May 20, 2006

Shallow Worship Materials

A Royal On Pastor Ryan Bell’s blog he has a discussion of the difficulty of preaching on the subject of worship. That discussion made me think about certain worship services that I have attended. I began to think specifically about the transition from theological songs to a lot of the “praise” songs that are sung in many churches today.

I can remember when a church I attended once moved from using Gospel songs for praise to the common praise songs. I can remember the transition from “Power in the Blood” or even “Through it All” to songs were the total lyrical content is in the title. ?Lord you are Holy, Yes You Are Holy, You are so holy to me. Lord you are Holy, Yes you are holy, Holy you are and holy you?ll be.? Then the word ?Holy? is changed to ?Righteous? and the whole song is sung again. Then sung successively through 3 other words and finally closes with ?All-That.? People are not told about the Christian meta-narrative. We are not formed in the knowledge of what God has done for us or for others…

Marva Dawn said ?shallow…worship materials?will not reveal the truth about God. Instead, these shallow materials will shape shallow theology and form us superficially.? Much better songs would help to place us in the ?meta-narrative.? I hasten to add that I am not talking about worship style. Before that move to praise songs some of the songs that were sung were contemporary Gospel songs about God’s work on our behalf and for others. Some spoke of some theological underpinings of the Christian faith. But somehow we joined the larger movement in the Christian world towards trivial songs with very little theological or even pastoral content.

Can the Christian church that is used to singing about the trinity, the power of God on our behalf, the grace of the Cross be changed by singing songs that just Praise God but never talk about why or who the God is we praise? Will the lyrical content change make us more shallow as Dawn has suggested? Does the fact that many churches of many denominational groups are singing these shallow songs mean that we have some difficult days ahead as a Christian church?

What do you Think?

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shermancox

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (http://soulpreaching.com ), Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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