Crazy whose blogs you find, I just stumbled across an old friend’s newish blog – to be fair I haven’t had any contact with him bar one short email, ‘how you going?’ in well over a year. Anyway who knows what this blog is going to be like. But here you go Jonny, hello again and here’s a link (you look like a bushranger with that beard).

The Blogs of an IT Nerd in the Country 


guitar.jpgThere has been some lively discussion over on Geoff’s (and Paul’s) blogs about the Third Day song, “You Are So Good to Me”. Before I get going, might I add that after a short background check this is actually a Third Day cover of a Waterdeep song. There! So now you know who to blame if you’re going to proceed down that avenue.

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
And I will sing again

You are so good to me
You heal my broken heart
You are my Father in Heaven

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song

You ride upon the clouds
You lead me to the truth
You are the Spirit inside me

You are my strong melody, yeah
You are my dancing rhythm
You are my perfect rhyme
And I will sing of You forever

You poured out all Your blood
You died upon the cross
You are my Jesus who loves me

You are my Father in Heaven
You are the Spirit inside me
You are my Jesus who loves me

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the song. Predominantly and perhaps foolishly they are mostly personal reasons, some of them quite silly:

  • As a general rule, I have no idea of how music works – I just like it (mostly), hence the lyrics about ‘song’ don’t have any deep undercurrent of meaning for me. I like extrapolating on definitions or tangents of words – this happens in my head and there’s not much explaining it, it’s just weird. The songs that really click are those that convey something very real to me, something that I can relate with, relate something to or have experienced in some way shape or form.
  • I don’t like the use of the word ‘sweet’ in almost any context.
  • I don’t like repetitive things – it begins to remind me of the hair-dryer sound I often wake up to in the morning (alas having a room opposite the bathroom!)
  • I hate the inclusion of ‘I will sing again’ or any phrase remotely close, it’s sloppy song writing – it makes little sense. Why not demonstrate it instead of weaving the instruction into the song? I look at phrases like this and am amused because I start thinking of being stuck in a never ending loop reminiscent to, ‘This is the Song that Does Not End’ – must I explain my utter loathing!
  • I don’t dance and have no rhythm
  • Rhymes make bad poetry

Bar the first one where I a few people might join me in severe lack of musical skill, they are pathetic reasons.

Of course the discussion happening across where more serious and deep theological discussions ususally occur has a lot more merit.

Striding on from some thoughts that I’ve thunk (sic) since, what is with theology and song?

Music is an almost constant in my life and for those who have grown up in Christian homes, you do get your musical kick-start in toe-tapping tunes (cringe), gloomy ballads, uplifting hymns, weird 80’s stuff that you can still appreciate ten years on, tedious Hillsong, baaaaad pop and the odd-but-rare musically brilliant song, this is where much of your understanding about God develops.

Music has clearly surpassed read poetry in this day and age – so this is what we emotionally connect to, this is what’s easy to remember, more respectable in social situations (than you know, discussing great slabs of scripture). It certainly doesn’t take precedence over what the Bible has to say but it’s the glistening reality.

Being in a post modernist society – like it or not – that emotional response, the feelings thing is somewhat important.

Is it all about evoking some emotional response toward God? Or is it about declaring his character? Do we sing from a gut full of joy, or do we sing because it’s the time for it and oh yeah, it sort of sounds cool?

I struggle most at church during the “worship”. After a year, possibly more of being forced to take a critical look at theology in all contexts of life this already cynical mind of mine is plagued by the first 30 minutes of my Sunday mornings at church. It’s not always bad, and I am in a church now where I can be quite comfortable with the majority of the songs, but it is an issue. It takes work and quite a lot of it to not let my mind, a) be generally distracted, b) not go ape over song lyrics. This is something I both appreciate and something I hate. It is hard to worship God in this way. The emotional high of past from getting caught up in inspiring music would sometimes be nice. I want to be able to sing it and mean it and feel it and know it to be true.

We can complain all we like about ‘bad worship songs’ and we’re good at it. We often have quite a just reason to, but what are we doing about it? We can of course eliminate the poor choices to satisfy the cynic but more importantly perhaps we can seek to stress the importance for people to think about what they’re singing, ground them in Biblical theology and explain that it extends beyond the sermon.

Who is God after all? Who are we in relation to Him?

What scares me is that our metaphors fall oh-so-short. I’ve had youth girls explaining that we are, ‘like a freckle’ on God’s face and awkwardly stumble with that understanding to attempt to explain what they thought about suffering. It all seems a little absurd.

Some things I read before posting this:
Top 5 Worst Worship Songs
Worship Leader: Trinity
Sources of Theology
Sources of Theology Continued
Words and Theology

Christianity Church Music