I’ve been dwelling on the connections between theological movements and the ‘worship’ music that is associated with those movements. Especially prior to the 20th century most the protestant hymnody was written by pastors and so would reflect the theological trends of the times. Scholastic and puritan. In the 20th century, in america especially, the evangelical and charismatic movements have been prominent in the theologies of the pulpit and so the worship movements of ‘praise and worship’ have followed. Every songwriter is being fed by a pulpit. Every songwriter is going to write the language and devotional expression of the pulpit. In seminary I got a lot of biblical and theological content through the hermeneutical framework of redemptive-history, as well as ready the biblical text through a literary lens. These ideas have profoundly influenced by theology and my thoughts regarding worship. They are slowly beginning to leak into my hymn writing as well. While I love and cherish hymnody and the work of my contemporaries in writing new tunes to new texts, I am also nervous to see this generation writing texts to the rich teaching and preaching in our pulpits. Or…for a few more pastors to take up the pen. John Frame and Richard Pratt need to get on it.
<project>: Cardiphonia music intends to sponsor a CD project in the next year or two that would encourage songwriters and pastors to collaborate on writing a worship song that expresses a gospel truth through a particularly redemptive historical perspective or expresses the beauty of a literary reading of scripture.