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  • Writer's pictureJohn Stackhouse

Jon Buller Hymn Project

The single most viewed post on this blog so far has been “Jesus, I’m NOT in Love with You.” As of this writing, it’s had over 8000 views.

In that post, I engage in a little criticism of a certain trend in contemporary Christian music. So, in the spirit of “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” I happily recommend a new album by Canadian singer Jon Buller and two of his musical friends. It’s “The Hymn Project” and it’s a simple setting of a dozen or so great hymns and songs for three male voices and a guitar or two.

Here’s the solid gold list: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less – Come Thou Fount – All Creatures of our God and King – Blessed Assurance – Great is Thy Faithfulness – The Old Rugged Cross – Trust and Obey – It Is Well With My Soul – My Jesus I Love Thee – Jesus, Priceless Treasure – Jesus Loves Even Me – I’d Rather Have Jesus – His Eye is on the Sparrow.

I had the privilege of teaming up with Jon, his band, and his group “Hear the Music Ministries” at a worship seminar they held in Winnipeg a few years ago. The highlight for me was borrowing a guitar from Jon and doing my best Eric Clapton impression in a blues his band generously played behind me. Confident as I am that no one actually mistook me for Mr. Clapton—or even for a decent amateur player, which I wish I were—it was nonetheless a blast.

Happily for this album, however, Jon and his friends are much better than decent amateurs, and their beautiful and imaginative vocals and guitars give new life to these fine expressions of worship.

Here’s what I wrote to endorse the album on Jon’s website:

In The Hymn Project, we find what we badly need to find: skillful music and rich lyrics that can fill in the empty spaces left by so many of today’s thin praise songs. What a high standard is set by these deceptively simple arrangements of classic hymns! Older Christians will rejoice to hear these good old hymns refreshed; middle-aged types (such as I) will be inspired by these clear declarations of the gospel; and younger listeners will perhaps finally realize why so many of us miss “the old songs.” This really is an album for everyone.

Now, I’m all for new music and not simply the recycling of the old, no matter how worthy the result. But some old stuff needs to be part of our repertoire of praise, too, and this album proves it. I bought twenty of them to give away over the next year to friends and family. Check it out: It’ll do you good!

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