Press Release: Renovating Holiness

PRESS RELEASE
February 2015
“So proud to be part of this new book examining  holiness for a new generation.” -Rick Lee JamesRenovating Holiness Cover Page

Thomas Jay Oord and Josh Broward have published a book exploring what holiness means today. Renovating Holiness is comprised of more than 100 essays written by Millennial and Xer leaders in the Church of the Nazarene. Book contributors live on various continents, and they express the message of holiness in fresh, contextually relevant, and winsome ways.
The 2015 SacraSage Press book portrays holiness through the eyes of a new generation of Christians. “We have much to appreciate about the past,” says co-editor Oord. “But today holiness looks significantly different than it did 100, 50, or even 20 years ago. We need fresh articulations of what it means to be holy.”
“We have inherited a doctrine of sanctification that our grandparents built,” says co-editor Broward. “But their language doesn’t work in today’s world. And their thought structures feel cramped. Renovation is a must.”
Contributors to Renovating Holiness includes reflect various ethnicities, genders, and geographical locations. Contributors hail from more than 30 countries, and they represent the greatest diversity of Nazarenes ever included in one book.
Millennial and Xer essayists describe the holy life in conversation with scripture, cultures, and traditions. The book calls for changes in how we proclaim and live lives of holiness in the contemporary world.
“The reexamination of biblical holiness is the right and responsibility of the church in every generation,” says Church of the Nazarene General Superintendent emeritus, Jim L. Bond. “I commend Oord and Broward whose work can mark the beginning of this much needed discourse.”

Renovating Holiness can be purchased at renovatingholiness.com or on Amazon in print and electronic formats. Leaders in the Church of the Nazarene are encouraged to use the book to spark conversations among those they lead. A free group study guide is available, and discounts are given bulk orders.

Thomas Jay Oord is professor of theology at Northwest Nazarene University. He is the author of more than 20 books, a prominent theologian of love, and leader of various academic and popular projects exploring the most important questions of life.

Josh Broward is a pastor developing missional communities at Duneland Community Church of the Nazarene, an activist fighting human trafficking with Free The Girls, and adjunct professor at Olivet Nazarene University.

Renovating Holiness: The New Book

Renovating Holiness Cover Page

It is my great honor to be one of over a hundred leaders selected to write essays for a book called Renovating Holiness. I’m so grateful to editors, Thomas Jay Oord and Joshua Broward, not only for including me among these amazing leaders from around the world, but also for taking the time to put together such an unprecedented and needed resource for holiness denominations. In trying to figure out the best way to review a book like this with so many diverse authors, I decided the best thing to do might be to let the authors speak for themselves by including some snapshots from some of my very favorite selections of the book. I would encourage anyone to read this book but I especially would recommend it to young people who have become disheartened with the Church of the Nazarene, wondering if there is a place for them in a holiness denomination in the 21st century. I believe these essays will strengthen our journey as a follower of Christ and help us discover where we are as a denomination. As a minister in the Church of the Nazarene, I give you my highest recommendation.

www.RenovatingHoliness.com

These excerpts are by no means the only great parts of the book, they are simply moments that stood out to me while I was reading Renovating Holiness. I also included the first page of the essay I wrote, hoping that all of these excerpts will make you want to read more. These excerpts were written by

Brannon Hancock, Catherine Lebese, Chad Maxson, Craig Drurey, Dick Eugenio, Donnie Miller, Emily JoAnn Haynes, Frank Mills, Greg Arthur, Hank Spaulding, Jacob Lett, Jamie Gates, Janine King, Jason Rowinski, Joe Gorman, Jon Middendorf, Megan Pardue, Michael Scarlett, Myra Oomit, Nathan Napier, Rick Lee James, RJ Strickland, Rusty Brian, Ryan Patrick McGlaughlin, Ryan Scott, and Thomas Jay Oord.

You can also hear a conversation I had with editor Joshua Broward on Episode #132 of the Voices In My Head Podcast.

Voices In My Head Pocast #132 Promo Pic

LISTEN HERE:

Excerpts:

Rick Lee James

Rick Lee James

Thomas Jay Oord

Thomas Jay Oord

Ryan Scott

Ryan Scott

Ryan Patrick McGlaughlin

Ryan Patrick McGlaughlin

Rusty Brian

Rusty Brian

RJ Strickland

RJ Strickland

Nathan Napier

Nathan Napier

Myra Oomit

Myra Oomit

Michael Scarlett

Michael Scarlett

Megan Pardue

Megan Pardue

Marco Velasco Sosa

Marco Velasco Sosa

Krista Klosterman

Krista Klosterman

Keith M. Devenport

Keith M. Devenport

JR Forasteros

JR Forasteros

Joshua Sweeden

Joshua Sweeden

Jon Middendorf

Jon Middendorf

Joe Gorman

Joe Gorman

Jason Rowinski

Jason Rowinski

Janine King

Janine King

Jamie Gates

Jamie Gates

Jacob Lett

Jacob Lett

Hank Spaulding

Hank Spaulding

Greg Arthur

Greg Arthur

Frank Mills

Frank Mills

Emily JoAnn Hanes

Emily JoAnn Hanes

Donnie Miller

Donnie Miller

Dick Eugenio

Dick Eugenio

Craig Drurey

Craig Drurey

Chad Maxson

Chad Maxson

Catherine Lebese

Catherine Lebese

Brannon Hancock

Brannon Hancock

Podcast #128: Week One of Advent

Podcast #128

This week on Voices In My Head Rick talks about the Christian Calendar and why Advent is the best time for Christians to say Happy New Year. This Podcast also features Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing). Free Sheet music for this song available below and at www.RickLeeJames.com/FreeSheetMusic and you can watch the YouTube video below.

 

Advent Hymn Lead Sheet Pg 1

What Is A Hymn? Do You Know?

WHAT IS A HYMN? DO YOU KNOW?

 

What is a hymn? If you ask that to a room full of Christians, no matter what age, you will get a room full of various answers. I’m not sure that most people really know. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what a hymn is, but I’m just not convinced that most people could give a satisfying definition if asked. St. Augustine defines a hymn as “praise to God with song” and most of us would probably agree with his definition, but doesn’t it seem like there is a little bit more to it than that? If a hymn is simply a song of praise to God then isn’t every song that praises God a hymn?

Earlier this year I published a book on the Psalms called Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through The Psalms. I feel like the Psalms are relevant to any conversation about what a hymn is because the book of Psalms is one of the oldest songbooks that we have. In fact, similar to Augustine’s definition of a hymn, the Hebrew title for the Psalms is the word ‘tehillim’, which means, ‘Songs of Praise’. Form Criticism pioneers like Hermann Gunkel have helped us to see that the Psalms are much more related to the corporate worship of Israel and Judah than to the individual meditations of a pious person. Form criticism has also shown us that the best way to understand how a psalm was used in corporate worship is by identifying its literary form.

There are certain Psalms that are categorized as hymns and lucky for us they are the simplest form of Psalm to identify. The hymns in the book of Psalms all follow the same general structure:

  • An initial call to praise God
  • Reasons for giving praise to God
  • A renewed call to praise (conclusion)

While the hymns in our pew racks may not precisely follow that threefold pattern to a tee, we can observe two indisputable facts about hymns from the book of Psalms. Hymns are intended to be sung by the community of believers, and hymns give praise to God. Hymns aren’t truly hymns unless they are sung by the people, for the praise of God. Hymns take the focus away from us and they help the body of believers to understand that they are not the focus of God’s story, rather God is the focus of His story, and He is calling his people to journey with Him, with praise as their banner.

With this in mind, I have started a new endeavor which has to do with hymn, a hymn project if you will. I am a musician, songwriter, independent recording artist, and worship leader by trade and calling. Over the last 15 years I feel like God has been expanding my understanding of worship and I have seen that hymns are essential to the life of authentic worship in the community of believers.

Because of this, I am making hymns the focus of my next album. Every song on this album will conform to the above definition of a hymn. Each song will be focused on the praise of God, and each song is intended to be sung by the people of God together in worship. Each song is written, co-written, or re-written by me and other songwriters (Eddie Kirkland, Andrew Greer, Ted Rastatter, etc.) who are passionate about helping the church recapture its hymnody. Because of the communal focus of this project, I’m also hoping to create a companion documentary film and songbook to be used by local churches across the globe. God has already opened many doors for me to get this project in motion, not the least of which is sending five time Dove Award winning producer Craig Adams my way with an offering to produce this record. However, we still believe that there are more doors to be opened.

This is, without a doubt, the biggest endeavor I have ever taken upon myself. Appropriately enough, like a hymn, it cannot be accomplished by me alone. I simply lack the resources on my own and I need the help of the community. Thankfully God has provided a community called the church. If you are reading this article and are feeling led to help, we are simply asking for $5.00 donations. If God’s people can help us spread the word through social media about the this hymn project, we believe that we can get 6000 people to donate $5.00 each. If this happens then we can create what we believe will be an great resource to help churches sing together and focus on God, through hymns both ancient and modern. We are calling it the $5.00 Hymn Challenge, and we hope that you will accept.

We are also offering some great rewards for donors who go over and above this $5.00 challenge. To find out more simply visit www.GoFundMe.com/Hymns. You can also find many video links to share on social media at www.RickLeeJames.com/Hymns. Thank you for praying about this endeavor and for partnering with us on this hymn project. Together, with God’s help, I believe we can do this.

 

Hymn concert Fund Raiser_Facebook

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Worship Links Blog

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p style=”text-align:center;”>Rick Lee James Hymn Playlist

Free Book – Tips Will Benefit The Hymn Project.

noisetradebooks

 

All tips received for this book will benefit the Hymn Project -www.GoFundMe.com/Hymns

The Psalms: you’ve heard them read in church, adapted into worship songs and maybe glanced through them once or twice. But have you ever asked yourself what the message is behind this moving yet enigmatic book? Have you ever let the Psalms truly speak to you, or, to put it more accurately, let God speak to you through them? In Out of the Depths, singer and song-writer Rick Lee James invites you to do precisely that. Using a unique blend of personal stories, scholarship and pastoral insight, Rick walks you through the Book of Psalms in 10 deep and powerful chapters. He invites you to learn more, feel more and, above all, hear from God through the Psalms more than you ever have before.

Whether you’ve read the Psalms a hundred times or aren’t familiar with them at all, Out of the Depths is a book that will challenge you and help you to look at the Bible’s prayer book, the Book of Psalms, in an entirely new light.

Editorial reviews

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p style=”text-align:center;”>Hymn concert Fund Raiser_Facebook

Today, Rick Lee James “Changes” album is only $1 on BandCamp.com

 

Today, Download Rick Lee James’ Changes Album for only $1.00

All sales benefit the Rick Lee James Hymn Project so please tell your friends. 12 tracks for $1.00, …but you can give more if you like.

#throwbackthursday

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12 Tracks For A Dollar, Full Album Download

http://rickleejames.bandcamp.com/album/changes

This album features tracks with Brandon Sipes , Brannon Hancock , Brenda Spicer Thornberry-Crabtree , Mandy Holcomb, Shawn Alex, and more.

Also, we are still raising funds for the Hymn Project. It’s a record, a film, and a documentary we want to make in Nashville with Dove award winning producer Craig Adams. Click any of the graphics below for more information on the Project. You can also click this link. http://www.GoFundMe.com/Hymns

Take the $5.00 Challenge – Make The Record

Take the $5.00 Challenge - Make The Record

Take the $5.00 Challenge – Make The Record