Robert Coote on the 27 Most Popular Hymns & Amazing Grace
Date: April 18th, 2011
What hymns do you think of when someone asks you to list the greatest songs of praise of all time? Robert T. Coote, senior contributing editor of The International Bulletin of Missionary Research, wondered just that and undertook a two-year research project examining the hymnals of six mainline Protestant denominations to create a list of the 27 most popular hymns over the past century (see link to list below). The results are revealing, including the interesting observation that “Amazing Grace” does not make the list. We discuss the history of hymns, showing how they are a relatively recent development in Christian history and how they are related to psalters. We also discuss how hymnal committees select songs for inclusion into the official denominational hymal. Mr. Coote also makes the observation that many Protestant hymns are frequently found in Catholic song books. Our conversation explores why the history of the popular song “Amazing Grace,” and we examine why it did not make the list of the top hymns of all time. We finish the podcast with some speculation about the contemporary Christian music scene, the growth of non-denominational churches and how this may affect the endurance of traditional hymns. Tony reveals some of his favorite hymns (which don’t make the list) and what his pastor has to say about his singing. This interview ranks as one of Tony’s favorite episodes. Recorded: March 25, 2011.
Research on Religion Facebook page. Join the conversation and tell us your favorite hymns or songs of worship!
“The Hymns that Keep on Going: The 27 worship songs that have made the hymnal cut time and again” by Robert T. Coote in Christianity Today.
The list of the top 27 hymns as compiled by Robert T. Coote.
“Whatever Happened to Amazing Grace” by Robert T. Coote in Christianity Today.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research.
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