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.”