Doxecology Album Review

Overview


Doxecology is a new album released by Resound Worship. It features 13 new songs, written collaboratively, on the themes of creation, ecology, and Christian hope. While there are many great things about the album, which I will come to, I’ll begin by letting you know that this is possibly the first worship album I know of which refers to armadillos. And, for reasons which will become clear, that makes this a very important album.

Will it Work At my Church?

There are a number of wonderful things about this album, and from the outset I’ll tell you where I am at with it – I think this is a vital album, full of songs that are not only suited to congregational worship, but necessary for congregational worship. It addresses significant but neglected biblical themes, and does so in a way that is fresh and engaging. Musically, it is beautifully recorded, in arrangements that can inform how you would use the songs in your church. I’ve had the album playing constantly since it was released in September.

Highlights

‘Heaven’s Voice Brings the Dawn’ – This sets the scene for the album as a whole, declaring a beautiful theology of creation, as well describing our commission within the created world. In a good way, this song sounds like you’ve known it for years, and once you’ve done it a couple times at church, it will be a staple in your set.

‘Nature Shines with Beauty’ – This stunner of a song is based on Romans 8 – the verses explore the relationship between God’s creation and God’s children, and the chorus ties this together in the glorious gospel promises of Romans 8:28. This song demonstrates the way the album celebrates creation as well as laments its fallen state.

‘Hear the Song of Our Lament’ – this is where the album really begins to explore the need to confess the way we sinned against God by failing to honour His created world. This song is more niche, and won’t be used nearly as often as some others, but I think it could work well.

‘Let All Creation Sing’ – I can’t get the melody for this one out of my head. The song is unique in that it directly names a whole range of specific elements of creation – valleys, deserts, supernovas, and so on.

Honey bees and weeping willows,
grizzly bears and armadillos, 
every narwhal and sea otter, 
every son and every daughter.*

*this rhyme only works if you have an American accent.

This verse jumped out at me. Lyrically, it initially seems like a newer version of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ or ‘If I Were a Butterfly’ – that is, children’s songs. Why was my initial response to find the verse funny? It’s partly because specifics are the foundation of a lot of good comedy. But why can only children praise God for armadillos? Maybe our worship songs need more child-like wonder at the beauty of creation? If our doctrine of creation is true, that God in His eternal wisdom and power needed to add the armadillo to the host of animals found in the garden of Eden, then this song adds more clarity to these truths.

‘If the Fields are Parched’ – this is another great song from Chris Juby. It is another lament, addressing the realities of climate change. There are some poignant lyrics here – “if the oceans rise and the wells run dry, do we care if disaster is near?” This isn’t something you’ll sing all the time, but it’s a good challenge to not shy away from singing challenging songs.

‘God the Maker of the Heavens’ – this is to the tune of ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’, so it will be really easy to introduce. There are some really nice lines in here that are poetic with some deep theology, for example, “use our hands to heal creation, You are making all things new.” This couplet brings to mind Psalm 127:1, and highlights relationship between God’s sovereign grace and our responsibility.

Ultimately, this isn’t an album about creation, or ecology. It’s an album about Christ, the creator and redeemer of all things. It’s an album that challenges and stretches our notions of what we sing about, and has broadened my vision of Jesus and the hope we have in Him. I really love this album, and I think there are loads of songs that are useful for your church. Plus, when the preacher tells you that the closing hymn needs to mention armadillos, you’re all set.

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