Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bad Hymns

Ben Myers picks makes the valid point that there aren't very many really good hymns. From any generation. The "good" hymns are the ones we remember singing as we were growing up in church. Those are the ones we will be requesting when we are old and the nursing home chaplain asks us what we want to sing today. (And what will the busters and gen-Xers want to sing when it comes their turn, I wonder.) But the theology of most of those hymns is awful.

But what made me laugh was this paragraph by Myers about progressive Christian music:
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that our more progressive contemporary churches have actually invented a brand new way of writing bad hymns: these are the hymns that sound not so much like worship as the recitation of an official policy document. All the fashionable leftist causes are celebrated and affirmed with solemn sincerity; everything is carefully included, so that the entire song unfolds with all the humourless deliberation of a meeting of the committee of management. As I said, there are several kinds of bad hymns; but these ones are probably the worst of all (even though it is a genuine achievement to have invented an entirely new way of writing badly).
We sing those songs at Open Circle and it is so true, for some of them.

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