Feb 24, 2015

Glory to the Holy One: Announcing R.C. Sproul's New Sacred Hymns Project

4 Min Read

The truth of Scripture is meant not only to be studied—it's meant also to be sung.

That's a lesson I learned early in my Christian life, and it's one to which I've returned again and again in my ministry. Words can scarcely describe the way in which the great music of the church has brought me into the presence of God to worship Him in His glory. The great hymns of God's people sung throughout the ages have helped me to see the transcendent beauty of God.

My experience isn't unique. Music has always played a central role in the history of worship and theology. Musicians and lyricists who have crafted hymns with deep biblical content and soul-stirring arrangements have been of inestimable importance in passing on the faith once delivered to the saints.

In recent years, many people have noted the impoverishment of the church's worship over the past century or so. Thanks be to God, there are signs that this tide is starting to turn, that believers are tired of music that lacks depth and lyrics that fail to convey the broad sweep of sound doctrine taught in Holy Scripture.

It's easy to point out a problem, but harder to propose a solution. So, I'm grateful for theologians, pastors, and composers who are seeking to restore depth and beauty to the church's worship and music. Clearly, there's a new concern for God-honoring worship in our day.

Yet I'm convinced that neither Ligonier Ministries nor I can sit on the sidelines in this effort. We can't merely point out how shallow music and lyrics can sap the Christian life of vitality—we must help demonstrate how beautiful music and lyrics with doctrinal depth enrich our relationship with God.

With this in mind I'm excited to announce Glory to the Holy One, a new album of sacred music for Christ's church. Along with the new Reformation Study Bible, this album is among the highlights of my life and ministry. Jeff Lippencott, an amazingly talented friend of the ministry joined me for this hymn project and gifted his time and considerable talents. (He is an award-winning composer for film and TV in Los Angeles.) While I have been writing hymn lyrics and a few melodies over the past twenty years, we began discussing setting several of these hymns to new arrangements and melodies that seek to convey the depth and beauty of the truth of God. Once we got started, it was hard to stop.

This album is among the highlights of my life and ministry. —RC Sproul

It's hard to describe how working on this project has energized me. Long studio hours with Jeff were invigorating, as we experienced a true synergy of purpose and effort. We moved forward readily from one song to another, crafting an album that covers the high points of redemption, including such truths as creation, the atonement, and the reality that we'll see the Lord face-to-face on that final day.

God deserves our very best, particularly in our worship, so we've also turned to the most gifted musicians to record the album, using orchestras, choirs, and instrumentalists in Seattle, Phoenix, London, Canterbury, and Orlando.

I pray that God will see fit to use this album to give those who hear it a taste of the worship we will enjoy in heaven when we see Him-face to-face. I know that anything we could offer is going to be a pale reflection at best of what we will experience in heaven. But if this work awakens people to the holiness of the Lord and the kind of worship that honors Him, then it has been a success.

We see this project as a key part of Ligonier's ongoing strategy to proclaim the holiness of God and how it impacts all of life. By presenting the truths of classical Christian orthodoxy in fresh ways, using music that honors the transcendent beauty of the Lord, this album takes the sound biblical doctrine we've proclaimed for decades and presents it in a format that stirs the soul and aims for new reformation in our worship and praise.

We debuted the album at our National Conference last week, and Lord willing, will have a concert series at several churches around the country over the next year.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. R.C. Sproul

Experience Glory to the Holy One Today

Note: If you buy the CD from Ligonier.org, we will add the digital edition to your learning library for free.