Hymn Histories: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above

Johann Jakob Schütz (1640-1690) was eight years old at the conclusion of the Thirty-Years’ War, during which Germany was the battleground on which Europeans fought for political power with religious zeal. This war and several smaller conflicts during the 16th and 17th centuries are often lumped together under the rubric of “Wars of Religion.” But as … Continue reading Hymn Histories: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above

Hymn Histories: All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name

This is what you might call an open source hymn. The text of the first stanza was originally published by “Rock of Ages” composer Augustus M. Toplady in his Gospel Magazine in 1779. One year later the same magazine published an eight stanza version of the hymn under the title, “On the Resurrection. The Lord is King.” … Continue reading Hymn Histories: All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name

Alcuin to Charlemagne: Speaking Truth to Power

"Faith is, as St. Augustine teaches, born of will, not compulsion. A person can only be attracted into Christianity: he can never be forced. If a person is forced to be baptized, it is useless for engendering true faith, except in a baby. An adult must be able to answer personally for his own beliefs … Continue reading Alcuin to Charlemagne: Speaking Truth to Power

Missing the Middle

Courage Comes from Rightly Formed Loves In The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis famously warns that we are creating "men without chests." Though this phrase is often coopted by a sort of MMA brand of "manly Christianity," taking it out of context to advocate for a simplistic real-men-don't-cry, pec-thumping evangelicalism, that is the last … Continue reading Missing the Middle