Six Second Kiss

Excellent counsel from Jani Ortlund. It begins this way:

What can six seconds do for you? Woman to woman, let me encourage you that just six seconds a day can help safeguard your marriage.
You can read the rest here.

HT: (who else?) Challies

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tim Kerr - The Prayer For Power

One of the many joys of attending the Sovereign Grace Ministries' Pastor's conference on November 2-4 was getting to hang out a bit with some other Canadians who also made the trip down to Maryland. One of those Canadians is a Toronto Pastor named Tim Kerr. I've only heard Tim speak a few times (at a pastor's fellowship I attend), and I don't know him well, but he's respected by so many of my friends that there was a very quick 'trust' (on my end anyway).

Anyway, at the conference last week I learned that Tim would soon be traveling from his church of 100 in Toronto, to preach at Covenant Life Church (5000 on a given Sunday), and I've been praying for him ever since. I just saw that the audio for this very message is up and running here. I have not yet listend to it, but if it's anything like his Toronto Pastor's Fellowship messages, it will be very powerful!

Again, give it a listen here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CJ Mahaney - Pastoral Wisdom From Jude

It's hard to believe that over a week has passed since the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor's Conference in Maryland. My wife and I came home very refreshed spiritually, even if we were physically weary. I just saw that the conference audio is now posted here. Below is a full-length video of CJ Mahaney's message from tuesday night. I'd love to report that it was the best one of the conference, but every message was a 'home run' of sorts. If you are involved in church life at all, I highly recommend this one and all the other messages!

Pastoral Wisdom from an Obscure Place from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maple Leaf Dejection

We all had our hopes up. Actually, we all knew it would end soon and the fall would be rough. A few weeks ago I posted this quote from tsn.ca:

The following are factual statements: the Toronto Maple Leafs are in first place in the Eastern Conference, they've scored twice as many goals as they've allowed, their penalty killing is at 90 percent and Clarke MacArthur is on pace for 109 goals this season.
But here is today's latest from the same site:
Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists Wednesday to help the Florida Panthers beat Toronto 4-1 and extend the Maple Leafs' losing streak to seven games. The Maple Leafs' losing streak is their longest since opening last season at 0-6-1. They have lost 10 of their past 11 games and are 3-for-39 on the power play in their last 10 games.
Ouch. I guess the only thing worse than opening the season in seven games without a win (last year), is this year's trick of acting like the Oilers of the 80's for a little while and then tearing the big 'S' off their chests to expose the reality that it was all just a cheap Halloween costume. Why do I endure as a fan?


The verdict is in: my wife and I love to listen to the rap music of Lecrae Moore. In fact, my kids love it too. He'd theologically deep, and he's also a great musician. His latest album, Rehab, reached #3 on iTunes album downloads, which means that for at least a while he was the third most popular album download in America (all categories combined). I highly recommend you take the plunge and buy and enjoy. Here's a video of one of our favourite songs:


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Curtis Allen Raps the Heidelberg Catechism

One of the many high points of the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor's Conference this past week, was getting to hear Curtis 'Voice' Allen Rap. Below is a blog post by CJ Mahaney explaining the origin of the song, complete with free stream or download, and lyrics. My wife and I really enjoyed this MP3 during the 10 hour car ride home.


On a stage in front of 2,800 attendees at the 2010 NEXT conference, I called out my friend Curtis Allen.

Kevin DeYoung was speaking at the conference, and the focus of his newest book was the Heidelberg Catechism. He called it The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (Moody, 2010). So at NEXT 2010 I challenged Curtis (aka Voice) to write and record a rap song to promote Kevin's book and the catechism.

Curtis delivered.

On Friday, this is what he sent me:

(Note: if you dont see the player, go here to listen. Download the song here.)

Yep, Curtis Allen is the best.


Verse 1

Yeah I'm on a mission like a couple spies, and that guys is the reason why I catechize. The good news we almost forgot I recognize, Heidelberg rediscovering the gospel prize. It's not scripture but the truth in it will mention he, introduction hide and seek the 16th century. Written in a time when your mind was the weaponry, this document is back into the populace shouts to Kevin D. Better than you think not as bad as you remember, purpose driven truth, from Frederick the elector. He would initiate, the 129 questions to illustrate truths like Christ propitiates. All in a document, whose purpose was to teach children, a guide for preachers, and confessions in a church building. And this is all fact The Heidelberg Cat has been around but now it's seem like it is coming back.


We believe in the cross, believe in his life,
We believe in his death, believe he's the Christ.
We believe that he rose from grave yes it is him
And we read the Heidelberg Catechism

We believe in the after life and we believe nothing's after Christ, so we stand our ground, cuz the truth's been around from the word to the Heidelberg.

Verse 2

Year of the Heidelberg resulting in renewed passion, and we could see it in our lives lights camera action. Let's take a gander and address a few questions from Heidelberg document then look at the answers. But before that make sure that, you know how it's broken down, in a Q & A format, a few sections. Suggestions how to read this not to sound promotional, but Kevin put it in his book to make it a devotional. Each question each answer has a bit of commentary, so the application of it is not some involuntary. Mystery, the history screams through rings true but I'll just leave that up to God, cuz that's between you. to believe, but to believe you gotta read you and then you meditate on all the truths that the Heidelberg will illustrate. What's that the catechism homey where you been the good news we almost forgot let's get it in!

Verse 3

From the word to the Heidelberg, we see that what's the comfort of life should come first. And in death that I with, body and soul but belong to the savior, commentary from me man, tell this to your neighbor. Moving on, how many things are necessary for thee, enjoying this comfort, to live and die happily? Three, my sin's misery, deliverance from sin, and gratitude for God is how the answer ends. Let's stretch it out the Lord's day 23 the grandaddy of them all, questions 59 and 60. What good does it do to believe in all this? In Christ I am right heir to the promise. Paraphrase, anyways I'm kinda limited I'm just trying to say a couple things my man Kevin did. On the Heidelberg, go and get you one, and by the way CJ homey this was fun.