Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 7 Christmas Carol Remakes

Everybody's done the traditional Christmas songs, but I really like it when they jazz it up a bit. These are my favorites.

7) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen — Jars of Clay

6) It Came Upon a Midnight Clear — Caedmon's Call

5) Little Drummer Boy — Jars of Clay

4) O Come, O Come Emmanuel — Big Daddy Weave

I couldn't find a video — or even the whole song — but it's too good to not list. This link will take you to Amazon where you can hear a clip.

3) What Child is This? — Mercy Me

2) Silent Night — Jaci Velasquez with Burlap to Cashmere

This arrangement, which I've seen called One Silent Night, is a combination of Silent Night with her God So Loved to beautiful effect.

1) I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day — Casting Crowns

This arrangement of the old poem manages to be heart-rending and hopeful as well as beautiful. It is absolutely worth your time to listen. Twice.

Honorable mention: Anointed's version of Joy to the World is a lot of fun, but I couldn't find a good link. A sample can be heard on this album on Amazon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Most Important Verse for Christmas

The Christmas season is a time of fun, food, and family. And rampant skepticism. The Christmas story goes from one supernatural element to another climaxing with the virgin birth — elements that many people can't quite stomach.

Though there are certainly plenty of atheists, agnostics, and deists among the doubters, many of these skeptics are theists of one stripe or another — even Christians.

Why do people who believe in the resurrection doubt the virgin birth? I have no idea. But what do we do?

For the doubting Christian, one verse in the Bible out weighs all the rest:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Do you believe God made the universe from scratch? If not, there's not much I can say about Christmas, but if you do, ask yourself: If God can make a universe, is a virgin birth or a special "star" (whatever it may have been) really that hard?

Can't the God who made DNA make some for a virgin birth? Can't the one who made the heavens find a way to get the magi to Bethlehem?

Asking questions is healthy; stubborn skepticism is not. Don't let a few miracles ruin the Christmas season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Free books!

RC Sproul's Can I Know God's Will? (Crucial Questions Series) and Jerry Bridges' Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts are available as free downloads for the Kindle and/or the free Kindle app. These books often don't remain free for long, so if you're interested, grab them quickly.