Contemporary Christian Music

Shawn Brace shares a video and asks, Can we all agree that this music is questionable?

Meanwhile, a new book highlights 50 people who have messed up Britain (I’m paraphrasing). Among them, Graham Kendrick, author of “Shine, Jesus, Shine!” Quentin Letts is the author, and in a version in the Daily Mail explains:

Happy-cr*ppy hymns are a pestilence. They demean adult worship, dragging it to a level even lower than that of Mrs C. F. Alexander’s All Things Bright And Beautiful (1848). They are self-obsessed, babyish, cliched, simplistic.

Several authors have written these appalling hymns. The daddy of them all when it comes to such gloopy nonsense, however, is Graham Kendrick, author of Shine, Jesus, Shine.

Kendrick, who has a personal website complete with an efficient shopping section, is the nation’s pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge. Imagine Pam Ayres without the humour.

He started writing hymns in the late Sixties and has now written 400 of the ruddy things. Should it not be a strength of Anglican worship that it does not move with the times and instead provides continuity at a time of baffling change?

But no. It’s out with the harmonium! In with the electric guitar! Out with the hymns sung by our forebears, such as He Who Would Valiant Be and Hills Of The North. In with the roughagerich Bind Us Together or the negro spiritual cum grammatical solecism It’s A Me, O’ Lord.

The sturdy hymns of England, musical embodiment of the stoicism, resolve and undemonstrative solidarity of our nation, are in severe peril, and all thanks to ill-shaven remnants of the late Sixties – grinning inadequates who have never got over the fact that they weren’t Cat Stevens.

3 thoughts on “Contemporary Christian Music

  1. Though I may share Quintin Letts sentiments about a lot of contemporary music, I am not sure that I am prepared to question anyone’s motivation for writing a song. I have written some sappy songs in my day.

    Of course, many of our so-called “Praise Songs” today do seem to be “self-obsessed,” which is something I’ve been saying for a while. Still . . . am I to judge another man’s music?

  2. The linked video is pretty atrocious…but is that just me being an elitist Harvard intellectual?

    I must admit, when I was young (I’m not now?), I did really like “Shine Jesus Shine,” but now I can see it’s pretty much full of meaningless sap. I’m actually not quite sure what it’s about anymore.

    That said, I really do appreciate a lot of contemporary music, and many new songs are deep, meaningful, and selfless. I also get a similar worship experience from traditional hymns. I don’t think we should just throw the doors wide open and start singing meaningless or irreverent songs and pass them off as “praise” just because somebody says they are, but at the same time it would be a mistake to rule any song written after 1970 to be unfit for worship.

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