Hymnology

New Creation #1: "Come, Christians One and All, Rejoice" (Martin Luther)

New Creation #1: “Come, Christians One and All, Rejoice” (Martin Luther)

First in a series featuring songs from my CD New Creation. For more information, read this link. The Song   Behind the Song The story of Martin Luther (1483–1546) is familiar to anyone who knows even the slightest bit of church history. A German peasant turned Franciscan monk, Luther searched desperately for an authentic grace-based […]

John Newton: Without Me You Can Do Nothing

John Newton: Without Me You Can Do Nothing

t would be hard to imagine a more remarkable journey to grace than the one John Newton took. A hard-living, reckless, profligate young sailor in the 18th-century British slave trade, Newton openly blasphemed God and actively influenced others to abandon their faith. His life led steadily downward until he wound up enslaved and abused by […]

Recommended Reading: The Trinitarian Theology of Keith Green (by Fred Sanders)

Recommended Reading: The Trinitarian Theology of Keith Green (by Fred Sanders)

“Thank You, O my Father For giving us Your Son, And leaving Your Spirit till The work on earth is done.” Over at Scriptorium Daily, theologian Fred Sanders (author of the new Crossway book I’m still itching to read, The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything) treats us to an exploration of the trinitarian […]

Recommended Reading: Chaplain Mike on Worship

Recommended Reading: Chaplain Mike on Worship

Over at the redoubtable Internet Monk blog, Chaplain Mike (carrying on for the sainted Michael Spencer) just posted a splendid piece about worship. It’s exceptional, in all the many meanings of that word. He emphasizes the necessity of congregational involvement and the false dichotomy of “form vs. freedom” (because every service has a form!). I […]

Joy to the World (Psalm 98)

Joy to the World (Psalm 98)

“The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Psalm 98:4-8 One of our best-loved Christmas carols isn’t really about Christmas.(Technically, it isn’t even a carol.) It’s one of a set of paraphrases of the book of psalms, converted into hymn form by the 17th-century “Father of English Hymnody,” Isaac Watts: Joy to the world, the […]

John Newton: Degrees in Glory

John Newton: Degrees in Glory

Background: My brother, knowing my love for all things hymnology, got me a volume of the Letters of John Newton for my birthday this year. It’s less about the origin of hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and more about the amazing grace that made up a part of his day-to-day thought and discussion. In this […]

Practical Tips for Worship Leading

Practical Tips for Worship Leading

Originally published August 2006. These ideas are in a rough and unpolished form. I wrote them down one evening while they were in my mind for some reason, and since then several people have told me this was very helpful in their own work in worship music. This is still very much how I do […]