Wednesday, March 11, 2009

John Stackhouse on Worship

Canadian Theologian John Stackhouse takes aim at Christian songwriter Chris Tomlin about worship lyrics and Stackhouse makes this quotable remark:

Well, enough’s enough. We are the most educated Christians in history, and yet our lyrics are considerably stupider than our much less educated Christian forebears–the people who sang lyrics by Fanny Crosby or Charles Wesley or Isaac Watts.




Daniel and Brittny Owens said...

I'm sorry but on this one I think you have taken a step back. Stackhouse's comments about music (whether loud or bad lyrics) come off as being very slanted and uncalled for. I mean, did Chris Tomlin claim to be a great lyricist in the vain of Watts or something? Lyrics are only part of music and should not be confused with the whole. This is especially the case considering their are many people who would rather not sing at all if they had to sing Watts or Wesley tunes. Maybe your not one of them, which is fine, and maybe that says your more sophisticated or cultured. But to give an 'amen' to that type of article I think is unfair.

Just think about this. I have read many of your books (which most I have appreciated greatly) and none of them contain sentences the length of B.B. Warfield. Are you 'considerably stupider'? Absolutely not! You write in a way that is expected for your time. No one would read you much less purchase your books if you wrote in sixty word sentences.

I hope one day to publish myself. I really hope I don't have to brilliant as Wright, Hay or whoever to be valid. Cut your brother some slack. Be nice. Since I am sure you are a nice man.

Daniel Owens

Michael F. Bird said...


I have no idea who Chris Tomlin is and I don't pretend to be an expert on worship music. But Christian worship music with fuzzy wuzzy touchie feelie lyrics that don't actually mean anything really do bug me.