Posted by: rcottrill | May 28, 2009

What’s This Blog About?

This is a blog site about Christian hymns.

Years ago, an edition of the Guinness Book of World Records estimated that close to a million hymns have been written in the last 2,000 years. That’s a lot of music! Obviously hymn singing is an important part of the services of the church, and of the lives of believers. Has been for centuries. Why? What’s it for? And are we getting the most out of it? (Or giving our best to it?)

My Purpose
The Bible says we’re to “Sing praises with understanding” (Psalm 47:7). In four words, that verse presents my basic goal: to share insights that can lead to more meaningful and effective hymn singing.

My purpose for these postings is to discuss the music we use in our churches–particularly our traditional hymns and gospel songs. To look at them in relation to what the Bible says. I write from a conservative evangelical point of view, with full confidence in the trustworthiness of the Word of God. I want the hymns that I sing to reflect that. I hope you do too!

Today – A Hymn Almanac
Today is something different, a unique feature of the Web log. To my knowledge it has never been done before. Each day’s posting will describe something that happened on that particular day relating to the history of our hymns and their creators. There may also be brief observations concerning the contents or meaning of the hymns.

Let’s Chat
Lord willing, in the days ahead, we’ll check out the background of the songs of the church and what they mean. Some of these songs will be old favourites for many of us. Some will be new discoveries. We can also discuss how they are used and why–and much more.

I encourage you to make this a dialogue. Then we’ll all benefit. We won’t always agree, but let’s respect one another’s right to have a point of view. As the saying goes, it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable! With that consideration, comments and questions are welcome!


Responses

  1. Bob, you have clearly defined the purpose of your new blog namely, “to discuss the music we use in our churches-particularly our traditional hymns and gospel songs.” A worthy and timely purpose indeed. Timely because many churches have inflicted a great deal of harm in their attempts to introduce songs that are more contemporary, more upbeat and more politically correct. Let me be clear, I like some of the new songs provided they are theologically accurate and truthful and lift my soul to worship and praise to the Lord. Sadly, I find some of them do the very opposite. Some contain little theology and seem to have the purpose of stimulating my emotions. They contain limited theology repeated over and over again. For me, I prefer to be lifted from my own self-awareness so as to be lost “in wonder, love and praise” of my Saviour. We can do this by making expression changes within the text of our traditional hymns and gospel songs rather than eliminating the great old hymns of faith altogether as some churches have done. Robert Schuller has succeeded in doing this. Why can’t we?

    • I do think the tide is turning in some circles Don. Churches that have gone the chorus route are discovering how shallow and repetitious they are, and are turning back to the hymnal. (May their tribe increase!)


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