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Means of Grace for December 9: Lordship, First & Second Things, Bill C-4, Christmas Hymnals and more

Means of Grace 2021-12-09

We haven’t shared one of these in far too long! Here’s a new edition of “Means of Grace,” what we hope to be a regular summary of resources we think might be useful to us all, especially those related to our teaching and preaching.

More Shocking Than Christ: Why We Call Jesus “Lord”

Pastor Terry mentioned this article by Joe Rigney a couple of times this past Sunday. It’s particularly timely in light of our looking at the statement, “We believe…in one Lord Jesus Christ” in the Nicene Creed Sunday evening.

First and Second Things

Terry also mentioned an essay by C.S. Lewis on the importance of distinguishing between what is of primary and secondary importance and the risks of getting it wrong. The essay is titled “First and Second Things.” For a summary of Lewis’ point, here’s a post by the C.S. Lewis institute.

If you want to read the whole essay, it’s part of a larger collection of Lewis’ essays called God in the Dock. While many of Lewis’ works have passed into the public domain and so can be found as free downloads on the Web, this was published after his death and so is still under copyright—but it’s less than $6, so get it!

Rejoice and Tremble

Terry had a lot of recommendations this week! Another helpful resource he mentioned was Michael Reeves’ recent Rejoice and Tremble. For those who might be interested in the book, the first chapter is free to read here.

Thoughts on Bill C-4

On a more sober note, the Canadian Parliament just passed (in lightning-quick fashion) a “conversion therapy” ban. While Christians ought to be horrified by and opposed to abusive and coercive practices of the sorts alleged to be the target of this bill, the preamble makes some shocking statements that are utterly incompatible with Christian teaching and the definition of “conversion therapy” is so broad and vague that it could conceivably outlaw parental conversations and pastoral teaching intended to promote and reinforce a biblical sexual ethic. Some initial must-read articles on these developments are:

Religious Foundations of Bill C-4,” by Clint Humfrey  

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore: Reflections on the passage of Bill C-4,” by Paul Carter   

Speaking About Sexuality With Two Voices,” by Darryl Dash   

The Getty Christmas Hymnal

Back to matters of great hope and joy, the Christmas season is upon us! This is a fantastic giveaway at Getty Music; simply for signing up for their newsletter (no cost!) you can download a PDF hymnal of Christmas music, which includes 15 songs—mostly classic carols but also including sheet music for a couple of the Gettys’ more recent songs. AND, they are throwing in MP3 recordings on top of all that! Check it out here.

Another Free Hymnal! Hymns & Carols of Advent & Christmas

And while we’re on the subject of Christmas hymns, Scott Aniol, until recently a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has prepared a collection of 39 songs in a hymnal setting and made them available as a free download here!