The CCEL Times 3.5 (May 1, 2008)
To view this newsletter on the Web, go to www.ccel.org/newsletter/3/5
In This Issue:
From the Director
Introducing the Hymnary
For the past several months here at the CCEL, we've been working on a new database of hymns and worship music. Do you want to search for a hymn text or tune? Find a hymnal that has it? Perhaps you are a worship leader and you would like to find a hymn on a certain Bible text or a setting of a tune in a different key.
These are some of the kinds of uses we support in the Hymnary. Jointly sponsored by the CCEL and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, the Hymnary currently has 14,225 hymns indexed, of which 2,986 have the full text of the hymn, and 4,977 media files including MIDIs, mp3s, notation files, and sheet music.
We're still working on the site—we have a new theme planned for introduction this summer and we're adding hymnals and other resources. We have improvements in mind for searching and other capabilities. We're going to add sheet music that can be played, transposed, and printed, and we also hope to support the uploading and downloading of media files such as scores and arrangements.
Because the Hymnary is still under development, this would be a great time for you to give it a try and send us feedback on how it could be improved. What features would make it more useful for you? Also, if you are interested in adding a hymnal, editing hymn or author information on line, contributing media files, or otherwise joining in the project, please contact us.
We hope and pray that in the end, this resource will ably serve worship leaders and the general hymn-loving public.
If you are a webmaster or a blogger, have you ever wished you could add a daily devotional to your site? Perhaps you've wanted to give users the ability to look up a word in Bible dictionaries/encyclopedias or research a Bible passage. The CCEL's new Webmaster Tools can help! They provide easy access to CCEL resources. Let us know if there are other tools you'd like to see.
Featured Book Group
Gospel of John Bible Study
One of the most popular Book Study Groups at the CCEL is the Gospel of John Bible Study. The group is almost halfway through this glorious glospel, but it's not too late to join in, or to go back and enjoy some of the discussion of earlier chapters. Here's an excerpt from moderator Justin Staller's posts on the opening verses of John:
John's Gospel opens with a sequence of grand and epic language. These passages are the subject of volumes and volumes of exposition, the objects of much theological wrangling and wrestling, and the foundation of several different theological perspectives. ... This passage, and the words that follow, really paint a picture of a preexistant Being of Divine status, the Word of God. Is this Word separate from the Being of God? "The word was WITH God." Or is this being One in God? "The Word WAS God." John seems to answer the question "Yes. Both." As I understand it, we could wrestle for centuries over the exact meaning of this passage.
Featured ClassicAdornment of the Spiritual Marriage by John Ruysbroeck (1293-1381)
By meekness the irascible or repulsive power remains unmoved, in quietude; the desirous power is uplifted toward virtue; the rational power, perceiving this, rejoices. And the conscience, tasting it, rests in peace; for the second mortal sin, Anger, fury, or wrath, has been cast out. For the Spirit of God dwells in the humble and the meek; and Christ says: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, that is, their own nature and all earthly things, in meekness; and after that the Country of Life in Eternity.
Classic Reflections on the Ascension
Although Christ's bodily presence was withdrawn from the faithful by the Ascension, still the presence of His Godhead is ever with the faithful, as He Himself says (Mat. 28:20): "Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." For, "by ascending into heaven He did not abandon those whom He adopted," as Pope Leo says. But Christ's Ascension into heaven, whereby He withdrew His bodily presence from us, was more profitable for us than His bodily presence would have been. First of all, in order to increase our faith, which is of things unseen.
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