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The Sung Theology of the English Particular Baptist Revival

The Sung Theology of the English Particular Baptist Revival

The Sung Theology of the English Particular Baptist Revival

The Sung Theology of the English Particular Baptist Revival


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Anne Steele (1717-1778) originally wrote her hymns to be sung in the Baptist congregation pastored by her father. The foremost female contemporary of hymn-writing giants Charles Wesley, John Newton, and William Cowper, her hymns are infused with spiritual sensitivity, theological depth, and raw emotion. She eventually published her hymns under the pseudonym, Theodosia, which means ""God's Gift."" She believed God had given her a gift to share. Steele's work was warmly received in her own day. Pastor and publishing pioneer of the modern English hymnal, John Rippon, included more than fifty of her hymns in the various topical sections of his wildly successful Selection of Hymns. Rippon's hymnal was popular on both sides of the Atlantic, but was especially influential during the nineteenth-century revival and renewal of English Particular Baptists. This book introduces Steele's hymns in the context of her life and times and of Rippon's hymnal. It illustrates that Steele's approach to hymn-writing is a model of biblical spirituality. Each hymn as printed in Rippon's hymnal, and thus sung by congregations and used as devotional literature, is considered. The sung theology of these congregations is a gift to the church universal and worth rediscovering in the twenty-first century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781725270848
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/21/2020
Series: Monographs in Baptist History , #15
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Joseph V. (Josh) Carmichael received his PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, his MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, Mississippi), and his MBA from the University of Alabama. He is an ordained minister, board certified chaplain, adjunct professor, and teacher. He lives in Alabama with his wife and six sons.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Anne Steele’s hymns provide a most valuable window on the spirituality or piety or devotional life of eighteenth-century Particular Baptists. They also reveal a crucial mechanism for theological formation for it was here, rather than in learned volumes—as Steele’s hymns were read, learned, sung, and remembered—that faith was nurtured. Here, as Carmichael ably demonstrates, Christian hope enlightened discipleship in times of both joy and suffering.”

—John Briggs, former Director, Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford

“This work on the hymns of Anne Steele is a gift to both the fields of hymnology and Baptist history. I have not merely read this book, I have studied it. Even after spending time with Steele’s hymns over the last decade, I learned much through Carmichael’s work. I am thankful to see this work in print highlighting this ‘mother of Baptist hymnody.’ This exploration of Steele’s life and hymnody helps us not only understand more about her, but more broadly that of early Particular Baptist hymnody as a whole.”

—Matthew Boswell, Assistant Professor of Church Music and Worship, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“One of the great strengths of Joseph Carmichael’s book on the eighteenth-century hymn-writer Anne Steele is that he shows how Steele was also a theological writer. And that as a writer of theology Steele was convincing, innovatory, and exceptionally influential.”

—Cindy Aalders, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity, Regent College

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