Yeshua In View
With the household of Israel our elders and young ones, linking and bonding the past with the future, we heed once again the divine call to service.

So begins the text of the new Seder, A Passover Haggadah, suggesting the purpose and history of the night ceremony that is to follow. Unwittingly, it also speaks for the theme of the two phono releases from the Messianic Jewish group “Lamb” entitled Lamb and Lamb II (Messianic Records, Box 37100, Cincinnati, Ohio 45222: see The Refiner’s Fire, November 8 issue, page 27). “Lamb”—the group—is Rick “Levi” Coghill, who is the arranger and producer as well as vocalist and guitarist, and Joel Chernoff, who does the composing and lead vocals along with background vocals and instrumentals. (Coghill is also the producer for the Jews for Jesus musical group, “Liberated Wailing Wall.”)

The two records complement each other. Side one of Lamb provides the background, using the image of God as “The Judge” and the woman who cannot forget her nursing child in “Hateesh-kach.” The song combines a cantor-like chant in English and a reiterated response in Hebrew quoting Isaiah 49:15 and 16 in a way suggestive of the cantor-choral interplay of the synagogue. The rest of side one affirms the Jewish hope for Messiah and unabashedly proclaims that Yeshua (Jesus) is he. Side two strikes a missionary note, as in the lead-off song “Time Is Running Out,” which uses a woodblock to tick off the minutes remaining to “bring in the children before their doom.”

In the sequel to the story, Lamb II questions and indicts the Jewish nation and pleads with it to consider Yeshua. From the hard-driving “Who Will You Blame?,” which demands that the listener “make your choice today: will you be in heaven or will you pay?,” to the peaceful assurances of “Comfort Ye My People,” an adaptation of Hosea 14:2–7, the listener hears God calling to his people. Lamb frequently uses the minor intonations of a droning cantor, updated to a folk-ballad effect. Throughout both albums and especially Lamb II, a subtle blending of the old cantor and folk modes with new instrumental and rhythmic effects imbues old Scriptures with new meaning. The adaptation of Psalm 47, “Clap Your Hands,” captivating in its use of instrumental effect and infectious rhythm, communicates victorious confidence in God. Surely David would have been dancing before the Lord on this number.

As at the close of the Seder, “Jerusalem Descending” looks to the hope of Israel, the return of Messiah and his kingdom. “Shuvee” points the way, and “Comfort Ye My People” gives the promise of healing.

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Both albums integrate old and new—whether in ancient and modern sounds, prophecy fulfilled and prophecy anticipated, Old and New Testament images, or an old voice crying in the twentieth-century wilderness. Lamb II shows a little more musical maturity, as well as an even stronger Jewish flavor. If a choice must be made, the scale is perceptibly tipped toward Lamb II.

Coghill and Chernoff obviously know that their mission is to their own people. They are carrying out that mission with rare talent that will surely be admired even outside Jewish circles. They affirm the covenant expressed in the closing lines of the Haggadah, “to the service of God, to a great purpose for which the people of Israel lives: The preservation and affirmation of hope.” But unlike the Seder, they celebrate the Link bonding the past and the future, “the glory of Yeshua … coming into view.”—PATRICIA M. BALSAM, librarian, CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

Discussing Three Thorns

The Anniversary, a half-hour 16mm film recently released by Family Films, focuses on three thorny problems: boredom in work, choosing a vocation, and arranging life’s priorities.

Mark Slade of TV’s “High Chaparral” plays the lead role of a young Viet Nam veteran, Mike Hobarth. An assembly-line worker at a large automobile plant, Mike voices dissatisfaction with his job to his pregnant wife and to his father, who has worked at the same plant for twenty-three years. Neither Mike’s wife nor his father can understand his frustration; each feels personally threatened by his unrest.

The situation explodes at the parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration, where Mike’s younger brother Joe openly challenges his parents’ values and their rejection of his own life-style.

Mike comes to Joe’s defense and unexpectedly announces his own decision to leave his job in order to pursue a more personally meaningful alternative. He calms his stunned parents by reaffirming his belief in work and responsibility and especially in Christ, who will undergird him in his new venture.

The unanswered questions posed by this film makes it ideally suited for church discussion groups of any age. This timely resource can be rented for $25 from Family Films, 5823 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, California 90038.—CAROL PRESTER MCFADDEN, editor, Canon Press, Washington, D. C.

Newly Pressed

Of the many records we have received since the last appearance of Newly Pressed (November 22 issue, page 22) six are worthy of mention. Some of them will be considered in more detail later. The first four are on a Word record label (Myrrh or Light). In the realm of good, original, contemporary Christian music, Word has no really close competitor.

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In The 2nd Chapter of Acts* with footnotes, the vocal trio of two women and a man (unnamed; MST-6526) has a soft, folk-rock gospel sound. Side two is more intriguing than one. For Petra, Bob Hartman does guitar, banjo, vocals; Greg Hough, guitar, mandolin, vocals; Bill Glover, drums, percussion; and John DeGroff, bass (MST-6527). The lead vocalist (either Hartman or Hough—not specified) sounds similar to Larry Norman, who records for MGM, and the opening cut on the album is definitely in the Norman style. “Back Sliding Blues,” the longest song on the album, is without question the best. The cover of Forgiven …, by Ron Salsbury and the J. C. Power Outlet (John Pantano, Dave Edwards, and Bruce Neal), shows fine imagination (MST-6528). All songs were written by Salsbury. The first solo album for Danniebelle Hall, Danniebelle (65–5638), highlights songs she has written. Andraé Crouch, with whom she has been singing for the past couple of years, helped produce the album.

Testimony, by Tom and Sherry Green, is available from Big Rock records (1836 South Ash, Wichita, Kans. 67211; HFS-228). Their sound is more country blues than the other five albums, and Sherry Green’s voice is well suited to that style.

Paul Clark’s latest album, Come Into His Presence, subtitled “Songs From the Savior, Volume Three,” features Jay Truax, John Mehler, Phil Keaggy, Mike Burhart, and Bill Speer (Sonrise, P.O. Box 7060, Van Nuys, Calif. 91409; SMC-007), some of whom have played backup on his two previous albums. The quiet, mellow sound is effective.


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