“A Mighty Fortress”

I was puzzled (back in 2016) to read what David Jeremiah said about the hymn “A Mighty Fortress” and others. He called such songs “comfort music for weak-kneed saints.”  (Life Wide Open, p 164). He wrote that statement in agreement with Calvin Miller’s thought that too often we sing “hymns that center on faith as a protective refuge” in order to “avoid the storms” of life. I’m all for singing strong, victorious, powerful songs—and have openly expressed an aversion to worship songs that are whiny, wimpy, theologically off, or even sexual (of all things!). My intention when I sing hymns like “A Mighty Fortress” is not to avoid the storms but to get through them. I love how the great writing echoes Scripture’s promises and reminds me that though Satan’s “craft and power are great” and he’s “armed with cruel hate,” we have the Lord, “the right man on our side.” I’m praising him for being stronger, and for guaranteeing that the enemy’s “doom is sure.” You may want to read Tim Challies’s notes on “A Mighty Fortress,” along with the lyrics.


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