The CCEL Times 8.7 (July 1, 2013)
In This Issue:
From the Director
The Inspiration of Scripture
In an attempt to make it easier to find key literature from the CCEL on important topics, we are testing articles that survey a topic and list several important readings on the topic from the CCEL. This month's topic is the inspiration of scripture. Staff writer Tim Perrine writes:
Read more at the Inspiration topic page. And let us know if you find these pages useful or have suggestions for improvement!
"Ten Reasons Why Hymnals Have a Future"
John Witvliet summarizes the importance of hymnals stating that "Hymnals make several valuable contributions to Christian life today, in dynamic interaction with all the other ways we access and project music and information. Further, a hymnal is a valuable resource for all kinds of Christians, as well as congregational leaders, whether or not their congregation uses a hymnal in worship." In this article, Witvliet lists 10 reasons or uses of hymnals in today's Christian churches. Readers of this article might realize a greater appreciation for hymnals and for their place in church services.
These ten reasons that outline why hymnals are important relate to numerous aspects of worship, but clearly singing hymns is the main reason for using most hymnals. Witvliet concludes the article by noting that, "...hymnals like Lift Up Your Hearts do all [of these 10 things] while providing almost one thousand songs for around twenty dollars, or a mere two cents per song."
Read this article at the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship
What We're Reading
Psalms and Hymns of Issac Watts
Psalms and Hymns of Issac Watts brings together some of the best hymns by beloved hymn writer Isaac Watts. Watts, who wrote over six hundred hymns, had a penchant for incorporating strong theology into his hymns. Consequently, his hymns not only entertain; they also teach. Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts includes a hymn for almost every book of Psalms (and for many chapters, it has several hymns). It also has four hundred additional hymns and spiritual songs broadly arranged in three categories--hymns from Scripture, hymns on "Divine Subjects," and hymns for communion. It also contains many of Watt's more popular hymns--for example, "Joy to the World" and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." Many individuals find it pleasurable to read Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts alongside their devotions. You might also enjoy reading the wonderful hymns by the "Father of English Hymns!"
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
New Psalms Study Group
CCEL is starting a new, online study group on the book of Psalms, and we encourage folks who are new or inexperienced with online discussion groups to give this group a try. This study is not intended to be a highly academic discussion, but more an informal response to our feelings about selected Psalms. Participation should only require a few minutes per week -- less when participants can't find the time.
Contact Ken Verhulst if you have questions. Please join us in the online Psalms study!
Closeout CD/DVD Sale
CCEL CD/DVD CLOSEOUT SALE!!!
While supplies last, CCEL is selling the following CDs at huge markdowns.
CCEL version 4: $10 (regularly $35)
CCEL Classics: $10 (regularly $35 - only manually made copies available)
CCEL Commentaries: $25 (regularly $49)
CCEL Early Church Fathers $35 (regularly $89)
Visit the CCEL Store to place your order today.
"My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" by Isaac Watts (1719)
Psalm 23 remains the most well-loved and often recited psalm, and Isaac Watts' powerful paraphrase, coupled with the peaceful yet strong American folk tune, make this hymn a moving rendition of that psalm. Watts’ interpretation of the last line of the psalm, “and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever,” gives a new understanding to the original psalm: “No more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.” Watts gives us a concrete image of dwelling – a child, knowing he or she is safe and secure, and in a place of love and comfort – to help us understand what it is we hope for. The same peace we find in the pasture and by the stream, we find in the house of the LORD, to which our Shepherd is leading us day by day.
The Story of Our Hymns by Ernest Ryden
Ernest Ryden, a celebrated Lutheran hymnologist, shared the lore of Christian hymns across many times and cultures in The Story of Our Hymns. As well as in the published book, Ryden shared the history of Christian song on a radio show that aired in Minneapolis and St. Paul from 1928-1934. As Ryden aptly wrote: “To know the hymns of the church is to know something of the spiritual strivings and achievements of the people of God throughout the centuries." The Story of Our Hymns begins with the songs of the ancient and medieval Christians, following the development of the hymn as a genre all the way up to the Protestant Reformation. Then, he tells the story of Protestant hymnology in Germany and Scandinavia, which went on to influence Christian hymns throughout Europe and America. Ryden spends extra time to recount the history of the hymn tradition in England and America, out of which thousands of modern and contemporary hymns have come. Readers have celebrated the art of the Christian song through Ryden's Story, and we invite you to celebrate with us.