Friday, 31 October 2014

Reformation Hymns


 Taking the liberty of publishing this direct message from my good friend Tony. Unable to use Twitlonger to DM back, I had to go down the open route in reply. My list was as follows:

1) A Mighty Fortress is our God (Martin Luther) 

How could you talk about Reformation hymns and not include this one? Luther actually wrote a number of hymns, but this is the one by which he will always be remembered. I think it includes the whole defying spirit of the Reformation as it struggled out from under the jackboot of Rome.

 2) Grace Tis A Charming Sound (Philip Doddridge) 

Summarising the "grace alone" sola of the Reformation. Quote Calvinistic too in its application:
"Twas grace that wrote my name in Life's eternal book." 

3) And Can it be that I should gain? (Charles Wesley) 

A great testimony hymn to the work of the new birth. As previously observed: I always feel that George Whitefield was breathing down Charles' neck while he wrote this one as it is quite Calvinist too. 

4) No more veil God bids me enter (Francis Bevan) 

Emphasing here the "Priesthood of all believers"  - another great Protestant doctrine. 

5) Jesus shall reign where'er the sun (Isaac Watts) 

Emphasising the  great Protestant emphasis on missionary work and world wide evangelism - which is still ongoing today.

 Plenty of other hymns out there which were worthy of a mention, but the question was set at five.

 Other posts on hymns:

* What are Fundamentalists singing about?  * Does God want your puff pastries? * Solid Hymns I love to sing * Charitee's great hymn from 1859 Ulster Revival (Graphic) 
 * "I'm glad I got lost.." Really?
* Fanny Crosby - Protestant hymnwriter



  1. great hymn choices. We sang a newish song yesterday (actually I only listened). Two of the words really bothered me. The name of the song is "Indescribable," and it is referring to God. Now of course His ways are past finding out (Rom 11:33). And yet we have a whole bible of 66 books which tell us about who God is, and we have His creation which declares the glory of God. Psalm 19:1 So He really isn't indescribable if you ask me. Then another word in the song says that God is "untamable." This is so far from biblical language about God that it offends me, frankly. I just wish we could use biblical words and biblical concepts, especially when referring to the One true God of heaven. Why try to come up with unique things to say (or sing) when there is so very much to say which is biblical?

    1. There is, of course, a while debate about singing hymns at all. I am happy enough to sing hymns, but the more Scriptural they are in their language, the better. There are hymns out there, even some of the older ones, that are relatively meaningless. Watts and Wesley especially could really blend the great themes into their hymns and leave you spiritually enriched for singing them. Thanks for dropping by..


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