Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Atrociously Bad Hymns Revisited

Thought I'd put up another ABH. If you're not familiar with this ongoing series, keep in mind that I am not necessarily saying the theology in these hymns is wrong, or even off-center; although usually it falls short of Biblical theology, since that is one of my criteria for finding an ABH. This one says nothing particularly wrong, it is just horrid poetry with a tune that sounds like it was the flip side of a 45 played on 33.

This particular hymn goes with its music very well, and if you listen to it on the CyberHymnal, imagine it less than half as fast as CyberHymnal plays it. That is how it is typically sung in church...the original dirge.

Give of your best to the Master

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart.
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave.
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.


Give of your best to the Master;
Naught else is worthy His love.
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin’s ruin to save.
Give Him your heart’s adoration;
Give Him the best that you have.


Monday, December 01, 2003


My post from Nov 11 concerning a post on the Warfield list finally got the better of me, and I decided the right thing to do would be to email the gentleman who wrote the quote. He responded with a very gracious email, and asked me to clear up my misunderstanding. Here is what he was discussing:

"What I was confronting in Mr. N---'s post was theology akin to what you find in the Protestant Reformed Church (the denomination of the late Herman Hoeksema) and, as I said in my post, in the work of Jonathan Edwards and John Gerstner. It is not because they believe in the sovereignty of God (as do I) but because they take it too far by attempting to determine in this life who is and who isn’t elect: a prerogative that belongs solely to God. Thus, they end up denying the free offer of the Gospel because they are so consumed with looking for signs of election, and are petrified (for reasons I do not understand) of preaching the gospel to those who may not be elect. Hence, they wander into Calvin’s labyrinth because they failed to heed his warning about the limits of our understanding of God’s predestination. As Calvin himself says:

"First, then, let them remember that when they inquire into predestination they are penetrating the sacred precincts of divine wisdom. If anyone with carefree assurance breaks into this place, he will not succeed in satisfying his curiosity and he will enter a labyrinth from which he can find no exit. For it is not right for man unrestrainedly to search out things that the Lord has willed to be hid in himself, and to unfold from eternity itself the sublimest wisdom, which he would have us revere but not understand that through this also he should fill us with wonder. He has set forth by his Word the secrets of his will that he has decided to reveal to us. These he decided to reveal in so far as he foresaw that they would concern us and benefit us." [John Calvin. Institutes of the Christian Religion. in The Library of Christian Classics. Vols. XX-XXI, ed. J.T. McNeill, trans. F.L. Battles. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975) Inst. 3.21.1]" Because they are afraid to preach promises of grace to all, they define the gospel as trusting and obeying so that they do not (in their minds) create hypocrites full of false assurance."

The author of the post assured me that his comments were not meant to describe nomists. I apologized to him for my misunderstanding, and I hope that anyone who read my post now understands the context and that I was mistaken.

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