Thursday, April 12, 2012
GOD'S NOT DEAD
When you take the CD out of its case you can read an article behind it written by Dr. Rice Broocks. It documents how people over the ages have concluded that God is dead: "Many thoughtful people who were influenced by Frederick Nietzsche (1900) and Karl Marx (1847) predicted that modern politics and economics would cause people to embrace atheism even as Christianity and thoughts of God would completely vanish from the world...In recent days scientists like Steven Hawking have tried to revive this non-belief in God by suggesting quantum physics has eliminated the 'need' for God." The article offers these words of hope: "The evidence is undeniable, and as millions of people continue to put their faith in Christ around the world, God is being revealed as the source of ultimate meaning and purpose. By humbling Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, God entered the natural world and experienced everything from the perspective of human beings. In this way, God demonstrated the real meaning of life: a personal relationship with the Creator."
Things start off with 'The King is Coming', a joyous sounding cry for revival: "Split the sky with Your glory/Bring to life an awakening/Burn away everything that's not for You/Hear our voices crying out/We won't stop 'til heaven's come down/We won't stop 'til every knee bows to You/And all our hearts will sing/Make a way for (2X)/Make a way for the King/The King is coming." The title track 'God's Not Dead (Like a Lion)' was written in 2010 by Daniel Bashta. It has an energetic chorus that conveys a bold faith: "My God's not dead/He's surely alive/He's living on the inside/Roaring like a lion." It is nice to hear Kevin Max's soulful voice in a supporting role on this track. Max, of course, was in DC TALK with Michael Tait back in the day.
'Your Love Never Fails' is a great dance pop number that draws on a couple of Bible verses. Romans 8:38/9 reads: "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus." Lamentations 3:22/3 reads: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." The song begins with these words: "Nothing can separate/Even if I run away/Your love never fails/I know I still make mistakes/You have new mercy for me everyday/Cause Your love never fails." 'Here We Stand' written by Seth Mosley and Jason Ingram is an upbeat song that is modern worship at its best. The song contains these very true words: "There's nothing like Your presence God (4X)."
'Savior of the World' continues the tradition of Newsboys songs about the importance of sharing the Gospel: "Christ the Lord overcame the darkness/He's alive: death has been defeated/For He made us a way/By which we have been saved/He is the Savior of the world/So we lift up a shout for His fame and renown/Praise the Lord (2X)/Jesus, Savior of the world/We must spread the word of His soon return/To reclaim the world for His glory." 'Forever Reign' written by Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan is a power ballad that features strings. It is also a song of surrender: "You are more, You are more/Than my words will ever say/You are Lord, You are Lord/All creation will proclaim/You are here, You are here/In Your presence I'm made whole/You are God, You are God/Of all else I'm letting go."
'More than Enough' is tranquil in nature musically compared to the previous tracks. It again shares the Gospel: "Man of sorrows, heart of mercy/Love raised high upon a cross/Dead to lead us to redemption/Man of sorrows, Son of God.../Lord of life in glory risen/Love has conquered both sin and grave/Heaven's gates are truly open/Lord of life, King of kings." 'Revelation Song' is the oldest song on the album. It was written in 2004 by Jennie Lee Riddle and has been covered by everyone from Kari Jobe to Phillips, Craig, and Dean. The version here starts off with heavy percussion and uses guitar to good effect. The ever familiar chorus is reverent: "Holy, holy, holy/Is the Lord God Almighty/Who was and is and is to come/With all creation I sing/Praise to the King of kings/You are my everything and I will adore You."
'Pouring it Out for You' written by Jared Anderson and Jonathan Lee makes these bold requests: "O for faith to rise/O my soul come alive/O my God You are all I need/O for feet to dance/O for a heart to romance/O for lungs to lift Your name so high.../My heart and flesh they cry out holy/Jesus be my one and only joy (2X)." The Newsboys cover version of the praise standard 'Mighty to Save' is probably my favourite version of the song. It is stirring and begins with these words that put us all on level ground at the foot of the cross: "Everyone needs compassion/Love that's never failing/Let mercy fall on me/Everyone needs forgiveness/The kindness of a Savior/The hope of nations."
'All the Way' includes these utopian words: "We're joining with You God/Everything You're doing/Your fire is in our hearts/Burning for the broken/We open wide our arms/A refuge for the hurting/Your mercy is our song/We're joining with You God." Unfortunately, in reality we are often more judgmental than caring, and we tend to rank some sins as being worse than others. The last song is 'I am Second'. The liner notes speak of the I AM SECOND movement: "It is simple, really. Jesus is first. Always and forever. I am Second is a movement that inspires people of all kinds to live for God and for others...I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?" Kevin Max adds his vocal prowess to the song. The words of the chorus sum up the theme of the album: "I'm second to One/Redeemer, the Way, the Light/I'm second to One/The Savior, no compromise/I'm laying everything at the foot of the cross/My pride, my life, my all/I am second to One/And He is second to none."
GOD'S NOT DEAD is a mighty fine praise and worship album. Michael Tait is settling nicely into his role as lead singer. I only wish the band had written some of the songs themselves. I'm rating GOD'S NOT DEAD 87%. For more info visit: http://www.newsboys.com/, http://www.inpop.com/, and http://www.iamsecond.com/.