This week starts posts from a song book. The front pages will be posted in this blog today and Wednesday and the song posts will start Friday. (See BOOK in the main menu bar for more information.)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col 3:16 ESV).
As with culture, present day Christian music continues to fluctuate. “In the lyrics of the songs we can detect a shift from an emphasis upon teaching doctrine.”1
[T]hough much of our truly wonderful contemporary music celebrates the greatness of God and His power to deliver us from brokenness, to ease our sorrows, and to drive away our fears there is little focus on the cause of our brokenness, sorrows, and fears—our sin.2
For more than a hundred years we’ve favored emotional, responsive-type songs over songs that magnify the nature, attributes, and works of God. We tend to favor devotion over doctrine. That order needs to be reversed, without losing either. We need more songs that help us think deeply about God and help us respond with wholehearted emotion.3
“[W]hen we don’t major on objective truth, our songs can quickly drift into emotionalism and self-absorption.”4 “[B]eing moved emotionally is different from being changed spiritually.”5 “[T]here is no authentic worship of God without a right knowledge of God.”6
Singing God’s Word can include more than reciting specific verses in song. If the Word of Christ is going to ‘dwell in [us] richly’ we need songs that explain, clarify, and expound on what God’s Word says. We need songs that have substantive, theologically rich, biblically faithful lyrics.7
This 2-volume book is a recounting of the historical facts spanning the time period GOD revealed His final word to mankind through His Son. With less scriptural emphasis in our churches now days, JESUS! In Word and Song is a resource to present Christian doctrine and highlight those facts in song.
“Corporate worship [should have] a teaching function through the lyrics of its songs.”8 “God wants our worship to be intelligent and informed. He wants to stretch our minds to the limits as we consider the greatness of his being and the wonder of his works.”9 “True worship is always a response to God’s Word.10
GOD’s Word is never changing. The truth in these songs is never changing. In this changing and more and more changing world GOD has to stay the hearts of His people. It’s all up to GOD, but these songs and written pages are one method He has opportunity to use to keep His never changing Word in our hearts.
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD” (Psalm 102:18 ESV).
1. Peter Dilley, “Pete Ward – Selling Worship,” 13 February 2008, Cross Rhythms, 26 January 2021 https://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Pete_Ward/Selling_Worship/20168/.
2. Doug Newton, Just Ask, Vol 2 (Greenville, IL: Mary’s Place Publishing, 2015) 127.
3. Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008) 168.
4. Kauflin, 101.
5. Kauflin, 30.
6. Kauflin, 28.
7. Kauflin, 92.
8. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2299.
9. Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008) 166.
10. Kauflin, 91.