Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

One major theme in this work is the importance of Psalms and hymns in congregational singing and worship. Singing binds worshippers together in the expression of theological truths and encouragement to persevere in Christian living and faith. Although the authors of the essays in Wonderful Words of Life see value in praise songs and contemporary Christian music, they call for a valuing of historic, evangelical traditions in hymnody. If Christians ignore the Psalms and hymns of the past, they lose valuable resources for the maintenance of Christian devotion and instruction in orthodox doctrinal traditions. Collectively, hymns teach about the Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments as well as the experiences and faith of saints throughout history. Because they tend to focus on foundational, biblical truths, they can help bring appreciation, acceptance, and unity across doctrinal, denominational lines; they provide a common denominator of faith.

A second significant theme is the valuing of important contributions from a variety of doctrinal views. While liberal and conservative Christians tend to emphasize different aspects of faith, hymns address both the individual Christian’s experience and the importance of adherence to the teachings of Scripture. Because traditional hymns address issues and beliefs of the universal, catholic church, they are valuable in bridging differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians. This unifying effect also draws together believers of different social classes, races, and nationalities.