Tag Archives: poetry

Tozer on great Christian poetry

Tozer on great Christian poetry

In the preface to his Christian Book of Mystical Verse, A. W. Tozer writes, The hymns and poems found in here are mystical in that they are God-oriented; they begin with God, embrace the worshipping soul and return to God again. And they cover the full spectrum of religious feeling: fear, hope, penitence, aspiration, the longing… Continue Reading

Parallelism in Psalm 96

Parallelism in Psalm 96

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we looked at several aspects of how various poetic devices were used in Psalm 96 to shape the content and form the singer and listener. Many of these poetic devices are still used in poetry and hymnody today. The most common poetic device in Hebrew poetry is parallelism, which has been captured in… Continue Reading

How Poetry Forms Us

How Poetry Forms Us

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Singing both helps us express right affections to God in response to God’s character and works, and it also helps to form those affections when we make present through the art realities that are past, present, and future. But our affections are also formed by the art itself; in the case of Psalm 96, the… Continue Reading

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

A great explanation of the power of poetry, especially in communicating truth in ways that cannot be any other way: Poetry communicates primarily through images and association contrived by words or sounds. A well-written poem can often express the wrongness of abortion or the cruelty of slavery more powerfully and more persuasively than an articulate… Continue Reading

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Below are two works of Christian imagination. Both attempt to depict what it means for Christ to invite sinners to Himself, and how sinners should understand themselves. On closer examination, however, they are nearly opposite in meaning. We do not see the same Christ, the same Gospel and the same dilemma of the sinner in… Continue Reading

Psalm 130 – A Song!

Psalm 130 – A Song!

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It our discussion of Psalm 130, we have seen that it is a song of repentance, it is a song of corporate worship, and it is a gospel song. But notice the common word in each of these descriptions—this is a song! And because this is a poem that is meant to be sung, we… Continue Reading

A Better Way to Sing “Be Thou My Vision”

A Better Way to Sing “Be Thou My Vision”

The old Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision” is a favorite of many, but the way most Americans sing it weakens the poetic parallelism of the original. The beloved poem was originally written in Old Irish in the 8th century. Notice the repetition of “Rop” in the original verses below: Rop tú mo baile, a… Continue Reading

Beautiful Poetry Anthologies for Children

Beautiful Poetry Anthologies for Children

In honor of national poetry month, here is a list of my favorite poetry anthologies to use with children. A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (My favorite illustrated versions are by Tasha Tudor and Jessie Willcox Smith.) A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa A Child’s Treasury of Poems by Mark… Continue Reading

Good Friday

Good Friday

AM I a stone and not a sheep   That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,   To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss, And yet not weep? Not so those women loved   Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;   Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; Not so the thief… Continue Reading

Poetic analysis of hymns

Poetic analysis of hymns

Tim Miller has an interesting post over at the Detroit Seminary blog analyzing the text of Wesley’s “And Can it Be.” There is some good food for thought there, and I certainly appreciate the emphasis on making sure our hymns are theologically accurate, but I do think that we often miss the fact that hymns… Continue Reading

“Credo” by David Oestreich (1970-2017)

“Credo” by David Oestreich (1970-2017)

Yes, I believe in Him who is Almighty, Father, God, Who made all things in heaven, earth, Who made them very good. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, Begotten by the Spirit and Of Virgin Mary born; Who under Pontius Pilate’s hand Was scorned and suffered grief; Who then was… Continue Reading

Knowing God

Knowing God

You hide Yourself from prying eyes, From faithless seekers veil Your face, Conceal Your form, confound the wise, Your brightness dim, though not Your grace.      Shekinah garbed in smoke and cloud,      Invisible to them that peer,      Your brilliance hidden from the proud,      Disclosed to those who love and fear. Invisible, yet present still, You show… Continue Reading

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

I have spoken many times about the power of poetry and music to express what words alone cannot. Yesterday evening, as I was reading The Two Towers with my son, I came across this passage where Sam is asked about the beauty of Galadriel: “The Lady of Lorien! Galadriel!” cried Sam. “You should see her, indeed… Continue Reading

Crown Him With Many Crowns

Crown Him With Many Crowns

The principal figure of the book of Revelation is the Lamb. He is introduced in Revelation 5, where the seven-sealed scroll represents the outpouring of God’s retribution upon human sin in preparation for the kingdom. The Lamb is the one who has earned the right to break the seals and to impose God’s wrath upon… Continue Reading

The Works of Anne Bradstreet

The Works of Anne Bradstreet

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“That fearful sound of fire and fire, Let no man know is my Desire.” After our foray into economics, I had intended to return to recommendations of poetry. In particular, I wanted to recommend an American poet who could help us to simultaneously love and critique the society in which most of us live and… Continue Reading

The Lamb

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee          Dost thou know who made thee Gave thee life & bid thee feed. By the stream & o’er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing wooly bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice!          Little Lamb who made thee          Dost thou know who made… Continue Reading

Hold the Superlatives, Please

Hold the Superlatives, Please

Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible”, describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”: make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words… Continue Reading

Triolets from 1 John

Triolets from 1 John

Since I’ve been working to improve my writing abilities using fixed forms, I decided my annual Valentine’s Day poem to my wife would be a triolet (pronounced “tree-o-lay”), a form I had discovered in high school but never satisfactorily employed. However, the result of this most recent effort was workable enough, and I was encouraged… Continue Reading