Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Taking a break...

Sorry, the shop is shut for the remainder of this week. We plan to re-open after the New Year Bank Holiday on Tuesday 4th Jan. A great big thanks to all our friends and customers for their support this past year, we look forward to continuing to serve you.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns

Subtitled 'How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal.'  A lover of music will enjoy the level at which this book is pitched.  Anyone concerned really to approach worship biblically will benefit from it.  The author asks a question of those who want to be 'relevant.'  Have they produced something which is better than what has been acceptable in the church up until recently?  This enquiry is pursued relentlessly.  I think he is more successful in his arguments from scriptural principles than when going down the line of musical analysis.  Although I found that fascinating and informative, it is also probably not going to convince the sceptical.  Nevertheless it is a fact that not only popular music but multimedia has invaded worship in many churches.  It may make it easier for first-timers to attend, but is that not because the 'offence of the gospel' has already been suppressed in such places?  The world has already converted the church - the tail wags the dog.  Thus Mr Average can't sing hymns because they are unfamiliar and he is uncomfortable with them.  He expects any part of the worship service to be laced liberally with entertainment.  That is how teaching is carried out in other subjects, so why not when it comes to God?
Gordon is sound on the fundamentals with this book, and I recommend it to anyone forced onto the back foot on worship issues. 
'Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns' by T. David Gordon is published by P&R and costs £7.99.
PS. The timing of this review doesn't relate to just happens to be when I finally completed the book. Apologies to anyone wanting a suggestion for a present. I'm sure Lorna can supply that.

Friday, 17 December 2010

December Offer

For customers wanting last minute gifts our Hymnmakers CD offer has proved to be a winner - so much so that we have now run out of stocks.  Sorry folks, to those who have missed out.

Friday, 10 December 2010

More Jungle Doctor?

I must admit to being a bit sceptical when the sales rep produced a new Jungle Doctor series from his folder a few months ago.  With 19 books in the Jungle Doctor series, I felt that really we were Jungle Doctor-ed out. However, we were persuaded to order a set and they duely arrived a few weeks ago.  I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. This new series is the Jungle Doctor's fables (as opposed to the first Jungle Doctor series which is about the Jungle Doctor's experiences while a missionary in Africa).  It is a series of short stories using animals as the characters and each with an underlying gospel message.  As such they are aimed at a younger audience than the first series. I am often unsure about whether children really understand allegories, or whether they just accept the story as it stands and miss the point behind it. Having a houseful of willing 'guinea-pigs' I took home one of the books and tried it out.  Our children love them!  The animal stories have obviously grabbed their imaginations and they always ask for Jungle Doctor at bedtime.  What I am most pleased about is they also 'get them'.  Without any prompting our five year old this evening said, 'so the elephant is really like God isn't he?', our seven year old piped up 'of course he is, he is The Way, and Crunch the Crocodile is like Satan'.  This lead on to much further discussion about the dangers of the deep dark pool and the safety of the Great Rock that some of the animals use for shelter. Each story helpfully ends with some Scripture references and pointers for bringing out the deeper meaning to the story.
So, next time I see the rep, I will thank him for being so persuasive and I will order more of this series!
To see all the titles in the Fables series click here