Written in July 2003
HYMNS AND WORSHIP SONGS
In this post-modern generation we have seen a most welcome resurgence in popularity of the more meditative and emotionally satisfying worship choruses. But I think the church has lost a great treasure in neglecting the hymns which celebrate and reflect on the great doctrines of the faith. This is understandable, as “truth” has lost its value to the post-modern generation; but it is inexcusable, as truth is a vital feature of Christianity. There is great security in living under-girded by the great doctrines of the Word, and we need to have a place for robust singing that affirms these truths. I am trying here to distinguish between enthusiasm for truth which produces robust singing as in the hymns and in some of the contemporary Christian rock music, and personal and meditative expressions of praise as in the worship choruses. Both are needed for healthy Christianity.
We can meditate by going through a theme over and over (worship chorus) or by taking a theme and exploring its facets more comprehensively (the hymn). Both lead to meaningful experiences of worship, and I believe both are needed today.