Good Monday to you!
This is the fifth in our Monday blogs for the Ascension Essentials series. The intent of these, again, is to stimulate further thought, discussion, and love of God and his world through what is below. I pray these are a blessing.
Heroes: John Newton and William Cowper
Yesterday I mentioned what is probably the most famous church worship song ever, John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”. This glorious song sprung from a glorious redemption story as Newton wrote it in response to God saving him from a life of despair, sorrow, and destruction as a slave trader. Newton wrote many hymns, several with one of England’s most well-regarded poets, William Cowper. Cowper struggled with mental illness but found rest and renewal in his life with God and his friendship with Newton.
If you want to explore further the importance of music and words the sui generis theologian teaching on these intersections today is a man named Jeremy Begbie. Dr. Begbie, a professor at both Duke Divinity and Cambridge, is both a systematic theologian and a concert pianist. These articles are great introductions to his work:
- And this book explores in depth the connections between God and music:
- This is a link to the FastCompany article on what music does to our brains:
- Here’s Bryce Harper’s walk-up music list.
- And lastly, this is another Lutheran Satire video, this one poking fun at Anglican hymns in a way that demonstrates an ignorance of the richness of past and present Anglican worship music … but is still dang funny.
- Click on this link or view the video below:
Questions to consider and discuss:
- What worship songs have been meaningful to me in my life with Jesus? Why?
- What type of worship music do I easily tend towards?
- What type might I need to try to stretch myself?
- If you were going to write up a worship service of 7-9 songs …. what would be on your list?