Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Theology in worship continued: Unstoppable Love, by Jesus Culture (featuring Kim Walker-Smith)

Today's next song from worshipleader.com's list ranks 16th. It's a top quality live audio performance, but how does the Father fare? Is He necessary? Let's listen, read, then comment.



Try to stop Your love, and You would wage a war
Try to take the very thing, You gave Your life for
And You would come running, tear down every wall
All the while shouting, "My love you're worth it all!"

God, You pursue me, with power and glory
Unstoppable love that never ends
You're unrelenting, with passion and mercy
Unstoppable love that never ends

You broke into the silence, and sang a song of hope
A melody resounding, in the deep of my soul
You have come running, You tore down every wall
All the while shouting, "My love you're worth it all!"
....
No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

The bridge (which I have placed in bold) I think offers us the clearest Scriptural foundation and inspiration for this song, which I take to be Romans 8:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [verses 35-39]

I won't bore the blog reader by delving into Paul's distinctives betwen "God" (ho Theos) and "Jesus", although suffice it to say that logic of Christ's love in verse 35 being God's love in verse 39 does not hold to imply that songwriters should just happily sing away about "Jesus" as synonymous with "God" with no mention of the Father. It is not inferable from Paul generally (he is the main New Testament proponent of "God and Jesus" constructions, of which the total count of such constructions nears 50), and it is not inferable even from this passage alone (= the love of Jesus that is in Jesus). Do Christians think it is not possible to appropriate God's love in them also? Such is the beauty of love!

So we have another bad apple here, although possibly not quite as clearly misleading as the first song I reviewed by TCCCollective. We are almost a third of the way through worshipleader.com's list here, as I am only going to do every other song on their top 20 chart, and we have yet to hear a single reference to the Father being worshipped or even identified as God, even though He is the One who most clearly is identified by the Bible as so. How can worshipleader.com justify their criterion for faithfulness to Scripture? So far, it is not at all obvious!