CT interviews Keith & Kristyn Getty

Perhaps Keith and Kristyn Getty are best known for writing the worship song, “In Christ Alone.” It’s doctrinal and devotional depth have made it a favorite among English-speaking evangelicals. There are few people writing music like the Getty’s.

Christianity Today interviewed the Getty’s and asked them a series of questions about their songwriting. Their music really contrasts with the vacuity of much of the songs coming out of the modern worship movement. Here’s are a couple of exchanges that go directly to this point:

Christianity Today: To what do you attribute your success?

Keith: I think there is a rise in Bible teachers who are trying to draw the connection between what is taught and what is real in everyday experience, and who are struggling to find a connection—where a generation ago, they just used hymns. While there’s a lot of excellent worship songs, they tend to focus on very small aspects of the Christian faith.

If you took a list of subjects, say, attributes of God in the Psalms, probably only 10 percent of them are used in virtually the entire canon of modern worship music. Modern worship songs tend to have a very thin range of subjects. They also tend to explore subjects in a less deep way than traditional hymnody does.

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Christianity Today: In a worship service, is there an ideal mix between contemporary worship, modern hymns, and classic hymns?

Keith: I don’t think there’s an answer. You choose great songs that have great words and sing well. Every word you give people on a Sunday has to count for something. The same thing applies to what is sung—in fact, in some ways even more so.

Paul told persecuted churches to get together and teach and admonish one another and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. There’s no intellectual reason to do that; there’s no church- growth reason to do that. It’s a command, because that is the radical thing.

If members of a congregation aren’t singing, serious questions must be asked, no matter how good the show is at the front.

We also need to remember the importance of learning from the pastor. A lot of people go into Christian music with the Bible in one hand and Coldplay in the other: “I’m going to slap something from the Bible onto whatever the contemporary style is, and that’s the way to relate to contemporary culture, because that’s what pastors do—they’ve got the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, and they apply this one to this one.”

But that’s not what pastors do. I don’t know any pastor who doesn’t read commentaries by people who came before. There is an unusual arrogance sometimes in music, where one side is disparaging of contemporary music as if the new generation has nothing to say. But then the flip side of that is the new generation has no interest in what’s been said before.

There are 20 centuries of Christian music history and a glorious history of sound traditions from before that. There’s so much we can learn. Even if we detest the musical styles or we feel they’re an irrelevancy to our particular gifting, there’s a rich legacy to be learned from.

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For those who are interested, here’s the Getty’s website: www.gettymusic.com.

Here’s the Amazon.com link to their album “In Christ Alone.”

33 Responses to CT interviews Keith & Kristyn Getty

  1. Paul February 21, 2008 at 5:43 pm #

    words: fantastic.

    music: hideous. Unless your name is Joe Zawinul, if you think you need a synthesizer, what you really need is a new music director.

  2. Jesica February 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    Hey Denny,

    I find I’m always learning new words from your blog! Today’s word:vacuity.

    Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the week designing my conversations around being able to incorporate this word into them.

    Thanks! 🙂

  3. Benjamin A February 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    I have this CD.

    It’s great. Both words and music.

    “Even if we detest the musical styles or we feel they’re an irrelevancy to our particular gifting, there’s a rich legacy to be learned from.”

  4. Paul February 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    Benjamin,

    if the music is great, then what am I missing? I heard nothing but stock “we’re christian, so a back beat is out of the question, and hey, let’s layer pointless synths on top of everything!”

    And yes, there is something to be learned from everything. That said, I find it offensive when Christians think that if the message is there that the music doesn’t matter.

  5. MatthewS February 21, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    Great quotes.

    Paul – not baiting you – genuinely curious: would you be willing to name a Christian musician you respect and/or enjoy? You may have done so in the past and I missed it. I am just curious to know if I am familiar with what you would consider good Christian music.

  6. Brett February 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    I second Matthew’s question. It seems like you really know your music Paul, and I would love to know what Christian artists you like. Personally, I don’t know my music, and I think I could benefit from your response. Thanks!

  7. Paul February 21, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    Matthew,

    I wish I could say that I thought that there was any good “Christian” music out there. I mean, you’ve got bands like U2, where some of their music was Christian. Or for that matter, you can say the same thing for much of Duke Ellington’s later output. Cyrus Chestnut (fantastic jazz pianist) won’t play a set without playing a hymn, and I’ve talked to him about his faith, and he’s genuine, but that’s a different scenario entirely.

    Insofar as CCM output, all I can say is that I have never seen a genre so hellbent on musical mediocrity. The closest I’ve come to being impressed by bands of that ilk would be…

    The Prayer Chain, whose label deleted all of their records as soon as they broke up.

    Starflyer 59, who seemed to be (a) completely one dimensional, and (b) not really interested in God at all.

    Caedmon’s Call, who are great, as long as the girl doesn’t sing.

    I’ve asked this a million times before, and make this a million and one: where is the Christian My Bloody Valentine, Jane’s Addiction, Led Zeppelin or Grateful Dead? Not in terms of sound, but in terms of musical innovation? It sounds like every CCM band is perfectly happy to live in this musical ghetto where they ATTEMPT to sound like 2 or 3 bands and fail miserably almost every time.

    This is one thing I am passionate about, because I WANT to support Christian musicians wherever and whenever possible. I WANT to pop in a Christian CD into the CD player and be edified and genuinely enjoy the music. So, please, point me in the direction, and I will go there.

  8. Jesica February 22, 2008 at 1:07 am #

    I’m not Paul, but here are my top 3:

    Warren Barfield

    Warren Barfield

    Warren Barfield

    I think the words to his songs are wonderful…

    And Angela DiPrima …. almost all of her songs are right from Scripture, and they are amazing! She has one that goes through all of the names of God found in the Old Testament, and their meanings from the Hebrew.

    Both of these people are pretty acoustic…I love that sound!

    OK, Paul..you’re the musician.
    I’ll be quiet now!
    🙂

  9. Hoey February 22, 2008 at 4:46 am #

    Hey Paul!

    Delighted to hear someone else talk about Cyrus Chesnut! He’s one of my favourite modern jazz piantists. I’m currently living in Ireland and I saw him one year at the Cork Jazz festival in a packed little room with his trio. He blew me away. It wasn’t until I heard his album Blessed Quietness and read more about him that I realised he was a Christian. He’s something else.

    If you want to explore Christians who are just excelling in music without producing what is commonly defined as worship, check out Sufjan Stevens, Foy Vance and Over The Rhine.

    I’m playing with a band called Star Turtle and we’re about to put out our first album (“Grin&Bear”). We’re doing more of the alternative rock thing, but not in a whiny, polished Switchfoot sort of way. Anyway, we’re at http://www.starturtle.tv.

  10. Lucas Knisely February 22, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    Paul,

    You think My Bloody Valentine is good?

    You just lost all credibility. 😉

  11. Paul February 22, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    Hoey: nice stuff. Keep it up. I especially liked the third tune on the website.

    Jesica: Warren Barfield: not my cup of tea, but then again, there’s something to be said for the fact that I listened to everything on there. Kinda sounds to me like Third Day, only with talented musicians.

    I couldn’t find clips of Angela DiPrima anywhere, but if she has the Joni Mitchell thing going on (as a couple of different reviews mentioned) AND she let’s some of that South African stuff seep into her music, I could be REALLY REALLY intrigued.

    Lucas: 😛

  12. Paul February 22, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    Hoey: there are actually quite a few other jazz musicians who are pretty vocal about their faith as well.

    Check out any of these guys:

    Gregory Tardy (his last album, The Hidden Light, if you can find it…it’s stellar)

    Eric Reed

    John Patitucci

    Dave Brubeck (he actually did a jazz vespers/mass album which is pretty hip)

    And Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts and Come Sunday all deal with his faith.

  13. Hoey February 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Paul,

    Wow, I didn’t realise John Patitucci was a believer! I saw him play with the Wayne Shorter Quartet in ’05 (along with Danillo Perez and Brian Blade) and he was unbelievable. Actually that whole show was something I’ll never forget as long as I live.

    And I’m equally surprised about Dave Brubeck. That’s cool! He’s always playing Cork Jazz too. I need to get my hands on that ajzz vespers record. Thanks for the tips Paul!

  14. Benjamin A February 22, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    Paul,

    Like your zeal for music.

    My top jazz dude was Steely Dan. Haven’t listened to him in years.

    That should tell you how out of touch I am in the music world.

    Still like the Getty CD though…

  15. Paul February 22, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Benjamin,

    well, thank you. It’s what God put me on the planet to do.

    I am glad that someone hears something in that Getty CD that I don’t.

    By the way, if you like jazz versions of hymns, click on my name and check out my trio’s version of Amazing Grace. Maybe you’ll like…

  16. Jesica February 22, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Oh WOW! I didn’t know about that Dave Brubeck CD! I’m so excited! He is my all time favorite in the Jazz arena!

    (next to Paul’s trio, of course!)

    Paul, I did some searching, and figured out how we can track down an Angela DiPrima CD…truly, she is fantastic! I don’t know much about Joni Mitchell, so I can’t really compare the two. (I was born in ’70, so missed the ’60s and landed right into the bad music decade of the ’80s!)

    Regarding Angela…if I am able to find contact info. for her, I’ll ask how people can purchase her CDs and let you know.
    Her website isn’t up and she’s not on iTunes, so we’ll have to hunt her down a bit. 🙂

    If you get the chance, see Warren Barfield live, you might be won over. 🙂

    Have a super day!

  17. Ronk February 22, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Paul,

    I think you are judging this cd innapropriately. If you listen to this cd and then are compelled to opine on why there is no christian Led Zepplin then I think you are using unbelievably impossible criteria. I don’t know if you know anything about the Getty’s, but they’re hymnwriters. They’re not producing cd’s to push the bounds or be innovative. They’re actually writing tunes to these new hymns that are intended to convey with the text the objective reality of which the texts speak (like any other genre of poetry).

    You criticize christians musicians for thinking that the only important thing is the lyrics, but in hymnody, the words are precisely the point. The tune is always supposed to support and illuminate the text, because the hymn itself, is it’s own art form. These wonderful hymnists are writing hymns and setting them to music so that they will be used in worship, publicly sung. If you feel it to be ho-hum, IT IS, precisely what it is because it is MEANT to appeal to the broadest number and category of worshiper. Zepplin (in a christian expression) in many churches would be a simply a stumbling block. While there is no “inherent” sinfulness in that form, its function would be sinful if we ignored scripture’s admonishion to deal gently with those who aren’t enlightened as we may be. SO, these folks produce something aimed at NOT being a stumbling block and are excoriated.

    I think you should take into account the genre, audience, and purpose as criteria if you want to evaluate it properly. Maybe next time that will help keep you from speaking harshly and quickly, unnecessarily.

  18. Paul February 23, 2008 at 5:06 am #

    Ronk,

    I think you should take into account the fact that I was answering a question when I made the remark about the “Christian Led Zeppelin.”

    What I said about the Gettys’ disc was…

    “music: hideous. Unless your name is Joe Zawinul, if you think you need a synthesizer, what you really need is a new music director.”

    and

    “we’re christian, so a back beat is out of the question, and hey, let’s layer pointless synths on top of everything!”

    and I’ll stand by those comments too, even with regard to “genre, audience and purpose.”

    Here’s why: what tends to happen in the worship/hymn field more often than not is that whoever is behind the boards always does the same stuff: lame meandering drums that serve no purpose, and lots of synthesizers set on the string setting, and always with a less than convincing patch.

    your words: “but in hymnody, the words are precisely the point. The tune is always supposed to support and illuminate the text, because the hymn itself, is it’s own art form. These wonderful hymnists are writing hymns and setting them to music so that they will be used in worship, publicly sung.”

    Which is why I would much rather hear something like this done with a great piano player and nothing else. You don’t need to have a 40 piece band in your megachurch, nor do you need to sound like you have one on your CD.

    I also refuse to take that comment about it being okay for music to be ho-hum in a hymn setting seriously. I’ve heard some really wonderful hymns in my day, both from a text standpoint AND a musical one. It’s not that hard to accomplish. All of the window dressing that I heard on the Gettys’ CD was just that…window dressing. Their product suffered for it, they should have known better, their producer should have known better, and their record company should have known better. In other words, I’m not excoriating them for purpose, I’m excoriating them for feeling that the status quo of hymn/worship music (see above comments about window dressing) is something that should be preserved. It isn’t. We don’t need more overproduction. And that’s my problem with 99.8% of recorded hymn and worship music in America right now.

    Please read EVERYTHING, and then attack accordingly.

  19. Ronk February 23, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    Paul,

    I assure you I read everything you wrote. Re-read it even. I will start with the last first.

    I did not say the music is Ho-Hum. I characterized your comments as saying that. I said that if YOU think the music is ho-hum, then it is precisely because it is meant to appeal to the broadest number of worshipers, rather than one pickey and haughty critic on a blog. (Did you read my comment?) Now, if you disagree that this “ho-hum” style appeals to most worshipers, then debate that. I don’t think you can, because your whole premise is that this is what’s wrong with the overwhelming majority of christian music, right? Again, read. I did not think it ho-hum. You seem to. I own the cd and think it is worshipful and all the tunes and production seem to add to the texts.

    Second, I agree that maybe a single piano would be nice and that you don’t have to have a 40 piece band (although there are at least 4 songs here where there is only a 3 piece combo), but you quoted a statement I made that isn’t related to that comment of yours? I said that in hymnody (a form of poetry) the intent is to make the lyrics clear and stand at the forefront. Are you saying that the 40 piece band detracts from the words of the hymn? Are you saying that you can’t SING to a 40 piece band, only to a single piano? You don’t say this but one is left to put your comment somehow with mine since you quoted it. Perhaps you could be more clear.

    Lastly, I do understand that you were answering a question about what you would consider “good” music. However, my comment remains. You answered a question posed to you on a blog comment stream after calling a cd hideous. The purpose of the questioner is to compare what you find hideous with what you find good. So after hearing something “hideous” and answering what you think is good, you compared the two. They are on a good to hideous continuum. You are comparing apples and oranges. You may be a good musician, have a wonderful ear, but you are not wise or even-handed in your judgments.

    You say that you stand by your original comments against my criticism. But it is shockingly apropos that you don’t direct us to some good music in this genre. You don’t point us to a well produced collection of hymns for public worship that DOES meet your standards. Interesting. Maybe because the apple isn’t an orange. Bias is a funny thing. It’s o.k. not to like the cd. I’m no apologist for the Getty’s. But you don’t listen to a middle school orchestra expecting the boston pops. You don’t go to the Opry to expecting to hear the Kronos quartet, and you don’t expect inovation and backbeat in a collecition of hymns for the church. You said “I’m excoriating them for feeling that the status quo of hymn/worship music (see above comments about window dressing) is something that should be preserved. It isn’t.” There’s no reason for you to know that they DO feel that way, however at least the orange tastes like an orange.

    Btw, Warren Barfield isn’t bad. I think of him as the christian John Mayer with a hint of Ben Harper in his voice. Do you own any Derek Webb? His latest CD is “revolver-esque” and is absolutely fantastic. Randall Goodgame is a fantastic songwriter, but musically not compelling. Sufjan Stevens is fantastic. His Christmas CD is a must have.

    Thanks for engaging my criticism.
    RonK

  20. Ronk February 23, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    I appearently like the word “fantastic.”
    probably all those could be replaced with just plain “good.”

  21. Ronk February 23, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    #19 is supposed to be following a longer comment that is in moderation.

  22. Paul February 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    Ronk,

    we can simplify this argument very quickly.

    Americans, when listening to music that they now know nothing about because they keep electing people who choose to cut art funding, think that words are the most important thing. Then, depending on your culture, either rhythm or melody might come in a relatively close second, with harmony being pushed far afield since the mid 1950’s.

    Whether you like the way that the above paragraph reads, it is the truth. That stated and understood, we can now move on.

    Due to the fact that most white Christians refuse to look at music as a total gift from God (in having the talent) and to God (in praising Him in song), we get CDs like this disc from the Gettys. The WORDS are the most important thing. And yes, they are AN important thing. But if I just scream like a punk rocker, “GOD IS HOLY BECAUSE HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO DIE FOR US ON THE CROSS TO TAKE ON OUR SIN!!!” where’s the beauty in that? Where’s the SONG CRAFT (an important phrase here)? In exactly the opposite direction than the example stated, we can say the same thing about the Gettys. Its attempt is to have doctrinally sound hymns. I can’t complain there. But I can complain when the arrangements are either lacking or painfully milquetoast in an attempt to be all things to all Christians. If God does not want us to be milquetoast and bland in life, if he wants us to be the salt that is salty, then it is saying something really bad about the church when the music being made for it is intentionally bland.

    Now, I AM NOT saying that someone should be playing the groove to “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin over The Servant Song. But there’s a big difference between a great and simple arrangement that everyone can be moved by and what I heard on the Gettys CD, which seemed like window dressing for the sake of window dressing. Even as a percussionist, I would much rather hear no drummer on a disc than hear a drummer not lay out the beat (you know, his JOB). I would much rather hear a piano player simply pumping out chords than synths upon synths playing garbage that adds nothing to a song, whatsoever. Most of the time, the simplest arrangement of a song is the best one.

    Which brings me to those 40 piece megachurch bands. Every instrument on stage should serve a purpose. Which, in a non classical setting, 99% of the time, you can get by with piano/guitar, bass and drums. That’s it. No French horn, no white college kid who owns a djembe but never learned how to play it (sorry, in Chicago, seemingly every church has one of these, and they’re all uniformly bad) So, while you CAN sing along to a 40 piece band, I don’t see the purpose in having it in the first place. And I REALLY don’t see the purpose in recording one, unless you owe people favors.

    There, I kept the focus on worship & hymn music, and how less is almost always more. Better?

    Now, as for pointing out something that I do like in the tradition of hymnody (which isn’t a word, by the way, but I like it, so it stays), I haven’t heard anything. At least not in the white, American church. I’ve heard musicians pour out their souls to Christ in other cultures and other languages, and it sounds great. It sounds heartfelt, and most importantly, it sounds like the music being made is just as important of a gift to God from them as the words. Much like nearly everything else in life, we Americans would do well to look around and learn from others. But we never do. And just like our culture is poorer for it, so is our worship music.

    Insofar as your comments on Warren Barfield, they kind of prove my point. The bands that I listed, you know, no one sounds like them. Not in the big picture. Maybe someone can sound like they did on this one tune. But not overall. And THAT’S what I’m looking for from the CCM community. And I’m quite afraid that I’ll never find it.

  23. Paul February 23, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    oh, Denny doesn’t like me any more, I think (not that he ever did…)

  24. MatthewS February 24, 2008 at 7:31 am #

    Sorry to drag this on – just curious to know what Paul and others think of Don Francisco’s music (he is still producing [rockymountainministries.org] and I like his later stuff; also, I am under the impression Mike Banta is pretty good as well) and TobyMac’s music. I would have thought you could say Toby was musically accomplished and innovative, but I am not a knowledgeable music critic. That is why I ask!

  25. Paul February 24, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    I’m waiting to see if Denny’s going to take my other post out of moderation, where I answered Ronk point by point.

  26. Paul February 24, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Matthew,

    thoughts…

    TobyMac: it’s grooving. I like it.

    Mike Banta: dude’s definitely got chops. The MP3 introduction to his CD is unintentionally hilarious, but I gotta give him props for making some good, contemplative music. Some of it would fit well in the dreaded smooth jazz/new age category, but I won’t deny good musicianship when I hear it, and I hear it here.

    Don Francisco: can’t find song clips. He looks like a guy who spends a lot of time practicing though. That’s gotta count for something.

  27. Denny Burk February 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Hey, Paul. I didn’t put your comment in moderation. Sometimes comments get inexplicably stuck in my spam folder. I’ll go look for it, and see if it’s there.

  28. Denny Burk February 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Found it. It was in my moderation queue. I just hadn’t seen it before now.

  29. Paul February 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Thanks Denny.

    so, when are you gonna buy my CD?

  30. Ronk February 25, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    Paul,

    Hymnody is a word. At least it’s in the Websters and American Heritage Dictionaries. Comes from the latin transliteration hymnodia from the greek “humnos + oidia” meaning “hymn and song.”

    The point in my critique has never been addressed. Do you know what a hymn is? It is not a song. It is not music. It is poetry. Unlike worship songs or even any other genre of performed music (Zeppelin or Toby Mac) hymns are words. This article addresses a couple who compose hymns. They carefully articulate biblical doctrines of the faith poetically and fit them with melodies so that they can be useful in the church. Hymns are meant to be sung. Their highest expression is seen when on the lips of the people. Your comment that you haven’t heard anything worth pointing out in hymnody means shows that you haven’t stood in my congregation before a sermon when a congregation lifts up a heartfelt and unified prayer in song asking God to speak and change us as we sing the Getty’s “Speak, O Lord.” The fact that you haven’t seen Americans pour their heartfelt praise to God means that you’re not there when I lead the members of my church along with the communion of the saints throughout the history of the church in singing “In Christ Alone.” We confess that the Lamb was slain and we stand helpless apart from Christ, alone; this same truth we anticipate singing in Heaven as seen in Revelation. Apples and oranges. Your criticisms are harsh and misplaced STILL, because you fail to understand the art form. Your final comment shows that you seem to think this is nothing more than CCM.

    Rip cheesy drum licks. Mock synths. But understand what these people are doing. Writing for your church to praise God together. These aren’t performances in the strictest since, yet you judge them so. Go buy these songs off their websites for the use at your church. They’re not the accompaniments or arrangements on this album. THEN, Do what you will with them. Just don’t tear something down because you hate crappy American worship. God dislikes the praise of unbelieving lips more than you ever will. Be careful about your broad-stroked and dispairaging comments about the Bride of Christ as she worships God. A little dose of humility in remembering that God acceps the worship of all those who approach him through Christ might do you some good. For a christian, criticism is only apropriate when edification is the end.

    I don’t see much evidence that you have listened to this cd beyond a couple soundbites as you sound very ignorant of the different arrangments that are on this cd. I mentioned earlier that I know of at least 4 songs, off the top of my head that fit your definition of “less is more.”

    My comments regarding Barfield and others were in response to his being mentioned earlier. I didn’t show up here proclaiming that my music was the best. I was just echoing the commendination of a christian whose music can edify and stregnthen your love of Christ. In Derek Webb’s case, can teach deep doctrines in a very unique and artistic way.

  31. Paul February 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Ronk,

    1) happy to hear that you either lead or are a part of the perfect church. Must be nice for you on Sunday mornings. Also looks weird with your boasting about this, and then your attacks about my assumed arrogance later on in your post.

    2) do hymns have music accompanying them? Then, yes, they are music. And that music should always be as perfect as the music director can make it to be. What that piano player laying down chords starts playing HARMONY with a specific RHYTHM, and the congregation sings the MELODY, guess what? You’ve got music. You have no argument.

    3) You’re right, I haven’t heard the whole CD. What do you want me to do? Go out and buy a CD when the soundclips that they offer clearly let me know that their idea of what music should be is subpar? If some of their songs fit the less is more model, they should have put those up for consumption.

    4) You say that musicians that performed at a recording session weren’t performing. Do you read what you write before you submit it?

    Look Ronk, it’s obvious that you just want to win an argument, so here: Ronk, you win.

    Do us all a favor now, and never talk about what you don’t know about ever again.

  32. Ronk February 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    Paul,

    It is unfortunate that you continue to disreguard to my actual comments.

    I (reguarding #1) did not say that my church was perfect. I did not boast any such thing, nor elude it. You commented that there’s nothing worthwhile today to worship God with in the American Church. I used my church’s singing of these hymns, which I think you are judging in an unequitable mannor, as being a display of something that is precisely WORTHWHILE: Venerating, Praising, Glorying in our Creator and Redeemer. My comment calling you to humility was not to humility in general, but to the humility that whenever Christ’s Bride sings the truth revealed, it is worthwhile and the highest end for which we were put on earth. I am calling you to humbly remember that God accepts imperfect worship. You must not have picked that up in my clearly worded statement above.

    I said that the PURPOSE (not an aspect of, but PURPOSE, END, GOAL) of worship music isn’t “musical” performance. It is plain in context (a paragraph explaining that while a hymn may use music, it is certainly more than music) that I was not saying (with regard to #2 and #4)that when they made the cd they weren’t actually performing. I am saying that it’s not like your band and should be judged according to the genre it is. They’re not writing music to be “performed” in the way you are. The Getty’s aren’t solely distributing this CD to be an aesthetic performance (I actually stated that it’s not a “performance in the strictest sense” -but you must have missed that) of their great tunes and hymns. They are churchmen devoted to helping Christians express the truth of Scripture. They use a genre that isn’t just “music.” All hymns written for worship have their end in this expression. There is no boasting in any of this. You are wafting smoke.

    Regarding #3, I think you know what my point is. You are using harsh and ungracious language regarding something you acknowledge to know very little about firsthand. You don’t know that your definition of ‘acceptible worship music’ (less is more) is exemplified on this CD because you haven’t actually heard it.

    My question is why didn’t you just say in the first comment, that you only listened to a clip or two and it doesn’t sound like your kind of thing because of the cheesy drums and synths. Why wasn’t that your tact? That kind of comment would be welcomed and seems even handed.

    It is for these reasons that (again, this my clear criticism of your comments from the start in #17) I am clearly displaying that you are using innapropriate criteria in making sweeping, ungracious, and vitriolic pronouncments of this collections of hymns. It doesn’t bother me that you’re opinionated. It doesn’t bother me that you don’t like this cd. It does, however, bother me that others may never listen to these hymns because you have called them worthless along with other God exalting music which doesn’t have the right backbeat. I care not about winning an arguement, but about not allowing something valuable to the Church and edifying for instruction and growth in grace to be criticized unfairly.

    I am not out to win an arguement. I just wanted you to hear me out and it appears that you’re only interested in me shutting up to do “us” a favor. You have criticized my responses around the edges, never engaging my thesis. You play semantic games and ignore the contexts of my conversation so you can try to make me look stupid, it seems (#4, although i do qualify performance with the phrase “strictest sense”). It may be that I look stupid. But my criticism still stands, unadressed. Your silence as to my point is certainly worthy of note.

    Your last line is out of nowhere. Do you really believe that with (1) all you have said and (2) all you have chosen to ignore of my comments leaves you on any ground whatsoever to say that I know nothing of which I speak? Really?

    Maybe you could explain that? You don’t engage my comments. You don’t admit when you’re proven ignorant. You haven’t listened to the CD completely and I’m the one who knows nothing of which I speak?

    Paul, I am not seeking, even in this comment, to do more than correct something I see wrong. I will correct no further. Your vitriol speaks loudly for itself. I hope you can reread my comments and see that I am engaging you in a conversation and am trying to be constructive. I suggest that you buy these songs and make your own music with them. Use these superb texts set to your creative music and Praise God with them. I am not merely being contentious here.

    Do me a favor and just show me the measure of grace I’m showing you. I’m criticizing your actual words, not your intelligence.

  33. Paul February 29, 2008 at 1:32 am #

    Ronk,

    Allow me to make sure I have your argument right…

    1) hymns are words meant to praise God that happen to have music set to them.

    2) The Gettys write hymns to be used in Churches throughout America, and maybe even worldwide.

    3) hymns are not music in the sense that Copeland’s Appalachian Suite is music.

    That is the basis of your argument, correct?

    Just making sure, so that I can make sure that we are civil and barking up the same tree. Then maybe this can be a worthwhile discussion.

    Thanks.

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