Archive for March 31, 2011

Mar 31

Clarus: Moody Publishers to Give Away Book, “Reverberation”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

One reason to join us for Clarus ’11 is a new tradition of book giveaways. These giveaways are the kinds of books we want you to have from the kind of publishers we are happy to recommend.

One of our giveaways this year is by Jonathan Leeman called, Reverberation, complements of Moody Publishers. On Sunday, Ryan preached from Colossians 3:16-17 where we are commanded to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” What follows is a quote from a chapter of Leeman’s book on the centrality of Scripture in our singing.

What I Behold

We’re singing the sixteenth-century words of “A Mighty Fortress”, and I notice a woman who was recently assaulted now sing with all her might of a “bulwark never failing.”

We’re singing the eighteenth-century words of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and I’m heartened by the older saint who has persevered in the faith for decades, still singing, “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”

We’re singing the nineteenth-century words of “It Is Well with My Soul,” and I look out and see the middle-aged brother struggling with discouragement over his fight against sinful anger now raising his voice to shout, “My sin-oh, the bliss of this glorious thought: my sin, not in part, but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more; Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.”

We’re singing the twenty-first century words of “In Christ Alone,” and I see the talented young mother who is tempted to regret what she’s given up to have children now exult in her new ambition: “In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song.”

As I sit, look out, and behold, my own praises to God are strengthened by the stories and songs of others. My faith is invigorated and enlarged by His work in them.

The Echoing Word

Christians in our churches sing because their new hearts can’t help but echo the Word that has given them life. Whether those songs were written in the sixteenth century or today, they should echo Scripture. If there is any place where God’s Word should literally reverberate, it should reverberate in the church’s songs. Remember, Scripture alone gives life. Therefore, a church’s songs should contain nothing more than the words, paraphrases, or ideas of Scripture.

And Christians sing together because it helps us to see that our hearts’ praises, confessions, and resolutions are shared.  We’re not alone. Singing in the church, I believe, is about listening as much as it’s about singing. So Paul commands us to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19 NIV). If I’m to speak to others in song, I’m to listen to others as well. In fact, I do sometimes stop singing just to listen and thank God for the voices around me!

You might think of the dim and temporary unity all the home team fans experience as they root for their team at a football game. Together they rise to their feet and cheer.

How much more should a church of Jesus Christ, both enjoy and display its unity when it sings! These brothers and sisters share our new identities, our Lord and Savior, our comfort and support, our hope and our joy. You’re with them, they’re with you, and we’re with Him.

That’s a good word and we’re grateful to Moody Publishers for this complementary book giveaway.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t purchased your ticket for Clarus, you can do so online.