God's Lyrics: Rediscovering Worship Through Old Testament Songs  -     By: Douglas Sean O'Donnell
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God's Lyrics: Rediscovering Worship Through Old Testament Songs

P & R Publishing / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

What a novel idea! Allow the songs of Scripture to inform and shape the songs that we Christians sing and, more, sing them to the Lord as he is revealed in the holy Scriptures. Novel? Yes, and also radical, as Doug O Donnell demonstrates, first, by uncovering the shared themes of the principle songs of the Old Covenant (themes also imbedded in the major songs of the New Covenant) and, then, by using these themes to analyze the content of today s most popular classic hymns and contemporary Christian choruses which, sadly, reveals their tragic discord with the inspired lyrics of Scripture.O Donnell s faithful expositions of the sacred songs coupled with his careful research and pointed analysis of the current church music, plus his recommendations, serve together to make God s Lyrics prophetic. In places (to borrow Bernini s Habakkuk and the Angel image from this book) the reader will grasped by the hair and elevated high to heaven and so see life below as it really is.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 12.00 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 1596381728
ISBN-13: 9781596381728
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

O’Donnell examines the significance of songs in the Old Testament and shows, in the light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, how the lyrics of God’s Word apply to congregational singing today.

Author Bio

Douglas Sean O'Donnell (MA, Wheaton College; MA, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) was senior pastor of New Covenant Church (PCA) in Naperville, Illinois, and an instructor for the Charles Simeon Trust. He is currently a senior lecturer at Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, while obtaining his doctorate.

Editorial Reviews

What a novel idea! Allow the songs of Scripture to inform and shape the songs that we Christians sing and, more, sing them to the Lord as he is revealed in the holy Scriptures. Novel? Yes, and also radical, as Doug O’Donnell demonstrates, first, by uncovering the shared themes of the principle songs of the Old Covenant (themes also imbedded in the major songs of the New Covenant) and, then, by using these themes to analyze the content of today’s most popular classic hymns and contemporary Christian choruses—which, sadly, reveals their tragic discord with the inspired lyrics of Scripture. O’Donnell’s faithful expositions of the sacred songs coupled with his careful research and pointed analysis of the current church music, plus his recommendations, serve together to make God’s Lyrics prophetic. In places (to borrow Bernini’s “Habakkuk and the Angel” image from this book) the reader will grasped by the hair and elevated high to heaven and so see life below as it really is. It is one thing to have the courage to engage in a hard-hitting critique of church hymnody; it is quite another to have the temerity and vulnerability to pen lyrics to fill the void. But O’Donnell has done just this. May his example embolden a gifted new generation of poet-theologian-preachers to help the church sing in concert with the Spirit-breathed Word.
For the Christian who has become a bit numb to the grand realities of God’s saving acts recorded in the Bible, Doug O’Donnell’s prescription is a healthy dose of the Songs of Scripture—the Songs of Moses, Deborah, Hannah, David, and Habakkuk. This book makes great medicine!
God’s Lyrics takes us back to the deeply theological and passionate songs of God’s people, graciously preserved for us in Holy Scripture – takes us back to the history of our faith and of the worship of God. We need to know this heritage which continues to shape how we think and feel and live before God and with one another. God’s Lyrics helps us understand our present situation and the deep need to worship the Lord with song and hymns and spiritual songs that extol in explicit and specific ways who God is, what He has done, and how we are to live faithfully before His face. And God’s Lyrics carries us forward as we seek to pass on to the next generation a glorious tradition of singing that will teach and edify and encourage our children and our children’s children. Doug O’Donnell has carefully and caringly unpacked the treasury of Scripture’s songs and provided a rich resource for all who aim to follow along the Bible’s own trajectory for the worship of song.
“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.”
I had the privilege of hearing the opening chapters as sermons at College Church in Wheaton, and find that they delightfully and powerfully preserve the preacher’s “voice” in print. Here are soul-searching expositions of some of the canticles of the scripture, the hearing of which creates a longing for something more in our congregational song. The canticle sermons are followed by a search for the biblical themes in the songs and hymns sung by today’s church. Here is no style-centered appraisal pitting new against old, or classic against contemporary. Rather, the lyrical content of the (presumed or arguably) most-sung hymns and songs of our day is held up to the mirror of the biblical examples. Both sources are found wanting in some respects, and both are celebrated when they measure up. O’Donnell argues – passionately, humorously, challengingly – that we must compare our singing to the scripture and take our cues from the songs of scripture. And he takes the risk of offering up some of his own texts, based on the canticles he has preached, as examples. Let these challenge preachers and musicians to do the same work, and usher in an era of canticle-driven songs for the people of God.
Irish evangelist, John Moxen, is correct - Christians who demand truth in the pulpit are often strangely willing to sing lies in their songs. God's Lyrics, is a sane and salient remedy for this dangerously prevalent condition. As one who prepares over a hundred corporate worship gatherings a year, I am supremely grateful for this practical resource. Doug’s compelling expositions and clear applications are well suited, by God’s grace, to transform both the Christian worship planner and his people. Finally, God's Lyrics, is a bracing challenge for both classic and contemporary Christian lyricists. Gratefully, it is also as a helpful primer, pointing the way forward toward a revival of song texts that are both biblically true and balanced.
In this timely work O’Donnell ushers readers into the treasury of biblical music and the world of contemporary Christian music. His sources for the former are five of my favorite hymnic compositions in the Old Testament. Extracting from these texts theological principles that might govern the music of formal worship, O’Donnell offers insightful commentary on the music that drives worship in many churches today. His expositions provide preachers with models of responsible exposition, and his analysis of contemporary trends in music offers musicians a helpful grid through which to evaluate their own ministry. Through it all O’Donnell pleads for music with integrity, that glorifies God and edifies and transforms his people.

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