One of my favorite type of Christian literature is biographies. I love reading about the work God did through men and women of God throughout church history. This love was developed in my early teens as I consumed biography after biography and devoured church history. To this day if it were up to me I would read a church history book with every stack of books I’m reading. Sadly that isn’t the case. Fortunately though, a new series A Long Line of Godly Men has come out that aims to introduce readers to the giants of the Christian faith and how they used their particular gifts, and talents to the glory of God. One of the latest biographies in this series is The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts.
Isaac Watts is known as the Father of English Hymnody. He wrote some 750 hymns including “Joy to the World” and “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.” In his latest book The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts, Doug Bond writes to help Christians discover rich biblical and theological hymns that Watts produced. The book looks at Watts’ legacy, his experience as an educator, his sermon hymns, and his work as a poet theologian, hymn writer, children’s poet, and psalm interpreter. The book concludes with a look at how Watts can influence worship today. The book also includes three appendixes which explore the life of Watts, favorite hymns by Watts and books by Watts.
The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts is a truly wonderful biography on Watts. As I read this book I was drawn by how Watts longed to lead people to the fount of living water in Jesus in order to worship and delight in Him. I listen to a lot of hymns every day as I work. I love singing them (when nobody else is around) and reflecting on the truth they teach. It’s been said that the best biographies are those that help you understand the figure being considered. The very best biographies not only look at the figure but also help you understand how that figure was shaped and how they continue to influence people today. Bond does all of this very well and he helps his readers understand how we need Watts today. As I read this book I was instructed, lead to worship and edified by Bond’s writing. This very accessible biography should be read by every Christian. I highly recommend it.
Author: Douglas Bond
Publisher: Reformation Trust (2013)
I received this book for free from Reformation Trust for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.