Music Monday: Martin Luther, Music, and A Mighty Fortress

Last week I was reading through some of Martin Luther's hymns. It's a devotional activity even to read through his hymns! Below is the excellent preface to Luther's first collection of hymns. I believe it is from the year 1524. After Luther's preface I'll put the words to an original version of what we now… Continue reading Music Monday: Martin Luther, Music, and A Mighty Fortress

War Hymns? Ambiguous Hymns?

In 1933 the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A published a completely new hymnal.  It was a significant event in the history of the PCUSA as it opened the door even further for liberalism and modernism.  J. Gresham Machen wrote a critical review of the hymnal in the December issue of “Christianity Today” that same year. … Continue reading War Hymns? Ambiguous Hymns?

American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

Around the turn of the 19th century, Christianity (and religion in general) was undergoing a change: it was becoming more and more democratic (a religion of the people, for the people, and by the people).  Not only did this democratization affect doctrine, ecclesiology, and piety, it also affected Christian and religious hymnody.  Here’s how Nathan… Continue reading American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

Can Johnny Sing Hymns?

I just got around to reading T. D. Gordon's new one, Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns.  In this book, he argues that many people today (a.k.a. Johnny) can't sing hymns because they cannot relate to anything but pop culture's contemporary music.  Since we're surrounded by the music of popular culture, our musical categories have been… Continue reading Can Johnny Sing Hymns?