Presentation of the Augsburg ConfessionI seem to remember that part of the civil war that was the Arian controversy in the early Church involved rival hymnody. The Arians, with Arius leading from the front, wrote hymns that dressed the heresy in a musical form in order better to drive the doctrine into people’s hearts. Their orthodox opponents then wrote their own hymns for the same reason.

This practice was an essential part of the Lutheran Reformation as well. Witness Luther’s catechetical hymns, or indeed the many fine Psalm paraphrases by Lutheran hymn writers (and even Isaac Watts in England at a later time), setting the Psalms in their Christological context, etc.

The miraculously prodigious hymn translator Matthew Carver has added to his many services to the English speaking church by translating a hymn paraphrase of the entire Augsburg Confession. It goes nicely with “Now Thank We All Our God”. It may not be the finest German poetry ever written, but who cares.

Jaroslav Pelikan once wrote, “No doctrine is a doctrine of the Church unless it can be prayed.” And if it can be prayed, it can be sung. So go ahead, check it out, and start singing! You can find it here.

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