Some of you may know that Philippa and I are currently doing part of a theological course called the “Moore Course”, which involves meeting up every other Wednesday evening and going through the material. Anyway, during our last meeting we somehow managed to end up talking about lyrics Christian songs. Not so much the actual lyrics themselves but more the general trends.
What people seemed to be saying was, in the past (in a lot of old hymns, for example) the lyrics were primarily focused on God and what he has done for us, how he has had mercy on us, and in general expressing God’s side of the relationship. However, now a lot of ‘worship’ songs (as they now seem to be called, although as Joe has previously pointed out they shouldn’t really) seem to focus on our relationship with God. Our response to him, what we can do for God (actually I once heard these called “Jesus is my Boyfriend” style songs, which made me chuckle).
The problem with having songs which focus on us and on our relationship with God is that it seems to not take into account the inequality of relationship between us and God: in the words of the confession, “we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.”
In a nutshell, people seemed to think that the sense of awe has been lost in many Christian songs today. I’m not really sure about that… although I love some of the older hymns, I think it’s sometimes important to be able to express things of a more intimate nature to God, or “Abba” father. I think it might be more important to try and strike a balance rather than focus too much on one or the other!
Anyway, apologies for the random thoughts and rambling — I just wanted to know really if anyone had any thoughts on the lyrics in modern Christian songs as opposed to the older hymn-style lyrics!