Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Intimacy in Worship

Scott has been posting on what troubles him in terms of modern worship music. I've been hesitant to wade into this lest I tip my hat. His latest rant is about lyrics that he feels cross the line between eros and agape. In terms of that particular song I find that it isn't really that well thought through lyrically and I really don't find songs about God that intimate. But I actually don't have the same problem with the wet sloppy kiss, because as a metaphor for the intersection of heaven and earth well I've heard worse (whatever the heck is meant by heaven and earth and some sort of intersection there). Poor theology aside, I do relish an intimate song in worship. But those songs that let my heart sing of my love for God are actually sung to God. They are songs through which I acknowledge my feelings as a legitimate response to God's love and/or presence.

I really feel that there is needed better theological reflection in the creative process of songwriting for worship. I am really glad that folks like Dan Wilt have made this a priority. What we sing actually reflects accurately what we believe (if we don't start out believing it we will eventually believe the words we sing). So the theology of our worship music definitely matters. Personally I love to worship, but I also love to reflect on how the community I lead worships - including the songs we sing. I'm not above pointing out my trouble with a particular phrase or song being used. I'm glad though that for the most part there is a lot of room for well thought out and intimate worship music. It can be done. It needs to be done a lot more.


colin benner said...

Interesting and I agree Frank - as an artist I love the abstract and mystery of the unexplained, the vagueness of innuendo and yet as a thinking man, I like accuracy of content. Intimacy requires both heart and head.
Always worth thinking and talking about

Scott Bailey said...

Good thoughts Frank. Of course, I am right and you are wrong, but good thoughts nonetheless! (jk) ;)

I'm not against intimacy, but I'm not sure sexual intimacy is what we should be seeking in our worship. I explain a little further in the comments.