PURITY & POETRY (WHERE I DEFEND CCM KINDA)

church_for_web_t300I’ve been thinking a lot about balance, lately.

As a guy who listens to a lot of music (for both personal fulfillment as well as for the job I have,) I’ve been concerned at a recent trend among music from the “Reformed” movement.

As a guy who holds a high view of God’s sovereignty and who cares a great deal about doctrinal, Biblical songwriting/worship leading, it’s strange that music from famous Reformed churches would vex me.

Here’s why – theological purity isn’t enough.

(I’ll give you a second to throw one of your shoes across the room.)

There. Okay, back to the blog.

It seems as if music from Reformed bands and publishers are operating under some kind of rule – pack every song with as many Reformed doctrinal phrases and jargon possible.

The only problem is…a lot of them aren’t good songs. They aren’t easily singable or, in some cases, even remotely enjoyable to listen to.

I have friends who argue with me. But it’s so TRUE , they yell. But shouldn’t good songs do both? Shouldn’t they say true things and be palatable?

I rant about CCM quite a bit, but they’ve got the palatable thing down. (Albeit to a fault.) CCM stuff is melodic and memorable and concise and, well, fun. Is it possible to find balance among the music we create for our congregations or do we have to choose between purity and poetry?

Songwriters bear a unique, difficult burden to say hard-to-understand-but-true things about God in ways that people will remember and want to hear/sing again. Before you unveil that seven minute song intent on finally summarizing some heady theological truth, make sure people will enjoy it while its happening.

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One comment

  1. johnnydrummer

    Agree, but with a qualification. There is ALSO a balance between simple pandering to a woefully anemic aesthetic and slow, careful leading into a more mature one. I could write pages about that.

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