A glad obedience : why and what we sing /

Publication Type:



Louisville, Kentucky : Westminster John Knox Press,, United States, p.xvii, 211 pages ; (2019)

Call Number:



Church music, History and criticism., Hymns, English, Protestant churches.


Includes bibliographical references and indexes.Part 1. Why we sing -- Psalm 104 -- Psalm 107 -- Psalm 105 -- Psalm 106 -- Part 2. What we sing -- Blest be the tie that binds -- God of grace and God of glory -- He who would valiant be -- Holy, holy, holy -- I sing the mighty power of God -- Jesus calls us o'er the tumult -- Love divine, all loves excelling -- O for a closer walk with God -- O master, let me walk with thee -- Once to every man and nation -- Praise, my soul, the king of heaven -- Sparrows as models of faith -- Sparrow song one: God's eye is on the sparrow -- Sparrow song two: God of the sparrow -- Sparrow song three: someone asked the question -- We are marching in the light of God -- Conclusion: The covenantal fidelity of the Psalms.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).