Then Sings My Soul - Book Review

My daddy is a worship leader at his church, and while we diverge on preferred music styles (he loves the organ and I love the drums and guitars), we both share a love for great hymns. He was on my mind when I decided to read the book Then Sings My Soul: The Story of Our Songs: Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith, Book 3 by Robert J. Morgan.  Not having read the prior two volumes in the series, I was delighted to find that this one is probably the best one.
Robert J. Morgan declares, “Hymns are distillations of the richest truths of God, versified, emotionalized, set to music, and released in the mind and from the mouth. They’re miniature Bible studies that lead us effortlessly to worship, testimony, exhortations, prayer, and praise…They clear our minds, soothe our nerves, verbalize our worship, summarize our faith.”  They are internal medicines that strengthen, heal, and lift us. They are vitamins for the soul, antidotes against emotional disease and distress.
This volume is not just a history of individual hymns.  Unlike the other volumes, in the first portion the author paints a panoramic overview that stretches back 4,000 years through the development of hymns in each of the ages through the present and extending forward to the very throne of God in heaven.   He divides hymnody into 7 segments: Biblical, Ancient, Medieval, German, English, Gospel & American, and Contemporary.  He urges us to be aware of the great cloud of witnesses who have preceded us and to know their victories and legacies that can enrich our faith today. And if there’s ever a generation of Christians who don’t write their own music, Christianity is dead.  Every generation needs to compose its own praise.  
In the second portion, the author discusses the history and stories behind individual hymns from each of the segments, and another section of 6 hymn stories that he loves to tell.  In a previous volume, he shared the story for “It Is Well with My Soul”, but in this volume he tells the author’s entire story, an ending that I had not heard (and probably with good reason because the outcome is rather disappointing).
In the third portion, my favorite, he shares the practical use of hymns in devotional time and everyday life.  We draw strength from songs and hymns which can serve as a sort of therapy. He encourages us to read the hymns, memorize them, meditate, play, pray, sing, and proclaim them. He insists that they are as powerful when quoted as when they are sung. We should start each day with them, lean on them, and pass them down to our children.
I have a renewed appreciation for my church homes of present and past that were able to weave hymns into worship every week, sometimes the old words with new melodies or twists that brought a new freshness of their meaning to my heart. When I sing the Doxology, I’m joining in an exercise of praise with my grandparents and ancestors, and when I sing the new hymns with a band, I’m joining voices with my children, and someday my grandchildren. After reading this book, I think I am in love with hymns even more and will start using a hymn book during my devotional time.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher in exchange for my honest review.


  1. This is definitely a book I will want to read. Thanks for the review.

  2. I found your blog through (I’m also a booksneeze blogger) I’m releasing an e-book at the beginning of next month. "The 6:33 Piano Teacher, How to teach piano for the glory of God." It’s for Christians who have thought about teaching music lessons. If this is something you might be willing to review for me, please e-mail me at lessonsfromivy at gmail dot com. I'm a relatively new author so I will take all the reviews I can get : )