Tue 5 Apr 2011
In a post last year, I noted that the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod was putting on a contemporary music songwriters conference. Frequenters of this site know that I occasionally bemoan the shallowness of much of contemporary worship music, but that I do so with a caveat: I don’t think that the style of music is in itself necessarily bad; but I do think that the lyrics too often reveal a minimal (and, in some cases, downright errant) understand of theology. What’s wrong isn’t musical style, it’s the lack of theological rigor.
That’s part of the reason why I was so eager to see the results of the LCMS Songwriters Initiative. I wanted to see contemporary music paired with strong confessional theology. I wanted to see what this genre in Lutheran hands could do.
It looks like I’ll have a chance to see just that. I’m glad to say that Concordia Publishing House has posted the songs from the Songwriters Initiative on their website. There you can download both audio files and lead sheets. Best of all, LCMS churches can use the songs for free in their congregations. (No word on whether Lutheran Church-Canada churches are given similar permission).
I haven’t had a chance to do an in-depth review of the songs myself yet, but I will say, based on a first listen, that it’s wonderful to hear such a focus on the Sacrament of the Altar in this music. Concordia Publishing House notes that all the songs on the site have been “thoroughly considered for their doctrinal content and have been approved through the LCMS doctrinal review process.” Theological rigor? Check. Contemporary music? Check. Here’s hoping this is only the first step of many towards finding a peaceful solution (without compromising confessional integrity) to the Worship Wars.