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God's Lyrics: Rediscovering Worship Through Old Testament Songs Paperback – May 4, 2010
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"Doug O'Donnell has carefully and caringly unpacked the treasury of Scripture's songs and provided a rich resource." --Niel Nielson, President, Covenant College
"This book is unique: it combines the careful exposition of God's Word with creative work in hymnody. It will be appreciated by pastors, musicians, and everyone else who loves to worship God in the biblical way." --Philip Ryken, President, Wheaton College
"God's Lyrics is a bracing challenge for both classic and contemporary Christian lyricists . . . pointing the way forward toward a revival of song texts that are both biblically true and balanced." --Randall Gruendyke, Chaplain of Taylor University, Upland, Indiana
About the Author
Douglas Sean O'Donnell is Senior Pastor of New Covenant Church (PCA) in Naperville, IL. M.A. Wheaton College Graduate School, M.A. Trinity Evangelical Div. School
Top customer reviews
As John Macarthur says in his introduction to the CD Exalted Worship; "So often today we hear worship music that may be catchy, but it lacks a certain theological depth. Unfortunately, what it lacks in loftiness it makes up for with mind numbing repetition."
I was drawn to this book upon coming to much the same conclusion. This book, though a criticism, is not about any new technique in worship. In fact it's not about anything new at all; it's all based on Old Testament texts. What the author is calling us to is not only to preach from the bible as the ultimate authority, but also not to neglect the whole character of God in our worship. Is God's justice any less an admirable attribute then His love? Or are we ashamed that our God is a God of wrath? As Paul said in Acts 20:26-27: "...I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not neglected to declare to you the whole counsel of God." Are we learning from the songs that we sing? Are we worshiping the True and Living God? These are all questions the author attempts to answer using the Old Testament songs.
"Gordon Fee once said, 'Show me a church's songs and I'll show you their theology.' Today's most popular songs...show a theology that is un-Christian at worst and biblically unbalanced at best. Not only the texts, but also the themes of the songs of Moses, Deborah, Hannah, David, and Habakkuk are too often neglected. And such neglect has had its effect. By turning from substantive songs that well reflect these texts and themes to what Carl Schalk calls 'Twinkie Tunes with a Ding-Dong Theology,' a generation has gotten theologically fat and forgetful." (pp.176).
Pastor O'Donnell goes beyond merely criticism, but attempts to offer a positive remedy as well. For the final section, he takes each of the six OT songs, and has written original lyrics to them, set to some familiar hymn tunes. This I thought was a perfect conclusion to the book. Rather than merely showing how many of our hymns and praise songs were Biblical deficient, he offers a path for how to move forward and gives tangible, singable examples of what he hopes that God's people will do to improve and re-energize our musical canon. Here's hoping that this book is widely read, discussed, and applied in our churches!