Friday, July 30, 2010

KC Worship Conference with Dr. Don Whitney and Ron Owens

I am really excited for this upcoming conference on Biblical Worship that is being hosted at my church in August. Don Whitney (who is pretty much the man) will be our main speaker alongside Ron Owens. It's an all day event that includes a BBQ dinner and there is no cost!

Dr. Don Whitney is the Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Back when Don was a professor at Midwestern here in Kansas City I was privileged to be present on a couple occasions when he taught and preached at a local church. His lessons on Spiritual Disciplines has had a lasting impression on me (especially actually resting on the Sabbath) and I often go to his website for his articles and advice on worship.

Ron Owens has worked alongside Henry Blackaby in worship ministry for many years and is the author of the book Return to Worship: A God Centered Approach. I ran across this excellent book about 10 years ago. It was a very key book early in my ministry that struck a pretty severe blow to my faulty understanding of worship. I am thankful to God that I read this book at a relatively young age (around 17 or 18) and I can definitely look back at that time period as a pivot point in much of my theology of worship and Ron's book played a large part in that. His website is here.

Not only will these men be in town for the Worship Conference but they will also be here for an ordination service for three men, including myself. Dr. Don Whitney will be preaching and Ron Owens will be leading worship. I am humbled at God's grace and gifts and am greatly anticipating that day.

If you live in driving distance to the KC area this is conference is definitely a must. If you live a little further out and need to stay overnight, contact our church (info below) and we'll point you to some good hotels or whatever you need. You will simply not find another Worship Conference in the Midwest of this quality for free.

Further Information about the Worship Conference:

WorshipKC10- Not for Wimps

A major conference on Biblical Worship will be held Saturday August 14 from 2 to 9 PM at Wornall Road Baptist Church. Our two featured leaders will be Dr. Don Whitney of Southern Seminary and Ron Owens, who for many years was the ministry associate to Henry Blackaby.

WorshipKC10 is an ideal conference for pastors, worship leaders and their ministry teams, and will benefit anyone who desires to learn more about Biblical Worship.

We are passionate about worship and helping others learn about worship so there is no cost for this event and a BBQ dinner with our two speakers is included. The conference and the dinner are free so come hungry for the Word and hungry for some excellent KC BBQ!

Please respond via Facebook or contact the church office at 816.444.8900 or so we can have a headcount for dinner. And be sure to check out for more info!

And be sure to stay tuned, I'll be posting the upcoming Schedule for the conference soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog Partners with Westminister Bookstore

I am happy and honored to announce Sound Doxology's new partnership with Westminister Bookstore through their Blog Partners program. Through this program Westminister Bookstore has given me a personal address so that I may link to their website from my blog.

The program is actually pretty cool, especially for this blog. It gives me the opportunity to show you guys some awesome resources and books offered by Westminister Bookstore (something I have done and would have done anyway) while at the same time giving me the opportunity to earn credit at their store. I earn credit when readers click the links I post from Westminister Bookstore. You can read more about it here.

Here's the deal. Even before this partnership Westminister Bookstore ( was the place I went to for two reasons: selection and price. You will not find junk here. Everything they carry is solid theologically. You can trust what they carry is the best. And they carry the hard to find books too! Books like this. Not only that, but you really can't beat their prices. When I first discovered Westminister Bookstore a few years back I was on the lookout for The Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries. I couldn't find the leather bound edition anywhere for under $60. But was selling it for under $40! (and they still are...)

I'll add this too. Last year, when I purchased Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell they sent along with the book a CD and a letter explaining that Bryan Chapell had recently preached at Westminister and they thought that I'd also enjoy his sermon. I don't know how common it is for them to send along free stuff with the purchased product, but I really liked that they did that. I think it speaks to the integrity and character of those who run the store.

All of that just to say that I really do like and use and recommend Westminister Bookstore. They aren't telling me what to advertise and I wouldn't recommend anything to you that I didn't personally use or trust.

I'll be straight with you. I love me some free books. But I also love to give my readers good information regarding worship and all things related to sound doxology. So this partnership is a win-win situation. So if you're looking for a place to find some good books please consider stopping by Sound Doxology first, clicking the links for books and other resources I put up here on the blog (and not just the ones from wtsbooks either!). They are solid resources; resources I have and would have recommended anyway. And it'll help me out a bit too. (It'll help me save up for the awesome 6 volume collection of The Works of John Newton!)

Many thanks to Westminister Bookstore for such an awesome idea!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Give 'Em Watts, Boys!"

“The Battle of Springfield” - June 23rd, 1780
Six-thousand British troops invaded New Jersey with full force. The opposing American forces were outnumbered 5 to 1. The British slowly pushed the Americans back, deeper into Springfield, New Jersey. Despite being pushed back the American defense was holding and the British were taking a beating. But during the battle the American troops ran out of wading for their muskets. This would have likely been their downfall had it not been for the quick thinking of Rev. James Caldwell. Caldwell and his men fell back to a Presbyterian church and Caldwell ran inside gathering all the hymnals he could find—which were at that time Isaac Watts’ editions—and began flinging them to the men, yelling as he did so, “Give ‘em Watts, boys! Put Watts into ‘em!” and instructing them to “fill the British with doctrine from the hymnals.” The battle waged on and the British eventually retreated and never invaded New Jersey again.

"Give 'Em Watts, Boys!"
Two things pop out at me when I read that story. The first is that it is such a good story it is almost unbelievable. It seems like it comes directly from a Hollywood script. But the story is true and very well documented. In fact the phrase “Give ‘em Watts, boys!” has lived on as a motto in that region.

The second thing that hits me is how that motto could (and should) be used today in the church. I want to revitalize it and give it new meaning. I want to use it as a new battle cry, but this time instead of using it to inspire men to pump Red Coats full of lead I want it to inspire men to use and continue using the great hymns of our faith. I have yet to encounter any songwriter or lyricist who can capture the gospel in poetic English the way in which Watts, Wesley, Newton and other hymn writing giants have done. This is not to say that we should only sing Watts and those like him (though we would hardly be at a disadvantage if we did), but rather we should not abandon the songs and hymns these men have given to us. I am all for writing new music and new words. Every generation should do it! But I am not for discarding that which has come before us, as is the unfortunate habit (or is it philosophy?) of many churches. I am convinced that a church’s theology is more likely determined by the songs they sing rather than their written statement of faith. And at a time when many churches are considered trite or flippant or even weak, a little Watts could serve as a shot in the arm, maybe even a catalyst for change.

If I had a group of worship leaders, pastors or any manner of church leaders before me, I would encourage them to either bring back or continue steadfastly using the old hymns for their congregations. I would bark at them like a General, “Load ‘em up with Wesley!” “Put Newton into ‘em!” “Give ‘em Watts, Boys! Give ‘em Watts!”