Singing is a big deal for Christians.
It’s “one of the most repeated commands in Holy Scripture,” according to Jim Thompson, author of Sing Loud, Die Happy: An Exploration of How God's Gift of Song Is Meant to Change Us. “It’s right up there with ‘believe’ and ‘do not fear.’” It’s so important that Martin Luther said, “Next to theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.”
And yet I’m not sure that many of us have given much thought to why singing matters to us as Christians.
That’s why I’m glad to see Thompson’s book.
Thompson does a few really helpful things within Sing Loud, Die Happy:
- He provides a biblical theology of singing from Scripture. A good chunk of the book is devoted to tracing singing from the Old Testament and New Testament, with a large section devoted to the psalms.
- He also provides an overview of singing in church history. “In the past two thousand years, God has used song to empower churches, sustain sufferers, embolden mission, disciple the faithful, soothe the fearful, convict the proud, unify the cynical, and gladden the humble. Singing gets work done.”
- He also gets practical, giving helpful advice for the church and for individuals on how to apply the lessons in this book.
This book is comprehensive enough to serve as a seminary textbook, but it’s also personal, readable, and entertaining. I’d recommend it to any Christian who wants to understand why singing matters, and how they can learn to sing in a way that strengthens faith.
Thompson concludes Sing Loud, Die Happy with these helpful words:
God made you to sing. Tons of people sweat and fret, worrying if they’re rightly following God’s will. But guess what? If singing is one of the most repeated commands in Holy Scripture, and if the divine importance of song has been repeatedly affirmed in history and in science, you can know with confidence that you’re doing God’s will if you just open your mouth and sing. It’s not a trick. It’s not legalism. You don’t have to sweat and fret. He’s not looking for excellence; he’s looking for faithfulness. He knows what’s best for us, so why would we not lean in and lift up our voices?
This book has one of the best titles. It’s biblical, entertaining, and practical. And it’s on an important topic.
Singing matters, and Thompson will help you to learn why and how. Read it. Enjoy it. Most of all, apply it, for God’s glory and your good and enjoyment.
My Interview with Thompson
I interviewed Jim about his book on the Gospel for Life podcast.
If you’re interested in listening to the interview, then subscribe using your favorite podcast platform, or listen to the interview below.
You can also download a transcript of the interview:
- Saint Cecilia and the Melody Makers on Spotify
- Jim Thompson on Bandcamp
- Jim Thompson on Twitter
- Jim Thompson on Instagram
- Fellowship Greenville sermons
- A King in His Kingdom: A Narrative Theology of Grace and Truth by Jim Thompson
- A Philosophy of Song and Singing: An Introduction by Jeanette Bicknell
- Be Thou My Vision: A Liturgy for Daily Worship by Jonathan Gibson
- Covenant: The Framework of God's Grand Plan of Redemption by Daniel Block
- The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory by Abigail Favale
- Seek First: How the Kingdom of God Changes Everything by Jeremy Treat
- Death to Deconstruction: Reclaiming Faithfulness as an Act of Rebellion by Joshua Porter
Check out the book on Amazon.