Author Calls for Holy War
Revolution! The Call to Holy War
By Michael L. Brown, Renew, 300 pages, $12.99, paperback.
Michael L. Brown’s latest book is more than a call to holiness, it’s a
call to a radical revolution among believers. But don’t let the word “revolution” mislead you. The book is not shouting for a violent overthrow of the government. Rather, it’s a call to live out the fullness of the gospel and spark a counterculture movement in our nation and world.
Brown, dean of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, in Pensacola, Fla., begins by sharing his testimony and then uses statistics and specific cultural examples to build a case for the need for a revolution. However, the heart, passion and intensity is found in the latter half of the book. Brown challenges the ideologies of greed, materialism and comfort, exposing their lulling affects. Specific chapters explore the music, ideology and standards of revolution.
Revolution! is filled with examples from past revolutions and engaging examples of those who have died for what they believed. Each chapter begins with powerful quotes from people who have lived and died for a cause.
The result is more than an invitation. It is more than a challenge. It is a passionate plea to awaken from spiritual apathy and set ablaze our hearts to follow Christ by life or by death. Although the book is written to all ages, by nature it will ring loudest among youth and those determined to live a sold-out life for the gospel.
One Church, Many Tribes
By Richard Twiss, Renew, 200 pages, $10.99, paperback.
With an astute eye for truth and poignant ability to communicate
it, Richard Twiss reveals in One Church, Many Tribes God’s exceptional calling upon, and thus the church’s vital need for, “First Nations” people–the sovereign people who are direct descendants of a country’s original inhabitants.
A Rosebud Lakota Sioux of the Sicangu Band who once was a radical with the militant AIM (American Indian Movement), Twiss comes well-equipped to explore the gulf between Anglo-European and Indian thinking. A mature Christian and member of the International Reconciliation Coalition, he does so without malice.
Twiss states that:
* 500 years of missions mixed with bigotry have neutralized the gospel for the North American Indian
* The politics of U.S. nationalism and patriotism are not synonymous with the teachings of Jesus Christ
* Pride has caused the church to promote Anglo-European culture as “godly.”
Twiss effectively breaks ground for believers who wish to define their identity in Christ but who face resistance from the church because of race or culture. Those interested in reconciliation, unity and revival will do themselves a service by looking into One Church, Many Tribes. –Jimmy Stewart
Healing the Nations:
A Call to Global Intercession
By John Loren Sandford, Chosen Books, 256 pages, $11.99, paperback.
Author John Sandford introduces some radical concepts for reaching the world for Jesus in his book, Healing the Nations. Sandford, known for ministering healing to individuals, broadens his focus to hurting cultures. One hurt that must be healed results from Western evangelism methods, he says.
Sandford asserts that all cultures have had some revelation of God and truth, though incomplete. Therefore, it is a mistake and an insult for missionaries to insist that a people group renounce all of their traditions to embrace Christ. Instead, evangelists must learn the culture, honor the truth that is there, while gently correcting the error.
The author goes on to explore ways to intercede for the nations through developing a deep relationship with God and engaging in burden-bearing intercession to bring down regional strongholds. This book is mainly for mature intercessors and would appeal to those who have a burden for reconciliation.
–Deborah L. Delk
Worship With an International Flair
Tongues of Fire
By Various Artists,
Rhythm House Records.
For those seeking new sounds in worship, Rhythm House Records offers
an exciting release that showcases great worship offerings in some unexpected venues with a large cross-section of artists. Pushing tradition to the side, Tongues of Fire clearly will reach a new and younger audience with the sounds that they are more familiar with and a lyrical message without worldly compromise.
Tongues of Fire encompasses an international array of artists and as a result carries a fresh sound and feel to it. Gone are the expected worship sounds of most mainstream offerings, and in their place are sounds spanning a variety of styles. Some songs, such as “Tehiliah” by Mary-Kathryn would easily fit on the albums by Irish songstress Enya. Others, such as “Blood & Fire” by Christafari, pack a distinctively reggae influence. The mix is clever and well-produced.
There is plenty of good that can be said about the project and the hopeful artists that it represents. Almost every track is unique and just plain fun. Each of the songs on the disc show originality and represent a tremendous new horizon for this wave of musicians and even possibly the vehicles that worship can be carried on. It is worth recognizing Rhythm House Records for making a project that clearly thinks “outside of the box.” –Doug Joseph
God Is Working–Live
By Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, M2.0 Communications (Word).
The award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir steps out with a new
label while keeping its signature sound on the newest release, God Is Working–Live.
Directed by Carol Cymbala, the multicultural 240-voice choir is a musical evangelistic tool that has never sounded better. The songs are powerful and include a variety of tunes from the energetic “All the Way to Calvary,” “Nothing Is Impossible,” “Church Medley” and “I Found the Answer” to engaging inspirational ballads “For Every Mountain,” “Keep Me True” and “Lift Your Voice.”
The live essence of the recording is most evident during the spirited “More Than Enough,” which prompts several moments of spontaneous praise and prayer in the congregation. “Holy Like You,” which finishes the recording, also includes a closing prayer and challenge.
With the tremendous reception previous Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir releases have experienced, God Is Working–Live is sure to become another highlight of contemporary choral music and a favorite of listeners of various genres. –DeWayne Hamby
Live to Worship
By Lincoln Brewster, Vertical Music.
Unlike the stream of raw worship flowing from a number of labels,
Lincoln Brewster’s new release is more processed and refined. Its honest and simple lyrics are brought to life by electric and acoustic guitars, which create a broad range of sound and style. While it all flows, the James Bond-tainted “You Alone” opens the recording, but a light instrumental cut closes it.
Brewster wrote the majority of songs on the album, weaving his own creative flair with classics such as “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.” He adds punch and a unique ending to the ever-popular “Shout to the Lord.”
But like most worship albums, the favorites emerge from the newer, self-penned cuts. “Where You Are (Superstar)” is loaded with fun but a heartfelt cry to know Christ. The softer “Psalm 91” brings Scripture to life with a tender melody. The fast-paced “You Alone” is simply addictive.
Lincoln Brewster has come a long way since his self-titled debut album. His development spiritually and musically is reflected on this sophomore release. Live to Worship contains songs that focus on God rather than on personal experience. Yet inside the musical expression, there’s a sense that Brewster still hasn’t found his niche. Like most of us, he’s still in process. Thus listeners who are in their own process with God will find a message they can identify with and music to enjoy. –Margaret Feinberg
Mixed With Prayer
Prayers for X-Treme Disciples
With Lou Engle & Stacey Campbell, Revival Now! Resources,
Prayers for X-Treme Disciples defies categorization. Though music is a
part of the disc, it only touches the surface of what is intended by this offering. Prayer, praise, Scripture and prophecy bellow from the heart of this project.
Through the passionate lead of Lou Engle, who is on the pastoral staff at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif., Prayers for X-Treme Disciples resembles the revival-based Pentecostal meetings that have marked the current worldwide evangelistic explosion. The project could best be described as Scripture-rich prayers marked with exuberance and life.
Engle’s delivery, with his raspy and emotionally thick vocal quality, is moving. Etched over an energetic and creative musical backdrop, Engle pours his heart out on each section, mixing scriptures with prayers of forgiveness, supplication, conviction and dedication.
There are also three prophecies included by Stacey Campbell. The words of this disc are honest, touching and at times piercing in truth and very much grounded in Scripture.
Make no mistake: This is not and has no intention of being a musical offering. It is really just as its title implies. Prayers for X-Treme Disciples is currently in bookstores; in coming weeks a follow-up disc will be released called The Elijah Revolution.
Published by Revival Now! Resources, both of these discs are clearly focused on bringing a message against apathy in our Christian walk and, perhaps, challenge the listener to go deeper with the God whom they serve. –Doug Joseph
The last four years have been a whirlwind for Darwin Hobbs. In 1996, he traded in his job at a Cincinnati department store to pursue a music career in Nashville, Tenn. Since then, he has gone from touring as a backup vocalist with Michael Card to launching a successful solo career.
Now he’s being described as “the Luther Vandross of gospel” because of his smooth, soulful voice. But with his growing popularity, Hobbs is keeping his focus “vertical.”
“My heart is one of worship; that’s just where I live,” says Hobbs, 31. “I want there to be this progression toward me becoming a praise and worship artist.”
His latest release, Vertical, has an intentional lean toward worship, a slight departure from his previous disc, Mercy, which had a contemporary gospel flavor. “Every song strategically was written in a vertical context [to point listeners to God],” Hobbs says.
Though he sometimes feels a tug to entertain rather than minister, Hobbs hopes future projects will follow Vertical’s lead. “The next record will represent where I’m living,” he says. “I spent too much time developing my horizontal relationships. But [the Lord] told me, ‘If you nurture your relationship with Me, everything will fall into line.'”
With his Luther-like voice, Hobbs has attracted some mainstream listeners. But his gaze is fixed in one direction. “I’m trying to stay focused on what God wants to do in my life.”
–Adrienne S. Gaines