Thinking Out Loud

January 6, 2019

The Church Today Viewed Through the Lens of Tomorrow

I have strongly come to believe that if Jesus Christ’s second coming does not otherwise interrupt the trajectory of Evangelicalism in North America, Australia/New Zealand and Western Europe, that something like the following will be written about us in the not-so-distant future:

They allowed music to be an all-important feature of their gatherings to the point where it became a dominant factor in shaping their view of God and His ways and attracting people to their churches. They did so at the expense of songs of testimony, songs of proclamation, songs of commitment, songs of assurance, songs narrating the history of God’s people, and songs after the pattern of the Psalter which reiterate passages from the scriptures.

They created a generation with an incomplete picture of the work of the Church and the purposes of God; trading this to sing platitudes often distant from their hearts.

…At least that’s my opinion.


  1. You are so right. They forget to worship. The thing is that this has been happening slowly over many year. Personally, I think that this is the product of a generation raised on apologetics. Oh, and veggie tales.

    Comment by Andie — January 6, 2019 @ 3:55 pm

    • Apologetics? Like, the practice of making reasoned defense and logical arguments supporting our faith? I’m not sure that would contribute to a shallow expression of “worship” in music.
      The more I know that God is real and Christ is risen as a fact of history – instead of relying merely on how I feel about it, or whether I had a mountaintop experience last week during the singing – the more confident I am that I haven’t followed cleverly devised fables or winds of “new” doctrine. Apologetics serves an essential purpose in the church’s response to a skeptical and hostile world.

      Comment by sonworshiper — January 9, 2019 @ 8:47 pm

  2. I see what you’re saying, but I think those songs are still out there… we just have to go looking for them instead of maybe the top of the charts albums from whichever worship band.
    Nichole Nordeman has some profound lyrics that dig deeper. Rich Mullins always brought powerful perspectives and a sense of living out worship in the real world. NF is a rapper who keeps his razor-sharp lyrics clean and speaks openly about the struggles he deals with. Matt Redman is a modern lead worshiper who I see making intentional steps to ensure the church has more songs than simply “God You’re good, ‘cause You make me feel good.”
    I’m betting that if I dug deeper into Gospel, I would also find a lot more of the testimony songs.

    Comment by sonworshiper — January 9, 2019 @ 8:52 pm

    • Thanks for your comments. I wasn’t sure about the apologetics reference either. There is a bit of a backlash against apologetics in some circles right now, and I understand that you can’t just base your faith on logical, propositional arguments. You can argue deism, but it won’t point to Christ. If you argue the resurrection, well, that’s more specific. If you actually meet Christ in the pages of scripture, that’s even better.

      Not sure where that leaves us however with respect to music. Also, if someone wants to talk about Veggie Tales, again some of that was simply values-based, but some episodes were directly related to Bible stories. I just don’t get how we go from that to vertical worship; I don’t see the connection.

      Your music examples were well-chosen. I love Rich Mullins — did you see the movie Ragamuffin? — and Matt Redman, like many of the UK worship leaders, has much to offer us.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 10, 2019 @ 7:58 pm

      • I did see Ragamuffin, and read the book by Brennan Manning if memory serves. The perspectives Manning wrote and Mullins put to music seemed quite profound and opened me to a bigger impression of God than I had at first.

        Comment by sonworshiper — January 11, 2019 @ 6:45 am

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