Monday, 8 June 2009


A thought to start:
If you hear thunder, you might say it's 'thundering'
So what might you say if you see lightning?

Another thought:
Why is there not a verb for the act of making a verb out of a noun?
What should it be? To 'verbalise'?

Anyway, to the point:

I'm a big fan of Chris Ellis's work.

His contributions to Baptist hymnody and liturgy are immense, and he brings a lively and creative mind to his linguistic creations.

I was fortunate enough to have Chris as my minister for five years in Sheffield, and we have been good friends ever since. I have particularly appreciated his pastoral care at a number of crucial points in my own journey. Chris, if you're reading this: Thanks. Chris is currently the minister of West Bridgford Baptist Church, and Moderator of Baptist Union Council.

He has a certain 'style' to his hymns and prayers, which often leads him to start 'adjective-God'...

Some examples:
(admittedly most of these are from 'Gathering for Worship' so some of them may be by Myra Blyth the co-editor of the book, but this is a blog and factual accuracy is, as we all know, a moveable feast under such circumstances!)
  • 'Passover God we remember your faithfulness...'
  • 'Creator God, you make your world so rich with things to do and know...'
  • 'Loving God, we come in answer to your cal for faithfulness...'
  • 'Loving God, we give you thanks...'
  • 'Faithful God, in faith and hope...'
  • 'Living and gracious God...'
  • 'Almighty and eternal God...'
  • 'Creating and redeeming God...
  • 'Covenant God, you are always faithful...'
  • 'Generous God, pour out your Holy Spirit...'
  • 'Merciful God, whose steadfast love is renewed every morning...'
  • 'Eternal God, in Jesus Christ you have given to us...'
  • 'Living God, loving father...'
And so I could go on...

However, with Chris's latest book, this pattern takes a new twist...

'Adjective-God' becomes 'Verb-God'

The adjective has been 'verbalised'

The 'Guide for worship leaders and worshippers' is called... 'approaching GOD'

This isn't a review of the book - but just to note that it is EXCELLENT and I think everyone who leads worship should read it.

What I want to draw attention to is the similarity of the title of Chris's new book and that produced by his brother Rob a few years ago (also a superb book and worth reading):

It must be a 'family-thing'...


Polly said...

Oh good - I'm glad I bought it now! Just need to read it...

ashley said...

Hmmm... I wonder if (theologically speaking) we might suggest that when lightning occurs God is flashing?

(PS to Simon who knows I'm in the college library as I write this, I'm just getting Barth off the shelf!)

Baptist Bookworm said...

Ashley - Oh yes! You're not 'procrastinating' then?