- Songs are corporately singable, doctrinally sound, and point the heart to God.
- Songs considered “Anthems” of the faith have been considered. This collection is not meant to be an exhaustive church-music library but a joining of the best of every generation of music and singing in the Church to our Lord.
- A large section has been devoted to songs of praise, worship, and adoration.
- A special focus on the remembrance of Christ’s death on the cross and that is appropriate for worship and particularly the Lord’s Supper.
- Special consideration has been given to including the classic hymns of the faith that every good hymnal includes (e.g. Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, etc.).
- Special consideration has been given to the songs previously included in the brethren hymn books- particularly the Hymns of Worship & Remembrance and Hymns of Truth and Praise.
- Only “defining or significant anthems” of other themes (testimony, consecration, Christmas, missions, the Christian life, the second coming, etc.) have been considered.
- Contemporary songs and hymns that meet biblical standards and are being sung throughout the church have been included.
The Biblical Advisory Committee has reviewed songs based on the following criteria:
- Doctrinal accuracy
- Terminology and word choice
- Poetic beauty
- Level of acceptance and popularity in the church
- Some consideration was also given to the reputation of the songwriters
While making song choice determinations, we based the decision to include each song based solely on its own merit. We recognize that some authors are members of churches or movements that we would not fully endorse. There are also hymns that have been treasured by the church for centuries that were written by authors whose doctrinal positions would not be deemed acceptable today. We have also retained some of these in this edition.