Mar. 22, 2022

Good Hymns Should Be Good Theology


I'm no longer Lutheran, but my old hymnal figures DAILY in my devotional life. Here's why.

The Radical Call of Christ - Better Reflected in Good Hymnody Than By Most “Theologians”

Mt 16:24-27. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me, for whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and He will reward each according to his works...’”

This old hymn I grew up with says it better than any sermon I ever heard. It’s called “Come, Follow Me, The Savior Spake.” Composed in the 1600s. These old hymns make impressions with their poetry far greater than any lecture. If you love good hymnody, you do well. So called “Christian Contemporary” cannot hold a candle to any of these!

This is from The Lutheran Hymnal #421.

The 4th and 5th verses really nail it. Good hymns contain worthy theology and are Scripture based. That is one of the treasures of older hymnals. They will include the Scriptural references. One could go through the old TLH and use one hymn per day as devotion!

“I teach you how to shun and flee What harms your soul’s salvation, Your heart from every guile to free, From sin and it’s temptation. I am the Refuge of the soul And lead you to your heavenly goal.

“Then let us follow Christ, our Lord, And take the cross appointed, And firmly clinging to His Word, In suffering be undaunted. For who bears not the battle’s strain The crown of life shall not obtain.”

No hyper grace there! This is what I grew up with, and it formed a balanced theology that explains how we are to live as new creations in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!


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