(Tim) The Good Shepherd Band has released a new EP album, Wake Up Sleeper. You can listen to and download the EP from their web site.
Why listen? Because, spreading the word about this album is something you can do to help us.
This blog exists to call the people of God back to faithfulness to "everything (Jesus) commanded." Critical to that work is the Church's worship, and critical to Her worship is the restoration of Biblical themes past generations treasured, but we repudiate. Themes like spiritual warfare, the Devil, courage in persecution, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.
Have you noticed, it's almost a definition of Contemporary Christian Music that these themes are absent? Yes, there are exceptions to the rule; but they're just that--exceptions. A Mighty Fortress demonstrates that past generations of believers clung to these truths:
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim --
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
So now that you've thought about the themes of A Mighty Fortress, give a listen to Hiding Place. When we sing this song in worship, my spirit is jolted awake and I remember to fear God:
Day of wrath! Certain and dreadful day
When earth and sky are burned away
The sun will dim, and with it the moon decay
To greet His fierce return
The trumpet sounds, all of the dead arise
A mighty army swells the skies
The Lamb descends, a burning within His eyes
To conquer and to judge...
So swift He leads those heavenly armies on
To slay the harlot Babylon
Lo, hear her now enjoying a prideful song
He’ll catch her by surprise
And from the earth her name erase
O Jesus, be my hiding place
O Jesus, be my hiding place
The band's leader, Jody Killingsworth, wrote Hiding Place, so after you listen to it, check out this arrangement of a hymn from our traditional hymnody, The Son of God Goes Forth to War.
Splendid, isn't it?
And please, all you aesthetes, don't turn your nose up at these songs because these clasically trained musicians (yes, all of them) have substituted bass and drums for the pedals of our home churches' "magnificent" Casavants. The Reformers put "worship in the vulgar tongue" at the center of the principles of Protestant worship, and that certainly extends to musical genre and instrumentation. If the reformed church is going to escape our northern hemisphere, upper middle class, white, ghetto, we're going to have to learn to meditate closely on the old truth, "All an Englishman's prejudices are a matter of principal!"
So again, give the EP a listen, and then spread the news to all your Facebook buddies, members of your congregation, and fellow presbyters.
I have no qualms about saying that the hard work these men are doing is worth promoting across the church in America today. None at all.