Subscribe now

Saints of Zion

By R. C. Sproul
April 2018 | Review by Stuart Fisher
  • Publisher: Ligonier Ministries
  • ISBN: 978-1-56769-853-4
  • Price: £13.21
Buy this DVD »

I approached this review with some trepidation as it is unfamiliar territory for me. This was further compounded by the recent death of R. C. Sproul, a mighty servant of God who has now gone to his eternal reward.

The lyrics are mostly by R. C. Sproul and have been set to music by Jeff Lippencott. This is their second compilation of songs and shows them to be gifted men in their respective roles. Their aim is, in the words of Sproul, ‘helping the church offer worship that is true, good and beautiful’.

Lippencott, an Emmy-nominated composer, has written several TV and film scores. Musically, his work is lavish and magisterial. It is very choral and richly orchestrated, more in the style of the classic oratorio. Sproul’s choice of words is excellent, expressing the theology of the Bible accurately, but with a poetic touch — a rare gift!

While a recognisable style permeates the CD, there is also variety in the 15 songs. Some rise to the epic grandeur of a film score, while others are more reflective and flow with lyrical beauty. They range from quieter psalms, through the Gospels and letters, to the more dramatic expressions of Hebrews 11 and Revelation 21. There is a glorious Christological hymn and an interesting reflection on the Ascension.

The liner notes contain lyrics and background information. It is styled in a rather quaint way, with Gothic script titles. This might limit its marketability to a younger audience.

It would be hard to imagine this collection being used in a congregational format. It is far better performed and listened to with a highly accomplished orchestra and choral ensemble. I suspect that this form of worship would be more easily performed in the USA, with its bigger church orchestras and congregations than the UK.

This work will ideally appeal to Christians with a Reformed background and interest in classical music, but anyone outside that market would be pleasantly surprised by the depth, quality and glory of the work.

Perhaps best enjoyed privately, these songs would certainly aid devotion. To glean the most, you would need the liner notes at hand to follow the lyrics as the chorus, on occasions, is almost drowned by the orchestra. I enjoyed listening to songs in small amounts, choosing songs to match the mood.

Stuart Fisher

Bournemouth

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Change and Decay: Primitive Methodism from late Victorian Times till World War I
David Young

This book charts the progressive departure of Primitive Methodism from biblical orthodoxy around the turn of the 20th Century. A previous volume chronicled the rise of the movement a century earlier. The original Primitive Methodist leaders sought a return to the…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Wonders of Creation (Design in a fallen world)
Stuart Burgess

This superbly illustrated book presents a compelling case that our world displays the hallmarks of design and testifies to the exquisite handiwork of our creator. Evidences are first drawn from a selection of land mammals, sea creatures, birds and insects.…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Getting to grips with prayer: Its realities, challenges and potential (Truth for All Time)
Ian McNaughton

Through the years I have read many books on prayer, but I don’t recall any having gripped me more than this book. It is a ‘must’ for every preacher and, indeed, the Lord’s people everywhere. It is well written, easy…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson
Dr Courtney Anderson

Here is a book that I really enjoyed! The life of Adoniram Judson is both fascinating and challenging. As a pioneering missionary to Burma, his story is unique. The book is written in an easy, imaginative style which makes good…