Friday, August 1, 2014


A while back, a dear friend of mine sent me a link to an article titled "The Hillsong Song every Christian can sing." I have to admit that I was rather apprehensive when I clicked on the link... The page that I found at the other end told the story of how an Anglican minister convinced several song writers from the world-famous Australian pentacostal mega-church to revisit the text of the Apostle's Creed and rework it into a modern "Worship Chorus."

At the time the article came out (and my subsequent reading of it), I was unable to any recordings or even complete lyrics. I was somewhat suspicious, though, I have developed a somewhat ambivalent attitude toward the songs that come out of the Hillsong movement so you may likely just chalk it up to that if you like. I managed to find a few other articles discussing the forthcoming song but was forced to bide my time until its official release. However, I must say that when I finally did come across the song a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised. While I think the claim that every Christian can sing the song is a bit presumptuous (as is the writer's seeming belief that they are the first people to set the words to music in generations... there have been at least 3 others in the last 50 years all in relatively contemporary styles), the song itself has the potential to be very impactful in the circles where Hillsong is influential. I highly doubt that this song will reach far outside of the Pentecostal and Evangelical circles that Hillsong seems to dominate at times, I hope that it can serve to help to heal some of the many divisions that exist there as well as drive people to search out more of these ancient texts for themselves and not just rely on popular Christian music to shape it into a more accessible form...

In a recent conversation I had with another good friend, it came out that he was afraid to show me some songs because I tend to give technical critiques that end up sounding as if I don't like the song... (which in some cases may be the case, but I guess that's what I get for having a professional background in music...) Thus, I shall resist the temptation to give a full critique and content myself with 3 stars and a wish...

Star No. I:

I appreciated that they included all 12 phrases from the original creed (though a few words were changed to make it more palatable to more audiences).

Star No. II:

I felt the melody was easy to learn and sing (okay, this might not exactly be a star for everyone, but it is something in this day and age) The words have an easy and natural flow.

Star No. III:

While the writers did add various statements, I felt that the added material (tropes if you want to be traditional...) didn't take away from the meaning of the original text and contribute a nice rounding out of the text and even (likely inadvertently) clarifying some of the articles left ambiguous by the original. Fitting arcane texts to contemporary music styles can be cumbersome at times and they did a pretty good job working with that. (for the most part)


While fitting the words to the contemporary musical conventions is difficult, I find that often the logical flow of the original tends to be sacrificed for the sake of the musical convention. This happens all the time with Hymns that are re-worked with added choruses and bridges and the like; the verses that flow logically together become interrupted by the tropes (this isn't always a horrible thing, but it can be done well or poorly) I felt that the logical flow of the text did get sacrificed considerably and the emphasis was shifted from an intentional confession of faith in God to a somewhat disjointed affirmation of personal belief.

Okay fine, here's another Star since that "wish" had at least two prongs to it...

While I didn't like how disjointed the various articles became, I did really appreciate that an emphasis on the Resurrection of the dead became very apparent =)

So there you have it... now that I've talked about it... here's the video

What are your thoughts? Please do share =)

Also, is it just me or does the phrase "Holy Church" make anyone else think of a certain Cardinal in a rediculous red costume accusing old ladies of heresy? (If you aren't a fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus you likely won't get this and will probably be offended, so please disregard my previous question...)

1 comment:

  1. Any time we try to have dialogue between different beliefs, there's going to be some apprehension from both sides, I think. There is definitely a divide within the greater Christian community over more robust traditional hymns and newer, more repetitive songs. It's great that Hillsong took up something challenging like this, and that they seemed to find a pretty good medium.

    I think that many evangelicals and Pentecostals are a little put off by the sheer amount of traditional texts that exist within other denominations. It's pretty clear that they're not afraid to use Scripture itself (many songs, though repetitive, repeat portions of the Bible), often singing the doxology or the lord's prayer mostly in full.

    I think there is skepticism from their side as well regarding the necessity of catechism and traditional texts. Cross-overs like this will hopefully bridge a gap that I think exists between more modern Christian movements concerned with individual expression and more traditional Christian denominations that contain a wealth of carefully thought-out doctrines.

    But quite honestly, no matter the situation, no one suspects the Spanish Inquisition.