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Conscience is something, in a sense, apart from man. It has been put in him by God; it is a reminder of the voice of God within him, an inward monitor, and a man cannot really manipulate his conscience. He can go against it, but that is not manipulating it. It is possible, as this Apostle says again in writing to Timothy, for the conscience to be seared “with a hot iron”. But nevertheless it is true to say that the conscience is an independent witness.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God’s Sovereign Purpose)

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Monday
May182009

Top 10 Hymns Project

Rebecca brought this excellent hymn project to my attention yesterday.

Sherry, from Semicolon, is compiling lists of bloggers' favorite hymns and will use it to form a list of the 100 favorite hymns.  Here's Sherry's explanation:

Here’s how I (Sherry) think this poll/journey is going to work:

1. Make a list of your top ten hymns of all time.
Hymn (according to Webster): a song of praise to God
a metrical composition adapted for singing in a religious service.

For the purposes of this poll, I’m limiting the choices to Christian hymns, but the form of the song doesn’t matter. In other words, the songs on your list should be suitable for congregational singing and should be Christian. Handel’s Messiah is Christian but probably not suitable for congregational hymn singing. Anything you sing in worship service, even what are normally called choruses or gospel songs or spirituals or CCM, is fine. (Oh, English, please, or at least translated into English. Sorry, but it’s all I really speak.)

2. List these hymns in your order of preference. So your #1 hymn would be the one you feel is the best, and so on. I will be giving your first choice 10 points, your second choice 9 points, and so on.

3. Submit your list to me at sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom. Write “Hymn Survey” in the subject line. I’d rather you didn’t leave your votes in my comments here because it’ll be easier to tabulate all the votes if they’re all in my email (plus I want everyone’s votes to be a surprise). Deadline for votes to be sent to me is May 31, 2009.

4. If you like, you can submit a justification for each hymn. Or you can send me a link to an audio or video version online. Include the name of the hymn’s author or lyricist and the composer of the melody you prefer if at all possible, especially if you think I might be unfamiliar with your particular hymn. At the beginning of June I will tally up the totals, and I will pull from the submitted pieces why one reader or another liked a particular hymn (naming the reader, of course). That way we’ll be able to hear from a whole bunch of people why they love one hymn or another. I will then count down from 100 to 1 over the course of the summer the top choices of what folks feel the best hymns of all time are.

I’m also going to talk to someone at my church to see if we can sing a lot of these favorites this summer in our worship services. As many of you know, churches get caught in ruts where they sing the same hymns over and over. I think singing some of the favorite hymns of the faith, even some that we may not have sung in many years, would do us good. By the way, I’m not any kind of expert on music or hymns, but I’ll bet I’ll be a lot more knowledgeable about both by the end of the summer.

Thanks in advance for your votes/nominations. I’m going to enjoy this little exercise, and I hope you will, too.

Oh, and if you don’t mind, I (Sherry) would appreciate your publicizing this poll on your blog. I’d like to get at least 100 nominations or lists for this survey; more would be even better. If you want to post your top ten list on your blog, that’s fine. Just be sure you send me a copy.

I'll be posting my top 25 hymns (believe me, it was hard to stop going; there are so many, many hymns I love!) in my next post.  I, along with Sherry and Rebecca, invite you to submit YOUR top 10 favorite hymns (EMAIL them to Sherry, email address in the quote above). 

Reader Comments (1)

I do sympathize with you trying to narrow down a list of your favourite hymns. I too have many that I love to hear and sing. For your interest, an extensive poll was taken in 1990 in the United States to find America's "Top 10 Hymns." I have the list on my blog today. (And compare it to an earlier poll taken in 1953. It is interesting to see what changes, and what remains the same.)

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

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