Poetry & Theology

What makes a good worship song?

I think a good song is one that takes a person to a pilgrimage of theological contemplation. Since singing is an artistic expression, it helps when we merge poetry with theology. By doing so, we allow listeners to embark on a discovery—-one that marvels at the diverse excellencies of God. I love it when songwriters fuse theology and poetry. It’s a potent combination because it goes beyond just a mere dance of sentimentalism. Poetry thrusts theology in our spirit and it keeps it there.

And because a song sung to God is supposed to be a disclosure of his character, its coherence in its lyrical theology must be in place. One that takes primacy of course, is its Christological anchor. Without it, a song does not convey the message of redemption.

Needless to say, congregational worship is important because it is a vessel for corporate confession. The fault sometimes is, in our desire to make songs singable, we make it too simplistic. By doing so, we sacrifice sanctification and consecration for edification. While there is of course, absolutely nothing wrong with the latter, it is supposedly a mere product of the former. We don’t pursue upliftment for it is very anthropocentric in approach. Rather we allow it to happen when we pursue theocentricity in the things that we do, as we actively pursue sanctification.

I guess we must not cut corners when it comes to song writing. Substance weighs more than style and substance can always go with style. Simplistic does not mean short because even a short song can be a packed fuselage that will thrust the listener to worship.

There. You have just read something about songs and singing from a non-singer. What to make of it is up to you.

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