Every hymn begins its life as a poem—and we can give our favorite hymns fresh life by returning to their poetic roots. This anthology of several centuries’ worth of great hymns invites us to experience these works as devotional poetry—to slow down and savor their well-turned phrases and evocative language. English professor Leland Ryken provides some historical background for each hymn, but his focus is on literary analysis. Combined with relevant Scripture texts, the result is a wonderfully devotional and poetic study of the Christian faith.
Leland Ryken, author of more than fifty books on biblical and literary topics, is the literary editor of the ESV Bible and emeritus professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois.
“Leland Ryken has done us an enormous service. He brings to this study not only his musical wisdom but his considerable gifts in literature and poetry.”
—William Edgar, Musicologist; Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
“Professor Ryken combines his Christian faith with his knowledge of poetry in this rich anthology and reminds us of the legacy of our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“Leland Ryken accomplishes more than enhancing artistic appreciation; he teaches us to worship God with understanding.”
—Michael Hawn, Professor of Church Music, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship