The phrase “family values” became an early catchword in the culture wars. The way people define those values and implement them politically marks a bitter line of division between liberals and conservatives.
Hymns are “important in the history of ideas, the formation of culture, and the inner life of individual readers,” J. R. Watson reminds us in this time when the disciplines of hymn writing and singing are undervalued by many Christian worshipers.
A good preacher should be able to teach in a right and orderly way . . . be able to speak well . . . have a good memory . . . be sure of the material and be diligent . . . stake body and life, goods and honor on it . . . [and] know when to stop,” said Martin Luther.