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Archive for October, 2011

Oct 31

Reformation Day Resources

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Today is October 31, the anniversary of the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door and, thus, began what is known as the Protestant Reformation. So, today is Halloween, but it is also Reformation Day.

Around DSC we have a number of posters with the word “sola” in them, which is Latin for “alone.” These “solas” reflect the heart of the Reformation, and, indeed, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation is:

  • Revealed in Scriptures Alone (Sola Scriptura)
  • In Christ Alone (Solus Christus)
  • By Grace Alone (Sola Gratia)
  • Through Faith Alone (Sola Fide)
  • To the Glory of God Alone (Soli Deo Gloria)

With that in mind, here are a few resources to help you learn and share about what happened now almost 500 years ago:

  • Justin Taylor’s interview with Carl Trueman about the 95 Theses.
  • Carl Trueman’s five talks on the subject of the Reformation given during his visit to DSC for Clarus ’05.
  • The 2003 movie, Luther, which is a helpfully accurate portrayal of the story and the times.
  • Douglas Linder and Chris Castaldo have written helpful accounts of Luther’s trial at the Diet of Worms, the trial where Martin Luther refused to recant of his belief in the saving gospel revealed in Scripture. A 27 minute clip from this portion of the movie, Luther, is available here.
  • Max McClean’s audio overview of Luther’s trial, available on YouTube (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

Although it’s a little late to order a book or two for Reformation Day, it’s never too late to learn more about the Reformation. Stephen Nichols’ Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought, is a helpful introduction to Martin Luther. And for kids, there are two books worth picking up: Paul Maier’s Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World, and R.C. Sproul’s The Barber Who Wanted to Pray.


Oct 28

Elder Q&A Audio Now Available

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

The audio is now available for Wednesday night’s Q&A with DSC’s elders. If you weren’t there, give it a listen, and stop by DSC’s Leadership Page to get the faces and stories of the men who serve us as elders.

Next week we will post a blog with audio to specific questions and links to related resources. For now, here is a list of the major categories of questions addressed by the elders, with links to related pages around DSC’s website.

We hope the Q&A and these follow-up posts serve to unite our body in the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1).

Oct 27

Theology and Technology

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Many of you have iPhones. Many of you who don’t have an iPhone will get an iPhone. Many of you who don’t have an iPhone and don’t plan to get an iPhone probably have some roughly equivalent device to help you with life, play, communication, and work. Some of you will be offended that I said, “rough equivalent.” And, of course, some of you don’t care. All of us, though, leverage multiple technologies in a given day to do whatever we do.

Ten years ago our cell phones allowed us to talk. Then they allowed us to text. Now, if you can think it up, there’s probably an app for that. As Christians, we want to think christianly about all of life, including the tools we use to go about doing life.

Mike Cosper, Pastor of Worship and Arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY, has written a nice reflection on the meaning of technology over at The Gospel Coalition Blog in his article, “The iPhone as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.” Cosper’s closing paragraph sums up his reflection well:

Sometimes, Christians with a sympathetic view of culture (like myself) have a tendency to treat it all—including technology—as though it were neutral, but this isn’t the case. Like all of creation, the technological world bears witness to God’s glory and goodness with its undoubted helpfulness, its moments of beauty, and its occasional ability to inspire awe. But also like all of creation, it bears the stain and destructive power of sin, introducing us to whole new ways to destroy relationships, disrupt our lives, and distract from the glory we were created to behold.

Mike does a good job of helping us consider how the Christian worldview intersects with a part of life whose positive and negative effects are difficulty to discern or taken for granted.

Read the rest of Cosper’s article here.

Oct 20

Questions for the Elders?

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

Last week, we wrote about our upcoming Elders Q&A, taking place this coming Wednesday night, October 26, at 6:30 PM.

If you have any questions for DSC’s elders, this is a great time to submit them. If you don’t have any questions for our elders, this is a great time to think one or a few up. During this service, our elders will answer questions concerning a range of subjects: our operations, ministries, vision, church planting, and whatever else you come up with.

You can submit questions through the Communication Card on Sunday morning and drop them in an Offering Box, or email your questions to info@desertspringschurch.org.

Also, you may wonder why we collect questions in advanced instead of going with an open-mic approach. The elders collect questions in advanced to ensure coverage of issues in proportion to the church’s interest. This helps us make the most of our time. Often, there are recurring themes, and we want to make sure those are addressed thoughtfully and clearly. Any questions that are not addressed at the Q&A will be answered through the DSC Blog or email.

By way of reminder, the Elders Q&A is taking place on the evening when we would normally have our Lord’s Supper. Plan to come early, as DSC’s youth will still be serving our regular church-wide dinner at 5:30 PM. October’s Lord’s Supper will take place in both Sunday services on October 30.

Oct 19

Zach Nielsen Preaching this Sunday

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Preview

Many of you will remember Zach Nielsen, who served as DSC’s Minister of Music for a number of years, leaving in 2010 to help plant The Vine Church in Madison, WI. Zach preached on a number of occasions during his time here, and this Sunday he will be back at DSC and will preach in both services.

As you may know, Zach blogs regularly at Take Your Vitamin Z. Zach is also a talented jazz pianist and performs around Madison with his group, The Nielsen Trio. Zach is married to Kim and they have four children; Taylor, Autumn, Emery, and Mya.

Come on Sunday and bring a friend to hear faithful preaching from this much loved former DSC leader.

Oct 18

“Cause for Praise,” this Friday

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

A few weeks ago we published a blog announcing and introducing this year’s Cause for Praise concert. Ahead of the event, which is this Friday at 7:00 PM, I asked Drew Hodge, our music leader, to answer a number of questions about this year’s concert.

1) Briefly, what is “Cause for Praise”?

Cause for Praise is an annual night of worship through song. This year is our second year and we hope to continue hosting the event every fall. Our desire for the event is to have people from all over Albuquerque come and sing, fellowship, and worship our great God in a way that’s a little different from a usual Sunday morning service. This year will be special in that we are doing a living room, unplugged kind of set. The musicians will all be on the floor for a close, family-like environment. Our prayer is that people come in and feel at home.

2) We know that DSC is releasing an album at this year’s Cause for Praise of songs based on various Psalms. What’s the story behind this album?

Yes! We are releasing Psalterium, Vol. 1, an EP (Extended Play) with five Psalms that we have put to music. Psalterium is Latin for Psalter which is a collection of Psalms, and this is Vol. 1 of what we hope to be a series of volumes, Lord willing. The songs came from our songwriting community that we call the Writers Guild. It’s a group our DSC writers that meet once a month and share music that we have been writing and receive encouragement and critique. Earlier this year I challenged the group to take the Psalm that is the same number as the day they were born and put it to music. My desire was to have more Psalm songs to sing with the church. Psalterium was recorded here at DSC and is the result of that effort.

3) What was the song writing approach for this album, in working from the text of a Psalm to lyrics for a song?

I told the writers to stay as close to the text as possible while taking some liberty with the text to adjust for rhyme and phrasing, changing a word here and there, or taking out a word or two to make it flow with the music. What we didn’t want was a song based on a Psalm. We wanted to sing the Psalm as closely as we could while still making it musically accessible.

4) Last year’s Cause for Praise was later released as a live recording. Will there be a live recording and follow-up album this year as well?

We will be recording this year’s Cause for Praise just like last year, but this year we will be releasing the songs one at a time in the coming months, instead of making a live record. That will give us more time to work on each song, and they will be available through the DSC website in the months ahead.

Admission is free and open to anyone, so plan to come, and bring a friend. Of course, be mindful that this is a live recording if you are including your children and, as always, don’t forget to silence your cell phones. We hope to see you Friday night!

Oct 14

God, Water, and the Achi

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Mission

The Book of Psalms is rich with imagery. It’s rich with imagery because it’s a book of songs and prayers written about and to the Creator of everything we see.

Psalm 104 is perhaps one of the psalms richest with creation imagery, helping us to bless the Lord for His greatness revealed in and through everything that He has made. Just read verses 1-4:

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
– 104:1-4

Our Water Team is now wrapping up their current trip to the Achi in Guatemala. As they complete their trip, this psalm reminds us of God’s goodness and power on display wherever we find water:

He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
– 104:5-13

Thankfully, water is more than a sign of God’s goodness and power in the provision of physical life. We can bless Him because it is also a sign of His saving power and goodness in His provision of spiritual life. In Isaiah 44:3, God makes a marvelous promise: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.” That dry ground is us. When Jesus came, he fulfilled this promise, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37).

We should pray for God to use our team among the Achi, so that they may have water for physical life. But we should pray all the more earnestly that they may come to Christ and drink the water Jesus came ultimately to provide – water unto eternal life.

Visit our Global Missions Core Initiatives page to learn more about DSC’s partnership with the Rabinal Achi. There you will find information about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how you can be involved.

To hear Psalm 104 set to music, download Fernando Ortega’s “Creation Song.”