We sung a hymn at my church yesterday that I’d never heard before: God of Grace and God of Glory (1930). I checked the hymnal (although hymnals are in the pew, the words are projected on a screen), and was surprised to see it was written by Harry Emerson Fosdick. I did not realize he wrote any hymns. He was liberal Protestant, so that would explain why it was not sung in my church background. Yet, I liked the hymn – at least the verses we sang. One verse we did not sing has a problematic line that has been changed in many hymnbooks to reflect better theology. But here is the verse I particularly liked:
Cure your children’s warring madness;
bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.
Kevin DeYoung offers analysis of this hymn in this article: A hymn worth not Singing. I agree with most of his thoughts, but I liked singing it. I disagree with not ever singing it, especially if the one line is appropriately altered.
As someone who has spent her entire life in church, I liked being introduced to a “new” but old hymn!