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How What We Sing Has Changed the Church
by Pete Ward
This book is in three parts. The first and longest part charts the history of the worship song, and more particularly the genealogy of the organisations and companies that have grown up around the production of worship songs, beginning in earnest with the Youth Praise era, and continuing to the present day. The second part explores a progressive change of emphasis in theology through selected song lyrics, and the third part reviews changing patterns of worship, exploring the extent to which "the songs we sing may be subtly changing the way we think about and experience the Christian faith". I found this to be a very interesting and challenging book: I learned some things from it, and it certainly made me think - not that I agreed with everything I read! It's well worth a read, if you have any interest in how songs and hymns are used in worship (unless modern worship songs have completely passed you by). Don't be put off by the title - by the end of the book, you realise that the treatment of the subject is more sympathetic than the title implies.
Reviewer: Martin Brasier (07/04/05)