Defining Irony

Webster’s:
iro·ny

Pronunciation: ˈī-rə-nē
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin ironia, from Greek eirōnia, from eirōn dissembler

1: a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other’s false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning —called also Socratic irony 2 a: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b: a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c: an ironic expression or utterance

The other definition: The New Baptist Hymnal

This month LifeWay Resources published the newest edition of the Southern Baptist Hymnal. It contains some 670+ songs, 300 hymns from the 1991 edition – plus 300 songs not published by the SBC before.
100 of the songs have never been published in any Hymnal.

So, what’s the big deal? There is no big deal, but think about the logic: How many churches that are singing songs written by Chris Tomlin (How Great is our God, Forever) and Darlene Zschech (Shout to the Lord, Potter’s Hand) are using a hymnal? If you are singing and worshipping new songs – and you should be as it is a Biblical mandate, you are likely projecting them onto a screen. Your church probably doesn’t even use a hymnal. I haven’t used a hymnal in years until just recently. (and I still forget to reach for it because I expect it to be on the screen like the choruses are when we sing them)

I know there are thousands of churches out there that do not have screen projection systems. However, the highest majority of them probably won’t be singing the new songs anyway.
I flipped through the new hymnal today and was pleased that the song era was more balanced. I flipped through the old hymnal (1991) last Sunday and was amused at how much the 1991 editors must have loved the time period of 1815-1875. It seems that 75% of the songs were in that era, 20% earlier than that era, and 5% after 1875.

Prediction: The sales of the new Hymnal will be significantly smaller than the 1991 edition. That prediction is based on this years sales of Typewriters, VCRs, 8 Track players, and the number of new Drive-in Theaters that were built in 2007.

– Brad

6 thoughts on “Defining Irony

  1. Brad, stop by http://lifeway.com/worshipproject and see what we have for the projecting church. Back in 1991, the hymnal was the “lead horse” for congregational worship. Nowadays, we know that churches need all kinds of resources, not just a hymnal. That’s why we’re calling this the LifeWay Worship Project instead of the “LifeWay Hymnal Project” or even just “Baptist Hymnal.” Subtle, but deliberate.Oh, and be sure to stop by your local LifeWay store for our big sale on buggy whips too…

  2. Patrick,Thanks for the heads up…the tools and resources will be a big help. For the record, LifeWay is one of my favorite stores, but I have never seen any buggy whips…I’ll ask an associate to look them up in the computer next time 🙂

  3. Psalm 33:3 “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”Psalm 96:1 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 98:1 “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”Psalm 144:9 “I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you”Isaiah 42:10 “Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them.”Revelation 5:9 “And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 14:3 “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.”Now, the two verses from Revelation are descriptive rather than prescriptive. Hpwever, they are refrences to the future church, and provide an great example of what we should be doing.

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