Northland Today (2013.4.23)

I am not going to load this post up with a lot of commentary. Just three points:

I guess that is what this means:

It has been our desire to reach out to scripturally solid churches who in the past have not been familiar with Northland as well as continue to serve our current constituents.


“music in my life”

A ‘mostly sensible’ pastor’s wife offers us a testimony about “music in my life”. I’d encourage you to read it, especially in light of the many wrangling posts about music all over the internet.

One thing this lady points out is that there is a line somewhere, but where? It seems that even the advocates for a looser standard for music (in the fundamentalist orbit and its derivatives) agree that some music isn’t acceptable for worship. Most will also agree that some music isn’t acceptable for Christians, period.

Since we agree that there is a line, why must we insist on drawing it in the middle of a genre that mimics the world in its styles? The line becomes very subjective that way and the basis for setting it boils down to “what I like.” Given my human nature, my susceptibility to pride, my self-centeredness… that’s not a real safe strategy. Far better to draw the line at what I am sure God likes, what for sure glorifies him, not what is questionable.

So I miss out on some songs that might be acceptable? Please! Life is too short for that. I don’t live for music. I live for God. (Well, that’s the idea of what I am trying to do, anyway.)

Go have a look at the ‘mostly sensible’ pastor’s wife. I think you will find her testimony edifying and refreshing. A quick look at the rest of her blog suggests that she tends to write a lot about things that would interest Christian women. I’d encourage the ladies who read this to look over her writings and see if she might add an edifying perspective to your reading as well.


Don’t send your kids to Northland

“Thank you Steve for your contributions to the church!” – Matt Olson, sharing a link to this video music presentation on his Facebook page.

Really, in my opinion, you shouldn’t send your kids to Northland International University. The school and its president have taken a strange turn – this is the latest example. Several of Matt’s friends on Facebook, mutual friends of ours, protested at this link in the comments that followed. You won’t find those protests any longer, they’ve been deleted (after Matt responded to one).

The latest comment, “Have you been hacked, Matt?” Alas, if it were only that simple. I’m afraid all of us who once supported Northland have been hacked.

Don’t send your kids there, you will be very disappointed.


hippo critter?

It’s all very well to call the young, the restless, and the reformed to maturity and discernment, but… well, just read the comments following the post.


interesting–a papist on dance and music

It’s my day for finding interesting videos. Check out this African Cardinal on ‘liturgical dance’ and secular music:

If he can ‘get it’, why are his points so lost on so many???

HT: ‘danofsteel’, a commenter at Remonstrans


the ‘ph’ factor

is when a ‘phundamentalist’ talks about Truth, but says things that speak truth to him might not be the same things that speak truth to you…


items of interest

Some very interesting articles over the last few days, impossible to really absorb them all, but thought I’d pass them on for the interest of others:

* An amazing editorial over at CT regarding the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy – they don’t get everything right, but make this amazing admission:

The lesson is that our attempts to find and exploit a point of cultural contact inevitably end in bankruptcy.

This does not deny the need to talk about the gospel in language and thought forms that a culture understands. In fact, we cannot avoid doing this—we are culturally and linguistically bound, ultimately unable to get out of our own skin and see the world in any other way. But we must repress every fearful thought that suggests that making the gospel relevant and meaningful rests on our shoulders.

* On the subject of music, several articles out about a new study published at McGill University (Montreal) – when a musical piece builds tension, then resolves it, the brain releases dopamine, the ‘pleasure juice’ that is also stimulated by things like food, drugs, and sex.

Some quotes from the Gazette article:

…the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine is released when people listen to their favourite music, be it rock, jazz or classical.

"Because it [music] gives us pleasure, we can use it to our advantage to modulate our state of mind."

The music that generated dopamine release depended on the listeners’ tastes and preferences.

"All types of music activated the same part of the brain," Zatorre says. "It doesn’t matter if it’s punk, classical, tango or even bagpipes."

Very interesting stuff. I sent the links to Scott Aniol. I wonder what he’ll make of all that.

* Don’t miss the audio files and most of the notes for the Preserving the Truth Conference. I’m reading Mike Riley right now. Very interesting.

* And last, for Bibleworks users, a recent announcement tells us of a partnership between WORDsearch and BW. You can now buy some pretty interesting titles to add on to BW. This could be a welcome gift for someone. (No idea who that could be…)


macarthur and separation

I guess this is old news by now, but I just got around to listening to John MacArthur’s opening message for the 2010 Shepherd’s Conference: “Separating from Unbelievers

I’d encourage you to listen to this message. Other than a few quibbles, I think that pastor MacArthur gives us good reasons for separating from unbelievers when it comes to any kind of joint spiritual enterprise.

However, I do have one major question about this message: Was it Paul’s original intent to limit the application of this passage ONLY to joint spiritual enterprises with unbelievers? Was this kind of thing really a problem in Corinth in AD 56 or so?

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peddling the word

In a message Wednesday night, the preacher referred to this passage:

NAU  2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

“Peddling the word” – the KJV puts it ‘corrupt the word’, but the idea is more that of dishonest peddlers who try to swindle their customers.

The NET Bible notes explain the word this way:

The participle … refers to those engaged in retail business, but with the negative connotations of deceptiveness and greed – "to peddle for profit," "to huckster"

We’ve all met with fellows like this before, haven’t we? (If you haven’t yet, you will.)

Our preacher last night illustrated this kind of peddler this way: He’s like a man selling apples. He has some good ones, some so-so ones, and some ‘past due’. How does he display his wares? Does he put the best ones on the bottom of his basket, the so-so ones next and the ‘past due’ ones on the top?

No! Of course not. The best are put on top and the ‘past due’ ones are hidden on the inside.

Then came this application, not quoted exactly verbatim, but close:

“The worst thing about attracting people to church with rock music and then preaching Christ is the place it puts Christ in the basket.”

Think about it.


HT: Jeff Musgrave, our preacher of the evening.

is SG music an entry level drug?

Now, please, first a joke disclaimer. My headline is an attention getting device. It is meant in jest. Mostly. And it points to a serious question.

Scott Aniol has been writing a good deal about this. I especially like his post, “The Sovereign Grace/Getty Music Question

I like Scott’s conclusions:

  1. I have more than enough hymn texts to choose from (both ancient and modern) that are better than Sovereign Grace lyrics and do not carry any of the potential baggage.
  2. I have more than enough hymn tunes to choose from (both ancient and modern) that are better than Sovereign Grace tunes and do not carry any of the potential baggage.
  3. While associations are not a primary factor in my decision, I am at least aware of the potential of causing a weaker brother to stumble into what I consider error (either by being attracted to the Sovereign Grace pop/rock styles or a charismatic theology of worship) if I were to use these songs.
  4. I do not sing any similar songs, so I am consistent with my decisions.

Read Scott’s whole post and you will get the whole argument and see why he makes the conclusions he does.

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