I Don’t Listen to Christian Music Radio, Pt. 1

Dr. John Stackhouse, one my favorite Christian thinkers and scholars went gangsta on the music of Chris Tomlin and modern worship music in general.

To begin with, I indeed like Chris Tomlin and some of his worship songs—a lot!  “How Great Is Our God” has a permanent spot on my iPod. 

But Stackhouse points out an issue that I have not just with modern worship music but also contemporary Christian and gospel music in general.

Rhyme scheme is less important to me than, say, theological substance and truth-telling.  As far as CCM is concerned, the word “milktoast” comes to mind.  The cutting edge stuff that unnerves the comfortable Christian and challenges the non-believer to doubt their faith is questioned by the “industry” insiders while the safe pollute the airwaves with music and videos that look and sound no different that what MTV has to offer.

My issue is not style but substance, not poetic ability but theology.  People like Andrew Peterson, who writes circles around most CCM artists enjoy a strong following among people like me who long for more theological depth in our music that rightfully convey the joys and frustrations of being in the world but not of it.

Dumbed-down lyrics are directly related to dumbed-down theology.  Picking on one particular artist doesn’t help the discussion but something is clearly wrong.

By the way, I’m concluding part 1 with the lyrics and clip of “How Great Is Our God.”  I do see some end rhyme here so beware, not to mention a healthy dose of theological truth.  Holy, holy, holy, Batman!

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God


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