40 Favorite Hymns on the Christian Life: A Closer Look at Their Spiritual and Poetic Meaning by Leland Ryken and published by Presbyterian & Reformed.
We treasure hymns for their messages of comfort or conviction, for their associations with beloved brothers and sisters or their connection to meaningful events. But many hymns are also powerful works of devotional poetry—displaying levels of artistry that we easily miss when simply singing through them.
This anthology of great hymns invites us to experience these works as poems, slowing down to savor their well-turned phrases, their surprising metaphors, and their evocative language. English professor Leland Ryken provides historical background and literary analysis, finishing with a Scripture reading to accompany each hymn. The result is a wonderfully devotional and poetic study of the Christian life, drawing on hymns such as “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “In Christ Alone,” and many more.