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  • Latimer Trust

A short interview with Rob Smith, author of the newest Latimer Trust publication.

Confusion and conflict over church music continue to compromise the unity and witness of many churches today, so it is vital that our understanding of congregational life and our deployment of music and song within our gatherings be not only informed by our history but, above all, tested, refined and reshaped by Scripture.

This, of course, is the reformed way – ecclesia reformata, ecclesia semper reformanda (“the reformed church is the church that is always reforming”). Bringing together over 30 years of ministry practice and theological reflection, Rob has written Come, Let Us Sing to help in this difficult and delicate (but most necessary) task.

We are very excited to release this new book and as a way to introduce you to it, Rob has agreed to answer a few questions to talk about himself and this great book.

Who is Rob Smith?

Rob is a reformed, evangelical, Anglican minister who lectures part-time in Theology, Ethics and Music ministry at Sydney Missionary & Bible College, Australia and also serves part-time as the Assistant Director of Ministry Training & Development for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

In addition to this, he serves as an Assistant Minister at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. As well as having published numerous articles on a range of theological and ethical subjects, Rob has written extensively on the place, powers and importance of congregational music in church life. He is the co-author (with Mike Raiter) of Songs of the Saints: Enriching our Singing by Learning from the Songs of Scripture (Matthias Media, 2017), and a songwriter, producer and director of Emu Music.

Rob is married to Claire, and is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on transgen-derism.

What does Come, Let Us Sing argue?

The book seeks to bring biblical clarity to two key questions: Why do we come together? and Why do we sing together? In fact, for those with eyes to see, the two questions are bound up in the title – Come (why we gather), Let Us Sing (why we sing)! In terms of answering the first question (Why do we come together?), I seek to navigate an exegetical path through something I call the contemporary ‘worship word wars’, in order to show from Scripture that we gather both to worship God (the vertical dimension) and to encourage others (the horizontal dimension). In practice, this means that two questions must be asked of everything we do: Does it glorify God? and Does it edify others?

In answering the second question (Why do we sing together?), the book explores the three principal functions of congregational singing in Scripture – as a way of praising, a way of praying and a way of preaching. In the process of exploring each of these themes, a range of related matters are addressed: the necessity of singing scriptural truth, the value of psalmody, the place of emotions, the role of our bodies, and how singing expresses and enriches our unity. By plundering the best of our Reformed heritage, and bringing all things to the bar of Scripture, Come, Let Us Sing seeks to call churches to reclaim their biblical musical heritage and reform their musical practice.

What is the aim of Come, Let Us Sing?

The ultimate aim in writing this book is identical with George Whitefield’s aim in publishing A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship in 1753:That we all may be inspired and warmed with a like divine Fire whilst singing below, and be translated after Death to join with them in singing the Song of Moses and the Lamb above’.

We think this is a great explanation and introduction to a book that is just waiting for you to read!! To get this book just click here.

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