Review of ‘Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man’

Savior CD album cover

A few general words on the album

More than a Christmas CD, Savior includes twelve songs focusing on the Incarnation.The album was released in November 2006 by Sovereign Grace Music.

From the site:

How can we get to God?

This question, divinely woven into every living soul, finds its echo in Scripture. There we see that God wants an intimate relationship with his people—to live with them. Yet the presence of this holy God is a consuming fire, so we, in our sinfulness, cannot dwell there.

Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man is an exaltation of the One who resolved that dilemma through the miracle of the Incarnation. The baby in a manger is God himself, the Savior who came to bear our sins and reconcile us to the Father.

Savior contains twelve truth-saturated songs, suitable for worshiping God year-round. Each song ponders and celebrates the reason for Christ’s coming.

Truth comes through words and not through music, so I would like to quote in full the lyrics of the songs under review. The 3 songs in this review are the mellower tracks in the album.

Sleep, Jesus, Sleep

Sleep, Jesus, sleep
We’ve come to see
You who never closed Your eyes
Watching over earth and skies
Now in frail humanity
Must sleep

Sleep, newborn King
We’ll gently sing
You who reigns forevermore
Ruling as the Lord of lords
You who never had a need
Must sleep

Sovereign One
Born as Mary’s son
Prince of Peace
One day You’ll deliver me
Deliver me

But now sleep, Son of God
We’ll watch in awe
You’ll fulfill the Father’s plan
Reconciling God and man
Now Your promises to keep
Must sleep


The soothing voice in this track belongs to Shannon Harris, wife of I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Josh Harris.She is also the singer of The Precious Blood and O Great God on the Valley of Vision album.

“Sleep, Jesus, Sleep”, one of my favorite songs on the album, could very well be the most truth-packed lullaby sung to Jesus. I’ve listened to Sleep, Jesus, Sleep many times. In my later replays, a grammatical inconsistency, if not an error, became apparent.

Please take a look at the following two lines:

  1. You who never closed Your eyes
  2. You who reigns forevermore

Line 1’s clause “Your eyes” is second person. Line 2’s clause is third person plural (“He reigns forevermore”, and not “You reigns forevermore”). Grammar dictates that in the construction

[Person] who [verb],

the verb takes on the third person form. This means that “You who never closed Your eyes” should be “You who never closed His eyes”.
For more information on this grammatical issue, please refer to: http://voiceofiyov.blogspot.com/2007/06/you-who-hears-sic-prayer.html

http://www.englishforums.com/English/ItsYouWhoIsAreAnsweringMe/dcwdz/Post.htm

The Son of God Came Down

The Son of God came down and laid aside His crown
Born without great renown, this Sovereign One
All holiness and might, all glory shining bright
Have come to earth this night in Mary’s son
O come, let us adore

O Christ the Lord, our hope and Savior
Son of God yet made like us
O Christ the Lord, our King adored
Born a child, our Lord Jesus

Messiah born so small, asleep in cattle stall
Come to redeem our fall, nailed to a tree
This tiny, helpless child through death would reconcile
The holy God and vile, His grace so free
O come, let us adore

This song was written by Doug Plank. I loved the acoustic music in this song. Let us worship the King of kings with awe and humility.

Salvation is Born

Come let us worship, come let us adore
Jesus, Messiah, our Savior is born
Carol His glory and sing His sweet Name
Offer a life of thanksgiving and praise

Join with the angels proclaiming to earth
Join with the shepherds in awe of His birth
Join all creation rejoicing this morn
The glory of God-become-man has been born

Come, let us adore Him
Jesus, the hope of the world
Come, worship before Him
Christ, the Messiah has come
Salvation is born

Prophets foretold Him, the Promise of God
The hope of Salvation and light of the world
Born in a stable and born as a man
Born to fulfill God’s redeeming plan

The coming of the Babe was a historic event. Indeed, it split history into two (BC and AD). In this song, we are invited to join with creatures in heaven and on earth in remembering Jesus’ birth.

The Christian’s Only Comfort

Question:

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer:

That I am not my own,

but belong —

body and soul,

in life and in death —

to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,

and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

He also watches over me in such a way

that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven:

in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to Him,

Christ, by His Holy Spirit,

assures me of eternal life

and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready

from now on to live for him.

Christian Social Theory: The Trinity as a Model for Human Social Life

Nancy Pearcey‘s Total Truth is to today as Francis Schaeffer’s books were to 20 years ago. Green-coloring is the blogger’s. Italics are the author’s.

Total Truth book cover

The Rosetta Stone of Christian social thought is the Trinity. The human race was created in the image of God, who is three Persons so intimately related as to constitute one Godhead in the classic theological formulations, one in being and three in person. God is not “really” one deity, who only appears in three modes: nor is God “really” three deities, which would be polytheism. Instead, both oneness and threeness are equally real, equally ultimate, equally basic and integral to God’s nature.

The balance of unity and diversity in the Trinity gives a model for human social life, because it implies that both individuality and relationship exist within the Godhead itself. God is being-in-communion. Humans are made in the image of God who is a tri-unity—whose very nature consists in reciprocal love and communication among the Persons of the Trinity. This model provides a solution to the age-old opposition between collectivism and individualism. Over against collectivism, the Trinity implies the dignity and uniqueness of individual persons. Over against radical individualism, the Trinity implies that relationships are not created by sheer choice but are built into the very essence of human nature. We are not atomistic individuals but are created for relationships.

As a result, there is harmony between being and individual and participating in the social relationships that God intended for our lives together. This may sound abstract, but think of it this way: Every married couple knows that a marriage is more than the sum of its parts—that the relationship itself is a reality that goes beyond the two individuals involved. The social institution of marriage is a moral entity in itself, with its own normative definition. This was traditionally spoken about in terms of the common good: There was a “good” for each of the individuals in the relationship (God’s moral purpose for each person), and then there was a “common good” for their lives together (God’s moral purpose for the marriage itself).

In a perfect marriage unaffected by sin, there would be no conflict between these two purposes: The common good would express and fulfill the individual natures of both wife and husband. In fact, certain virtues necessary for spiritual maturity—such as faithfulness and self-sacrificing love—can be practiced only within relationships. That means individuals cannot fully develop their true nature unless they participate in social relationships, such as marriage, family, and the church. *

The doctrine of the Trinity has repercussions not only for our concept of the family but also for virtually every other discipline. In philosophy, the triune nature of God provides a solution to the question of the One and the Many (sometimes called the problem of unity and diversity): Ever since the ancient Greeks, philosophers have asked, Does ultimate reality consist of a single being or substance (as in pantheism) or of disconnected particulars (as in atomism)? In politics, the opposing poles play out in the two extremes of totalitarianism versus anarchy. In economics, the extremes are socialism or communism versus laissez-faire individualism.

In practice, of course, most societies shuffle toward some middle ground between the two opposing poles—like America’s “mixed economy today. Yet merely hovering between tow extremes is not a theoretically coherent position. A consistent worldview must offer a way to reconcile them within a consistent system. By offering the Trinity as the foundation of human sociality, Christianity gives the only coherent basis for social theory.

Nor is the answer merely theoretical. In Redemption, believers are called to form an actual society—the church—that demonstrates to the world a balanced interplay of the One and the Many, of unity and individuality. In John 17:11 Jesus prays for the disciples He is about to leave behind, asking the Father “that they may be one, even as we are one.” Jesus is saying that the communion of Persons within the Trinity is the model for the communion of believers within the church. It teaches us how to foster richly diverse individuality within ontologically real relationships “The Church as a whole is an icon of God the Trinity, reproducing on earth the mystery of unity in diversity,” writes Orthodox bishop Timothy Ware. “Human beings are called to reproduce on earth the mystery of mutual love that the Trinity lives in heaven.” And as we learn to practice unity-in-diversity within the church, we can bring that same balance to all our social relationships—our families, schools, workshops, and neighborhoods.

—————–

*People who are not married can and should participate in other forms of relationship, preeminently in the church, in order to experience the spiritually maturing effects of being morally committed to others.

From Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, copyright ©2005, pages 132-134. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187.

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Maurice Roberts on Christian Friendship

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Brief Biography:

Rev. Maurice Roberts was born at Chester, England in 1938. He was educated at Durham University. After teaching Latin and Greek in secondary schools in Scotland, he studied theology at the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh. He was the minister of Ayr Free Church of Scotland from 1974 to 1994, and since then has been the minister of Greyfriars Congregation, Inverness, a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing). He was editor of the Banner of Truth magazine from 1988 to 2003, and is the author of The Thought of God, The Christian’s High Calling, Great God of Wonders, and Can We Know God? He is married, and has one daughter and two grandchildren.

Christian Friendships

by Maurice Roberts

The Christian discovers that, while he has fellowship with all his brothers and sisters in Christ, he has special friendships with only some of them. It is not always easy to say why such friendships between some Christians develop or why potential friendships with others come to nothing. But it is a fact of observation and experience which must ultimately have its explanation in the mystery of God’s providence. Fellowship in a general sense exists among all who are born of God. But that special delight which friends find in each other’s company is something which goes beyond this. Fellowship is there because of the grace which is enjoyed in common. But friendships occur almost mysteriously and yet not without explanation, as we shall see. No doubt in heaven, when grace becomes glory, this imperfect state of our relationships will improve so that all will be equally the friend of each. But it is not so now and no act of will can now make it so, it would seem.

The best of God’s servants have had special friends and their names are wreathed together and intertwined in the pages of Scripture. Moses and Joshua, David and Jonathan, Daniel and his friends, Peter and John, Paul and Timothy — they belonged together on earth and their names come easily to our memory in pairs or groups. Even the Lord Jesus Christ had his special relationships with his own disciples. Out of the twelve, three were specially intimate: Peter, James and John. Out of these three, one was unique. Only John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, in the relationship of a friend par excellence. It appears clear therefore that we ought not, as Christians, to be surprised to find that we have closer relations with some of God’s people than with others. This must not lead us to be dismissive of brothers who are not in our intimate circle of friends. But it reassures us that there is no sin in the Christian’s having closer ties with some rather than with other believers.

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Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God Book CoverWhat is this book about?
This book is from the transcripts of the talks given in the Desiring God 2005 Conference. The speakers have all experienced suffering and approach the issue of how God’s sovereignty relates to human suffering. They approach the issue with a common theology but from different angles.

This is not an academic book. It’s a book from people who have suffered.This book gives real answers to deep questions such as:

  • In what ways is God sovereign over Satan’s work?
  • How can we be free and responsible if God ordains our choices?
  • What is the ultimate reason that suffering exists?
  • How does suffering help to advance the mission of the church?
  • How should we understand the origin of ethnic-based clashes and suffering?
  • How does God’s grace enter our sufferings?
  • Why is it good for us to meditate upon the depth and pain of severe suffering?
  • What is the role of hope when things look utterly hopeless?

Part 1 focuses most specifically on the sovereignty of God in and over suffering.
Part 2 asks why God allows pain, and answers the question.
Part 3 looks at the grace of God in our suffering.

Whom is this book for?
Perhaps your suffering has been so severe and relentless that you are on the verge of losing all hope. Or at the other end of the spec­trum, perhaps you have a slightly guilty feeling because, though you see suffering all around, you have experienced very little suffering directly. Perhaps you are working through some of the deep theological questions surrounding this issue. Or perhaps you simply need to read that others have suffered too—and survived with their faith intact. Dear reader, are you in one of the above situations? Then, this book is for you.

The prayer of the contributors is that God would direct the right readers—in accordance with his sovereign purposes—to its pages, and that he would change all of us so that we might experience more grace and hope.

May God do just that.

To read the Introduction and Chapter 1for free, go here first and click the “Sample Pages” link.