Today’s review is of a book I almost didn’t request. I’m so glad that was an “almost.” Robert J. Morgan, pastor and hymn-lover, has written a series entitled Then Sings My Soul in which he shares a multitude of hymns and a one-page story related to each one. When I saw that Then Sings My Soul: Book 3 had been released, I honestly did not know if it was worth bothering to get. Morgan had already written the stories behind many of our favorite hymns, and we even own the special Christmas edition. But Morgan’s final contribution to this delightful series has a bit of a twist that makes it, in my opinion, the best book of the series.
- Part 1 takes readers through a whirlwind history of hymnody, beginning with Old Testament hymns and ending with a nod to current popular hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townsend. Understanding our heritage as Christians is so much more important than we often realize, and the development of our music is an integral part of that history. Although this is just a brief overview, it still definitely provides much needed information and a good starting point for deeper learning.
- Part 2 follows in the tradition of the Then Sings My Soul series, with over 50 hymns and their one-page stories.
- Part 3 is a deeper look. In this section, Morgan tells longer stories, beginning with a much fuller story behind the song “It Is Well with My Soul.” Morgan also gives a brief biography of hymnist Isaac Watts, the man known as the Father of English Hymnody and shares several other hymn-related stories at a level deeper than just one page – or beyond what a tie to just one hymn – could tell.
- The final section, part 4, is a beautiful addition to Then Sings My Soul: Book 3. It walks readers through the practice of worshiping through hymns, describing how hymns can impact our lives both privately and publicly.
- Finally comes the Epilogue. Morgan closes book three, and the series, with the message of the gospel. No hymn is in the least useful without the gospel message behind it. I can imagine no more fitting end to the trilogy.
Yes, Then Sings My Soul: Book 3 is, by far, my favorite of the series. I highly recommend the entire series, but if you can only pick up one, this would be the one I would recommend buying.
This book was sent to me by Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program in exchange for my honest review.