The Newest Musician on My I-pod

Ok… So its not rap, but this is what I am listening to these days on my Ipod.  I got the chance to hear Mandi Mapes play at Student Life’s Refuge event for student pastors and was blown away by the transparency and depth of her lyrics… not to mention awesome vocal and musical tallent.  I’m definately a fan.  She has a few songs available for download on Itunes.  Unfortunately not the ones here.  But awesome none the less.

Review: Does God Exist (DVD Series)

I was excited to be able to review Does God Exist? Kit: Building the Scientific Case (TrueU) (affiliate link) this weekend.  It is the first in a series produced by Focus on the Family.  I watched all ten 30 minute video segments and reviewed the accompanying discussion book.

I really enjoyed watching the lectures by Dr. Stephen Meyer.  He has a witty and somewhat engaging personality.  The videos though are very much like college lectures and in my opinion are geared for young adults or maybe high school juniors and seniors.  The sessions present basic philosophical arguments based on scientific data for the reasonableness of theism (and hopefully in particular Christianity).  While Dr. Meyer does provide a great critique of a few objections to theism from other world views (the naturalistic or material worldview in particular), in this series he does not provide a steady way forward (though it is my understanding that there is a second series coming out in regards to the reliability of Scripture).

The accompanying book does a great job of highlighting key concepts taught in the lecture.  It also includes three follow up questions per section to use as discussion starters.  The value of this resources is probably found in a group format.  Groups can meet, review the DVD material, and follow up with discussion.

This is a great resource but it doesn’t contain a strong way forward (I suspect that is coming up in a second series).  I would recommend it to student pastors and home school parents to use with high school seniors or young adults.  In my opinion it isn’t a great stand alone series, but is a great introduction to some of the arguments that students will face on secular school campus.

The retail price is $39.99(2 DVD’s and a small book). It is also available at places like for $27.57 (affiliate links). I gave it 4 Stars.

Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a complimentary review copy from Tyndale House Publishers through the Tyndale Blog Network program.  There was no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.

50 Reasons: To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us

The other day I mentioned that I would be reading Piper’s book “50 Reasons why Jesus Came to Die” between Easter and Pentecost. You can get the scoop here.

To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us

As crazy as it sounds I used to think that God would be pleased with my deeds.  I was teaching and preaching the right thing, but living as though I could obtain God’s favor by my actions.  I shared this part of my story earlier on the blog.  You can catch it here.  I am so thankful that God didn’t see fit to let me try and work my way to him only to be frustrated and without him in the end.  Sorry to include two songs in a row, but as reminder of where I have come from and how I have been set free I sing, “Before the Throne of God Above” just about every day in my private worship.  It was especially sweet today.

Shane and Shane: Before The Throne (Pages Album Version) has an MP3 from their Pages Album with the song on it.  I don’t have it on my iphone.  I just memorized it from our college group several years back and it has carried me through.