Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

28 Hymns to Sing before You Die

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

28 Hymns to Sing before You Die

Article excerpt

28 HYMNS TO SING BEFORE YOU DIE, John M. Mulder and F. Morgan Roberts, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock - Cascade Books, 2014, Pp. 206 + xxi, pb, npi. Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens.

John M. Mulder and F. Morgan Roberts have prepared a sensitive worshipful volume of 28 Hymns to Sing Before You Die. It has a new Foreward by Eugene H. Peterson. This book is a pleasant surprise. Each hymn is presented with Mulder's intersting history of its lyrics and music. There follows an equally brief pastoralmeditation on the theology of each hymn.

The first hymn addressed is The Day of Resurrection, followed by All Glory, Laud, and Honor. That sets the course for this impressive little volume. The very last hymns are Crown Him with Many Crowns, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy, and The Church 's One Foundation. So now you have the code for this entire work. It is dominantly Christological, as is historic orthodox theology; however, there is an appropriately strong strain throughout of Theology Proper. If you do not remember what Theology Proper is, go back and read Louis Berkof's Systematic Theology.

This dual stream of Christology and Theology Proper is further illustrated by the fact that in the middle of the book Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah is immediately followed by All Hail the Power of Jesus Name. Hymns 9 and 10 in the collection are Our God Our Help in Ages Past followed immediately by O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, and Christ our Lord is Risen Today. You can see that the pattern persists.

Mulder is a Princetonian, consummate church historian, and former president of The Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, as well as the prime mover in relocating the headquarters of the PCSUSA from New York to Louisville, KY. …

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