For the last few weeks I’ve been living off Glory to the Holy One, a CD of hymns composed by R. C. Sproul. If you’re familiar with Dr. Sproul’s theology, you will instantly recognize his spiritual heartbeat in many of these songs. In fact, I think that’s why they come with such power to me, as I’ve been so blessed by R. C. Sproul’s teaching ministry over many years. When I hear the lyrics, waves of other words he has written and spoken also flood into my soul, filling each line with layer upon layer of rich meaning. It’s a quite unique and wonderful experience!
My favorites are Glory to the Holy One, Highland Hymn, The Secret Place, and Clothed In Righteousness, each of them focused on the primary themes of Dr. Sproul’s long, faithful, and productive ministry – God’s glory, the beatific vision, the holiness of God, and the righteousness of Christ.
And it’s not just the words that are awesome, the music is some of the finest I’ve ever heard. Those of us privileged to attend the National Conference will never forget the delightful conversation between Dr. Sproul and the award-winning composer, Jeff Lippencott, during which they told the story of how the album was conceived and produced. In fact, I just realized yesterday that the CD has a fascinating track at the end in which Dr. Sproul and Jeff talk more about the production effort. Watch the video below to get a glimpse of the beautiful relationship that developed between these two men as they worked on this God-honoring project.
As I listened to Dr. Sproul that night, heard these hymns, and then listened to him preach an unforgettable sermon on his favorite text, Isaiah 6, the next day, it all just seemed to sum up everything I love about this man of God. I’m tempted to say it’s such a fitting capstone. But I hope not, because I earnestly pray that God may yet give him many more years to serve His church and bless His people.
P.S. For my exclusive-psalmody friends, remember some of the staunchest defenders of exclusive psalmody in public worship (e.g. Dr. John Kennedy, Dingwall) had no problem listening to hymns outside church worship settings!