Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Talk Thursday: Then Sings My Soul 3

It's no secret that I love music. And I love the history behind any and every song ever written. Songs had to come from somewhere, some inspiration -- my husband has written a handful, and I know the story behind each of those (his are almost always based on a specific Scripture passage).

Then Sings My Soul: Book 3 by Robert J. Morgan has the subtitle of "The Story of Our Songs: Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith." I have a copy of Book 1 as well. And I must say I love these books. Book 3 includes 50 devotional-style stories about various hymns from AD 100 through 2001. Honestly, most are hymns I am unfamiliar with, but each contains a hymnal-like page with the lyrics and melody so I could learn them if I wanted to!

What really sets Book 3 apart from the other two by Morgan is the "History of Hymnody" in the beginning of the book. He talks about how hymns and styles have changed, including Biblical, Ancient, Medieval, German, and English hymns to Gospel songs and Contemporary Praise. Change is not a bad thing, though music styles within the church are one of the most frequently argued-about issues.

I really enjoyed the very last section of the book called "Hymning in Private and in Public", specifically the chapter called "In Public: Old New Praise - Why We Must Embrace Interwoven Worship." Morgan talks about the importance of blending our music in corporate worship. I read a portion from this chapter during devotions at one of our music team practices, it spoke to me so strongly.

Our church makes a conscious effort to include both older hymns and modern praise songs in every single service. We utilize an organ and piano, as well as guitars and drums. This last chapter is everything I ever want to say to those within our church (and other churches too) who complain about either a) "I don't like those old hymns" or b) "I don't like those new songs". I could type quotes from this chapter till you stop reading because this post is getting too long... But I'll only give you two:

"If worship unites the entire family of God - past, present, and future - isn't it appropriate to intertwine the ancient with the modern? When I sing the Doxology, I'm joining in an exercise of praise known to my grandparents and great-grandparents. When I sing the newest upbeat chorus from a praise-and-worship band, I'm joining voices with my grandkids."

"Let's be Old New worshippers. Support your worship leader. Enjoy the drums. Retain the organ if you can. Learn the new songs, and adapt to them with grace in your heart. And don't let the great hymns of the church fade away."

That chapter alone is enough for me to give this book a 5+ star rating. This book would be a great devotional for a music lover or a church praise team. So go get it. Read it. Especially the last chapter. And pass it on to whoever organizes and plans the music within your church...

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on this book. My hubbie joined our church worship team this fall as their drummer, so I will be recommending this book to him. I am not a huge fan of the old hymns, but this may change my mind!

  2. That does sound like a very interesting book. I also like the histories of music. And it sounds like this book came to you at the perfect time, too!


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