Episode #58 – In Which Lewis Listens to Contemporary Christian Songs

In this episode, Lewis is sans Tim, so he decides to hit the iTunes “Christian& Gospel” charts to pick the top five singles of the day. He then listens to them and reviews them, critiquing them (under the Fair Use Copyright Law, thank you for that availability) for their theology, content, form, and, well, musicality. Here is the link to the Praise Song Cruncher 2.5 from Table Talk Radio.

Here are the links to the official song releases on Youtube.

How Can It Be – Lauren Dangle

Soul on Fire – Third Day

Because He Lives (Amen) – Matt Maher

Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) – Hillsong UNITED

Greater – Mercy Me

Click Here To Download: Episode #58 – In Which Lewis Listens to Contemporary Christian Songs

Click Here To Play: 

Opening music: Listener, “Eyes to the Ground for Change”

Other things: Amos Lee, “Tricksters, Hucksters, and Scamps”“Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey”; King of the Hill, Season 8, Episode 2; AC/DC, “Shook Me All Night Long”

Closing Music: Jovan Mackenzy, “Reformata”


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3 thoughts on “Episode #58 – In Which Lewis Listens to Contemporary Christian Songs

  1. Pastor … thank you so much for your show. I’m actually a big fan. But with these worship songs, I’m not on the same page.

    Do you have an artistic bone in your body? You don’t get it. (Please try to hear my point without immediately discounting it)

    Just talking about your view of the first song … the rest of the songs may be total crap.

    “you plead my cause” … Jesus as intercessor, Hebrews

    “you right my wrongs” … imputed righteousness

    and all the rest. You are putting the worst possible construction on everything she said. I dare you to read any of the psalms and apply the same hyper-critical standard.

    Second song is revivalist drivel … I agree. That’s as far as I got in the show before writing this.

  2. Hi. Me again. The rest of your reviews were spot on. Please forgive me Pastor for getting so upset over your first one.

    That first song “How Can It Be” to me is a “sinner’s anthem” … it just encourages me so much. Perhaps the Holy Spirit filters her ambiguous statements and I’m getting more out of them than is actually there.

    I struggle with depression and addiction and most days I don’t even care about anything spiritual. All old adam, all the time. Then when I see my condition, I panic and run away even more. So her song is very helpful for me.

    When it comes to worship songs, I get frustrated because I feel that I’m caught in the middle. It seems like more conservative Lutherans just pick things apart before even giving anything a chance, while the theologically lazy and unfaithful Lutherans just don’t care.

    I’m a musician and a graphic designer, so I’m probably more willing to let some things slide if they hit forgiveness really hard.

    For our church, I’m working on the committee to help pick some worship songs for a contemporary service. It would be better if we had people qualified to make those decisions that were helping us, but I’m not sure if anything like that is available. I don’t like the Praise Cruncher because it brings up too many false positives in my opinion. I don’t know what’s going on as far as Synod, but it seems like they don’t want to help because that could be seen as endorsing something they are against. I may be baring false witness there … I hope that’s not what they are doing. But either way, you have lay people trying to sift through a bunch of songs and we are *****not***** qualified, and most of us don’t care enough. If you know anyone in Synod who might listen, please ask them to help us, our church as a whole.

    Thanks, Pastor! @:}

    PS Below is the letter I wrote to the rest of the committee after listening to a bunch of these songs.

    I found a lot of Comforting songs, Healing songs.

    We could use more songs about God’s power and attributes, or other areas of Christian doctrine like the Resurrection, the Trinity, some songs with doctrinal substance. I’ve skimmed through about a 100 songs this morning. Taken individually, they are awesome. But all at once, I feel like I just ate a box of Jelly Donuts.

    Some suggested names are Stuart Townsend, Fernando Ortega, Andrew Peterson and any other artists who have more doctrinal nutrition in their lyrics.

    This may be tougher than it first appeared. Most of the songs don’t even say Jesus name, but use pronouns for everything instead, you, me, we, our, etc.

    I need to take a break and listen to an episode of the God Whisperers or something. This is why I don’t usually listen to Christian music voluntarily. Strange thing is, the atheist bands like Arcade Fire and Franz Ferdinand put a lot more thought into their lyrics than most of what I heard today. We need some better artists on our team @:}

  3. My problem with the first song, which is as far as I’ve gotten into the episode when I am writing this, is that it does not address WHO you are singing it to. Yes, I do understand that it’s all implied, but that’s the problem. You create your own theology, or insert your own theology based on the song. And, yes, I came from that sort of background where we’d be singing those sorts of songs weekly.

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