A Glad Obedience

Why and What We Sing

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Walter Brueggemann
  • Louisville, KY: 
    Westminster John Knox Press
    , January
     2019.
     208 pages.
     $18.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780664264642.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Bruce Taylor forthcoming.

Description

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). 

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is the author of dozens of books, including Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, Journey to the Common Good, and Interrupting Silence.

Keywords: 

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