Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

It is interesting how some are going back to the old hymns. In a church that has mainly young folk in Sydney, the person in charge of music told me that they only sing Amazing Grace and And Can It Be. No other old hymn is worth singing, he said.

But he admitted that the young people sang those hymns more lustily than all the modern ones.

A couple of years later, he is now enthusiastically using some of the old warhorses and the people are loving it.

I have lots of old hymnbooks, but I am shy about using some of the hymns I love, because I think people might think them too old-fashioned, too sentimental or too hard to understand.

We did not sing God Moves in a Mysterious Way when I was young, though I was aware of it.

But I got hooked on it listening to John Piper preach on it in his sermons on Ruth. One Sunday morning I used it, with a nice new tune from Sovereign Grace Music and got roundly criticised, because it was too hard to understand. But I think it has magnificent truths in it.

I sometimes think that instead of setting old hymns to new music, we should write new hymns expressing those grand truths in 21st century language.

David McKay


Webfoot said...

David, are you familiar with the Mars Hill praise teams?

David McKay said...

Not a fan, Webfoot.