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From the Pastor

From the Pastor

Some quotes from a recent academic article I read by the Rev Dr Ian Hussey, a Queensland Baptist Academic included:

“Perhaps no single issue has caused as much grief and pain in the Western Church life than the so-called ‘worship wars’. Many churches have experienced high level conflict over the congregational songs they sing. Churches have fractured, often along generational lines, about whether they sing hymns or contemporary songs in church. Hymns have been declared ‘culturally irrelevant and boring’, and more contemporary songs have been called ‘loud and theologically thin’.”

In research that compared the most sung hymns of the 1800s with the most sung songs of 2018, the findings were as follows: the theological themes covered were common; modern songs were more Trinitarian; hymns have marginally deeper themes – perhaps because they are slightly longer, and use more complex vocabulary; modern songs use more everyday language; hymns are more corporate whereas modern songs are more intimate.

Hussey concludes: “We can take heart that the most popular contemporary Christian songs are not significantly different in content to the popular songs of the 19th and 20th centuries. As Thorton suggests, it appears that the genre has evolved. Hillsong, the single biggest contributor to the contemporary songs used in this research, and the major influence on contemporary Christian song-writing, has recently employed the services of theologians to vet the lyrical content of songs appearing on their albums. It appears this is bearing fruit.”

David Rietveld

Senior Pastor