A Glad Obedience: Why and What We Sing
The Christian practice of hymn singing, says renowned biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann, is a countercultural act. It marks the Christian community as different from an unforgiving and often ungrateful culture. It is also, he adds, an "absurd enterprise" in the...
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The Christian practice of hymn singing, says renowned biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann, is a countercultural act. It marks the Christian community as different from an unforgiving and often ungrateful culture. It is also, he adds, an "absurd enterprise" in the midst of the hyper-busy, market-driven society that surrounds us. In this helpful and engaging volume, Brueggemann discusses both why we sing and what we sing. The first part of the book examines the Psalms and what they can teach us about the reasons that corporate song is a part of the Christian tradition. The second part looks at fifteen popular hymns, including classic and contemporary ones such as "Blest Be the Ties That Binds," "God's Eye Is on the Sparrow," "Once to Every Man and Nation," "Someone Asked the Question," and "We Are Marching in the Light of God," and the reasons why they have caught our imagination. "To know why we sing," Brueggemann writes, "may bring us to a deeper delight in our singing and a strengthened resolve to sing without calculation before the God `who is enthroned on the praises of Israel' (Ps. 22:3).
John D, Witvliet (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and associate professor of music and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also teaches in the religion department at Calvin College.
John Witvliet is the author of The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Ecumenical Introduction and Guide to Resources (Eerdmans); Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (Baker Academic, 2003), and Dwelling with Philippians: A Conversation with Scripture through Image and Word (Eerdmans, 2010)
He serves as editor for two books series-the "Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series" (Eerdmans) and "Vital Worship, Healthy Congregations" (Alban Institute)-as well as co-editor, with Pearl Shangkuan, of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Music Series (GIA).
Dr. Walter Brueggemann (Th.D., Union Theological Seminary, New York:; Ph.D., St. Louis University) is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology and Interpretation at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA .
His award-winning Theology of the Old Testament (Fortress Press, 1997) quickly became a foundational work in the field. The Association of Theological Booksellers presented Walter Brueggemann and Fortress Press with a Theologos Award for Best General Interest Book at a dinner in Brueggemann's honor, for the award-winning book, Deep Memory, Exuberant Hope: Contested Truth in a Post-Christian World.
His recent publications include Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church, The Theology of the Book of Jeremiah, Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah, and The Word That Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship.