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Tuesday, March 22, 2005



Do you mind if I spin a discussion off some of your ideas on the Worship Released website? I thought your comment, "... often we put up with poor lyrics and bad theology in our songs because we like the tune or the feel of the song" was particularly thought provoking and would probably garner some interesting responses.


Wulf - feel free to use what I've put here as you want on your web site.


I think perhaps different people are quite different on this one. I remember listening to a song on the radio once, and the friend I was with said it was his favourite song at the moment. I asked what it was about, and he said he had no idea - he just liked the feel of it. I was astounded that someone could say "this is my favourite song" without knowing what the lyrics were about! Words are so important to me (perhaps too important?). I have at times been (probably) a lone voice stubbornly singing "we/us" instead of "I/me" to make a worship song a little less self-centred and individualistic...

Rev John Telfer Brown

Great posts Brodie! Thought you might be interested in this post regarding worship...




Brodie good thoghts and an interesting discussion.

As someone who has tried his hand at writing worship songs I feel sorry for these guys. See most songs are written within a specific church context, who have a degree of shared experience and a common understanding of what is being said. However when we take the song out of the context and across an ocean it makes little sense or seems "wrong." So context matters, that is why I think we ough to be trying to write as much of our own stuff as possible.

Anneke what you talk of in the I/We tensionis a great example of this. For some churches the understanding of God as one to be experienced personally not just known about mean that I is likely to be used. The fact is that most of our songs (at least the popular ones) have come from the Charismatic side of the church (of which I am part). There has been an emphasis on understanding that God is our heavenly Father who can be experienced in the here and now so the songs reflect this. There is also an understanding as worship as an interaction/ relational thing with God so wee involve ourselves and the easiest way is to do this is as I and me.

The dynamic of worship is undoubtedly corporate but it is also individual, the challenge for our songwriters and worship leaders is to find the place of holding the two in tension.


Glenn - hear what your saying (I've a charismatic background as well). I remember years ago having a similar discussion to this one with my brother. He felt uncomfortable with the intimate language of some of the songs that were about. At the time I loved them.

I guess I feel that now we've lost the balance and it's all about intimacy, and even when the song is meant to be about God, the words actually say more about how I feel than they do about God. Now intimacy and expressing something of the interaction between God and ourselves has it's place, but my heart aches to worship God for who he is and not just what he's done or how he makes me feel.


I've been looking for a site that critiques Christian contemporary/worship music - and haven't been able to find one. I think it's important to evaluate the songs that we sing to determine whether they are appropriate for worship, doctrinally sound, and Christ-centered. Also, most contemporary music simply do not mention (or accurately) Christ's atoning work on the Cross for us. Me-centered music simply does not lead to worship - I don't want to sing about how much I love God or about my devotion to God. That's what I love about hymns - because they're so chock full of truth, as you sing and meditate on the words, your mind, heart and soul are engaged to worship God. "Awake my soul and sing, of Him who died for thee!"

When you read about worship in the old testament (and new) you really get the sense that people came together to worship God - not to enjoy the music. There was a deep sense of reverence and awe.

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