One caveat: I like “Shine, Jesus, Shine!” 🙂
“Since Christians learn much of their theology from the songs they sing in corporate worship (and privately), no wonder American Christianity is a mile wide but only an inch deep.” Well-said, Rev. Lems.
Note: This is a slightly edited repost from September, 2010.
If you’ve been to an average American church, no doubt you know what a cheesy Christian song is all about. From “Shine Jesus Shine” to “From The Inside Out” to “I Can Only Imagine,” solid theology is out and emotions and feelings are in. I like what Stephen Nichols has to say about this. Commenting on “I Can Only Imagine,” he writes that it
“…Has a rich sound and explicitly religious, even Christian, lyrics, but in the end it presents a rather vacuous theology. These crossover artists remind me somewhat of the Osmonds. They are wholesome, safe, and clean-cut, especially compared to their purely secular counterparts, but you can listen for a long time and not hear anything overtly Mormon. Perhaps the same could be said of Christian crossover artists. They too are wholesome, safe, and clean-cut, but not much…
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Shine Jesus Shine didn’t fare too well in the Praise Song Cruncher (“Flow River Flow? What is there a fourth “River” member of the Trinity now?) Sorry, I just ruined THAT song fer ya…
(you can ffwd to about 16min in if you want to save some time, but hey, why not enjoy the whole show?)
Never took the song’s lyric as suggestive of a “quadrinity.” 🙂
Blog post about a similar subject: https://schreiberscribbles.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/catching-the-word-in-worship/