The Battle of the Hymns

At the Scriptorium, Fred Sanders writes on the 18th century battle of Calvinist and Arminian hymns in Hit ’em With the Rock of Ages. Some of the hymns that were intended as a shot across the bow became universal in their appeal. The songs were more enduring and more “catholic” than their authors’ partisanship. Sanders concludes:

If you belong to an evangelical church that gladly and wholeheartedly sings the songs of Wesley and Toplady side by side, are you a dupe who can’t tell when two things disagree? Not at all. The churches that sing Toplady’s anti-Wesleyan Rock of Ages right alongside Wesley’s anti-Calvinist Love Divine, All Loves Excelling are acting on a sound instinct. They can see clearly what Toplady and Wesley in the heat of battle did not always discern: that we have the most important things, the things we want to sing about, in common.