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Gray Havens U-Stream Concert

Thursday, September 5, 2013, at 8pm Eastern The Gray Havens will be doing a U-Stream Concert. Click this link to access it.

There’s also a Facebook Event Page.

You can check out their KickStarter project here.

Highly recommended!

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New Song from Ross King: Win My Soul

I highly recommend Ross King’s new album, “This Hope Will Guide Me,” and so far this is my favorite song:

Great chorus:

Praise the one who climbed the hill
And stormed the very gates of hell
Went to war with death itself
To win my soul

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Hopeful Indications in Derek Webb’s “Everything Will Change”

I’m hearing good things from people I trust about the direction of Derek Webb’s new album. Scott Corbin pointed me to one of the new songs on YouTube, “Everything Will Change.”

It’s encouraging that this song locates the resolution to the world’s ills not in some social-engineering project of a political party but in the eschaton, when “you’ll wake and the curse will break.”

I also appreciate friends who have encouraged me to be as generous to Derek as I’ve tried to be to J. K. Rowling. Point taken. Eager to hear the whole album.

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Derek Webb’s Failed Confession

Collin Garbarino posted a new video from Derek Webb, in which Derek “confesses”: “I was wrong, I’m sorry, and I love you.”

My problem with this song is that Derek doesn’t specify what it is he thinks he was wrong about. There are some things I think he has been wrong about, but those may or may not be the things he’s apologizing for. Does he think he was right where I thought he was wrong, and wrong where I thought he was right? He doesn’t clarify, so the song isn’t very satisfying. What tried to be sincere and authentic devolved into bland platitudes and cliches. I know that’s not what Derek wanted.

It does have a catchy tune, though. Like much of his stuff. Classic Derek–wailing voice that really communicates emotional depth, changes in tempo and volume, good stuff.

I wish Derek would recognize that he’s not an inspired prophet, that for every stupid thing some church or some Christian says or does there are a lot of examples of biblical ecclesiology and truly Christ-like Christians, and that he should give himself to writing God-honoring, Bible-saturated, thought-provoking songs.

And for my money he can leave the swear words out.

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The Song of Wisdom’s Call

I’ve been enjoying this musical adaptation of Proverbs 1 from Ordinary Time:


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God Bless Andrew Peterson

Today at our house we are officially inducting Andrew Peterson into the Hamilton Hall of Fame for his sheer awesomeness. If you’re a regular here at For His Renown, you know that we have taken great delight in Andrew’s music (song) and writings (word), and now he has topped it off with a gift of line (form). The T.H.A.G.s, the Three Honored and Great Subjects, of music, writing, and drawing, are crafts this brother cultivates, and he has blessed us with all three.

We were introduced to his work several years ago when a dear friend gave us his Christmas album Behold the Lamb of God, which may be the best thing to happen to Christmas music since Handel’s Messiah. We loved Resurrection Letters Vol. 2, then Counting Stars, and we eagerly await Light for the Lost Boy. You won’t regret buying these albums. They will enrich your life, open your eyes, deepen your soul, and tell you of the hope that holds through the night.

Then we learned that he wrote books in addition to songs, and we had to have a look. What we saw was startling, intriguing, joy-giving, yea, beautiful. One night as we were reading On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, it got so late I had to put the kids to bed, but I was in storygrip so after I put them to bed I kept reading right on to the end.

Hit that link above and go get your copy. Read and enjoy, then move on to North! Or Be Eaten, whose adventure and sacrifice and resurrection are topped off by the joy of the reunion of a long separated family in The Monster in the Hollows, a joy that rises from the ashes of sorrow and must plunge into the uncertainty of the future. What that future holds awaits the writing of The Warden and the Wolf King.

If you get the books and start now, you can live through the experience of reading them as the story is being written–how often does the chance to do that come along? Books one, two, and three are waiting for you at Amazon or the Rabbit Room. I read them aloud to our kids, and now the ones old enough to read regularly revisit them.

All this brings me to the point of this post. We entered a book review contest, won second place, and the creative generosity of Andrew Peterson resulted in our prize arriving today!

Andrew is in our Hamilton Hall of Fame for this drawing of The Great Library at Ban Rona, replete with a note from the author telling the thrilling tale of the perilous adventure that overtook him as he created the masterpiece.

Praise God for Andrew Peterson, today’s inductee into the Hamilton Hall of Fame, may the Lord bless his every endeavor, and may each of you visit the links to the works of art above, click the Like button, click the Add to Cart button, then enjoy the music and the stories, the lyrics and the love.

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Brad Mann Sings the National Anthem

When I was a PhD student here at SBTS from 2000–2003, we were members at Clifton Baptist Church. It was a joy to sit under Tom Schreiner’s preaching and be led in worship by Chip Stam. One of my favorite things was to interact with Brad Mann and hear him sing. There were times when I would watch Brad sing in the choir in worship, and I would rejoice that one day he will see the Lord Jesus face to face.

My friend Brad Mann is blind, but that brother can sing. He recently had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem before a UofL basketball game at the KFC Yum Center, and he brought down the house. Watch it here:

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Video for “There Is No Sin That I Have Done” by Schumacher and Ward

Eric Schumacher and David L. Ward of Reformed Praise have released an official video for their song, There Is No Sin That I Have Done.

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Death In His Grave


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Some Culture (Free) for Date Night

From the Academy of Sacred Music at SBTS:

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Orchestra, under the baton of Scott Bersaglia presents “Majesty” on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Chapel, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville. Admission is free.

“Majesty” features three works: Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 in C minor (Organ) for full orchestra plus piano, harp and organ, featuring Timothy L. Baker, Organist and Assistant Director of Music, Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church; Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ written by Vaughan-Williams for string orchestra and harp; and Funeral Music for Queen Mary by Steven Stucky for orchestra of winds, brass, percussion, piano and harp.

For further information, please contact Esther R. Crookshank, Ph.D., Ollie Hale Chiles Professor of Church Music, Director, Academy of Sacred Music, (502) 897-4795, FAX (502) 897-4056, ecrookshank at sbts dot edu.

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Ten Thousand, by John Mark McMillan

Josh Philpot introduced me to this song by John Mark McMillan, “Ten Thousand,” from his album, The Medicine. Matt Damico sang this at the close of the sermon linked in the previous post. He knocked it out of the park. This is what Josh wrote to Matt when he introduced him to the song:

It’s a great tune and song. Think Ezekiel 37; John 16:33; Ephesians 5 (bride and husband); 1 John 5:4; etc.



Ten thousand glimmering like coals in our chest
Ball bearings drawn to the magnetic breath
Of ten thousand weeping with wings on their tears
Amidst ten thousand voices for ten thousand years
For ten thousand graves yawning unlocked and unlatched
Now ten thousand holes with rocks on their backs
Ten thousand tombs gaping wide singing the praise
Of ten thousand bodies unlaced and unlaid

As the ten thousand highways unfold their doors
For the ten thousand standing on Nineveh’s shores
Where the blood of a husband silences wars
For the girl who rises to meet him
And she sings

World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome
By my song and the blood of a son

Ten thousand rivers run red like my veins
Where the bones of men hum like a rattling cage
For sinew to cling to and wind to remain
In ten thousand lungs for ten thousand days
Breathing like a choir of holes in the ground
Where the cynical have lain, where the cynical go down
Save the gravity of time lets go of her drowned
Like ten thousand sparrows, unlocked and unwound

As the ten thousand highways unfold their doors
For the ten thousand standing on Nineveh’s shores
Where the blood of a husband silences wars
For the girl who rises to meet him

And she sings
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome
By my song and the blood of a son

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Free Album from Andrew Peterson

Just give these underlined words a smack.

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“Merciful to Me” from Reformed Praise

I’ve noted before that I think Eric Schumacher is one of the best poets at work on the craft in this generation. He writes to help the people of God praise the name of God, celebrating God’s saving mercy in Christ by the power of the Spirit.

Eric writes of the new album from Reformed Praise, “Merciful to Me“:

“As many of you know, I collaborate in song-writing with David Ward (and others) through the ministry of Reformed Praise.

This month we released our latest album, Merciful to Me. It was co-produced by David Ward and Steve Cook (of Sovereign Grace Music). It contains the vocals of Devon Kauflin, Shannon Harris, Jake Armerding, Lucia Newell, and others, as well as a host of great instrumentalists from around the country. The 13 tracks are an eclectic mix of styles, including bluegrass, pop, classic jazz, driving rock, and orchestral arrangements.”

On the album’s webpage, you can read about the project and sample the songs, which are described as follows:

1. Merciful to Me – A guitar-driven ballad featuring ac. guitar, piano (very light), kit on brushes, some percussion, soprano sax, and fretless bass
2. There Is No Greater Portrait – A piano and orchestra driven arrangement by Bob Parsons
3. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – A guitar-driven ballad with kit on brushes, piano, fiddle
4. O Jesus – Energetic pop arrangement with a drum loop and tasty electric guitars
5. O God the Holy Spirit – Another piano and orchestra driven arrangement by Bob Parsons
6. So I Will Come – A guitar driven ballad featuring Shannon Harris on vocals with acoustic bass, piano, and a string trio
7. Jesus, Lover of My Soul – A Dave Matthews inspired setting with layered acoustic guitars and saxes
8. The River – A driving rock arrangement led by acoustic guitar, then handed off to an electric guitar
9. Glory Is Certain – A pseudo-Celtic flavor: live guitr, djembe, acoustic bass, and vocals with added mandolin and Irish whistle
10. There Is No Sin that I Have Done – A very sparse, guitar driven ballad with upright bass and pedal steel guitar
11. O Weary Saint – Another sparse setting, piano-driven with Irish flute and cello
12. Begone, Unbelief – A foot-stompin’ bluegrass setting with live guitar, vocal, drums, and upright bass with added dobro, mandolin, and fiddle
13. Majestic Sweetness – A classic jazz ballad arrangement inspired by Bill Evans’ work on the Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”

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New Getty Music Blog

Modern Irish hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty (“In Christ Alone,” and many more) now have a blog.

May the Lord continue to bless them.

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Andrew Peterson: In the Night My Hope Lives On

In his song, “In the Night My Hope Lives On,” Andrew Peterson has turned Romans 15:4 into poetry and put it to music that will stir the soul. It left me wiping my eyes from the pain of the beauty of hope.

Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Praise God for the mercy that beats in his holy heart.

The song is on the new album, Counting Stars, which you can download, or get as a physical CD. There’s a nice write-up on the album over at

Nashville’s bard of biblical theology himself gave me permission to stream the song here (click through to the site to stream the song – thanks to Josh Philpot for making this possible), and the lyrics are below:

In the Night My Hope Lives On
by Andrew Peterson

I am weary with the pain of Jacob’s wrestling
In the darkness with the Fear, in the darkness with the Fear
But he met the morning wounded with a blessing
So in the night my hope lives on

When Elisha woke surrounded by the forces
Of the enemies of God, the enemies of God
He saw the hills aflame with angels on their horses
So in the night my hope lives on

I see the slave that toils beneath the yoke unyielding
And I can hear the captive groan, hear the captive groan
For some hand to stay the whip his foe is wielding
Still in the night my hope lives on

I see the armies of the enemy approaching
And the people driven, trembling, to the shore
But a doorway through the waters now is opening
So in the night my hope lives on

Like the son who thought he’d gone beyond forgiveness,
Too ashamed to life his head–but if he could lift his head
He would see his father running from a distance
In the night my hope lives on

I can see the crowd of men retreating
As he stands between the woman and their stones
And if mercy in his holy heart is beating
Then in the night my hope lives on

I remember how they scorned the son of Mary
He was gentle as a lamb, gentle as a lamb
He was beaten, he was crucified, and buried
And in the night, my hope was gone

But the rulers of the earth could not control Him
They did not take his life–he laid it down
All the chains of death could never hope to hold him
So in the night my hope lives on

I can see the Son of Man descending
And the sword He swings is brighter than the dawn
And the gates of Hell will never stand against him
So in the night my hope lives on

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Dever’s Preface to It Is Well

If you haven’t already done so, you really should check out the Preface to Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence’s book, It Is Well. Here’s a snippet that puts worship into words and describes how the cross is central, even if there isn’t a physical cross on the wall:

“This is never truer than when we sing the hymn ‘It Is Well with My Soul.’ I wish you could hear the church sing the stanze, ‘My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.’ Our voices join in ecstasy, and we stand amazed at our inclusion, stunned and relishing God’s costly, gracious mercy toward us in Christ. The truth of the Word, the cross in the Bible, explodes into glorious joy at the foundation and heart of our life together as a church. When we experience that solemn joy, that deep delight, that loud celebration together, whether we’re at the Lord’s Table or simply rejoicing after confessing our sins in prayer, the cross is seen to be the center of our church.”

Programming note: this post was prompted by the enjoyment of this song in worship this past Sunday at Kenwood. What a blessing to worship with God’s people.

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Piano Hymns

We are blessed at Kenwood Baptist Church to be led in worship by Josh Philpot, Associate Pastor extraordinaire.

You’ll love his work on the piano. He writes:

Here are twelve hymns I recorded on piano for my wife as a birthday gift in April (she really liked it!). I thought some of you may enjoy them. Many thanks to Andrew Case for the mix, and for Clifton Baptist Church for letting me use their piano!

I Will Glory in My Redeemer

In Christ Alone

Amazing Grace

Before the Throne of God Above

Come Thou Fount

Holy, Holy, Holy

How Sweet and Aweful is the Place

Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners

My Jesus, I Love Thee

The Power of the Cross

Trust and Obey

I Surrender All

I had to minimize the files, so unfortunately the quality is not the best. Also, most of these were recorded on the first take so you may here mistakes here or there (i.e. copyist errors…).

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Andrew Peterson on His New Album: Counting Stars


HT: Robbie Sagers

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Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

I first heard this song when I went to a Weekender at CHBC, and we’ve been enjoying it recently in family devos. May the Lord grant in his mercy that someday we’ll sing in a choir that sounds this good:


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