(P&R Publishing, 2005), pb., 257 pp.
This is the fourth book in the Mr. Pipes series, and I have previously commented on our great enjoyment of the previous volumes. As suggested by the title, this book focuses on hymns form the early centuries of the church including well known hymns such as “All Creatures of Our God and King,” and “Be Thou My Vision” as well as many others which I did not know. As in the other books there is great discussion of theology, good hymns and music and examples of Mr. Pipes engagingly unbelievers with a winsome witness. These books are invaluable for introducing children to the value of good hymns and we recommend them heartily.
At one point in this journey Mr. Pipes, Drew and Annie visited a 13th century cathedral and were appalled to see it treated simply as a tourist attraction. The building reflected the awe and majesty of God, but the noisy people seemed ambivalent to this. In response Mr. Pipes says:
“when people stop believing, they stop worshipping; and when they stop worshipping, they come to the house of God only to see what man has done…. When we no longer come to his temple to render homage to him and to hear his voice, we then fill it with what we prefer- the chaos of our own voices” (89).
This is a good word for us today, when something similar too easily happens to our worship services.
This book did seem to us to be a bit less exciting than the previous ones, but it is well worth reading.