Spilled Blood?

In our efforts to sing scriptural songs, it is not uncommon for hymnal editors, preachers and other concerned singers to contemplate the specific meaning of words as they appear in the songs that are being sung. Since we have a fluid English language, words change meaning over time, and sometimes even overnight. There are also regional and national variations in the meaning of words (such as the contradictory meanings of “table” as a verb in parliamentary procedure).Thus it is that we have words that appear in hymns which are questioned as conveying something “unscriptural” when there may be a perfectly valid reason for the word’s use in that situation. Continue reading

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Looked on Him and Pardoned Me

Perhaps you’ve seen the video titled “Good-o-Meter.” It was created to combat the idea that our good works “earn” us a place in heaven. I’ve linked to it to save you my written description, but notice particularly what happens starting around 2:15. Jesus takes the place of the man in line, and His being “good enough” gets the other person into heaven. Continue reading

Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed

One of the greatest hymns of all time for meditating on the sacrifice of the Savior on the cross is “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed.” The text was written by Isaac Watts, regarded in many circles to be one of the greatest hymn lyricists—if not the greatest—of all time. According to the website hymnary.org, this is Watts’ most frequently published text, and the seventh such among all writers. The tune commonly associated with this text in more recent years (HUDSON), was composed by Ralph E. Hudson, who also (infamously, among many) wrote a chorus from which this text derives its other name, “At the Cross.” Continue reading