On the surface…
This sounds like your standard contemporary christian album. Lots of rocking guitars and synths and strong bass and drums. Catchy riffs and sing loud in the car moments.
We historically have some awesome songs from Tomlin (how great is our God, our chains are gone, Our God, We will rise, Indescribable to name a few). But this album doesn’t feel quite so strong.
It is quite a range of songs, from a few congregation-ready songs, to some that are probably just for personal use. And from some theologically sound, to some we might want to ask a few questions about.
Have a listen and see what you think
Lyrics and setting.
There are a couple of songs that I love for personal devotional. Nobody loves me like You, and and How sweet it is. Both dwelling on the love the Father has for us, and both pretty encouraging to pray through.
On new birth into the new life we have, 1 Peter 1/Romans 8 type territory. A good reminder when our lives can look very different to what the spiritual reality is.
Goodness, love and mercy
This is maybe my favourite on the album. Simple, full of faith in our good shepherd, and a nice change from the Townend Ps 23 version thats been doing the rounds for so long.
Praise Him Forever
This is a good, straight-forward, objective praise song, easy enough tune once you get rid of the dance beat!
Is he Worthy?
Andrew Peterson classic here. The words are awesome. YES we are longing for Jesus to come back!
I stand in awe
This is good. A song in the realms of “oh Lord my God (How great thou art)”. Praising the amazing creator God, but also bringing it down to how this God also loves us.
There are a few of the songs on this album that, while not necessarily completely wrong, definitely we should think about before using in church, or even just singing ourselves. Here are a few examples:
Here to give you God what you are worthy of, a holy roar. (Holy Roar, track 1)
In some ways, ‘roar’ isn’t the worst word, in as far as the joint sound of all God’s people singing together would sound like an almighty roar.. but it feels like a weak word to describe the awesome praise, glory, worship, words that are clear and true and enlightening, rather than just a loud noise.
As I lay down my defences, your love invades, and I brace for the impact. (Impact track 6)
In some ways, as solely a personal reflection song, this is fine. But also, we should think. What are we saying here? Are we suggesting we need to actively do something in order for the all-powerful God to intervene in our lives? Of course no, but the song isn’t clear on that.
In your presence I’m forever young, you rain rivers in my soul, you are the fire in my bones (Forever Young track 9)
I’m a little confused about what this river is. There are some good and true lines in this song, but this refrain is unclear.
Praise is the highway to the move of God (Praise is the highway)
This is a slightly confusing song, and I’m not sure what this line means either.
Will it work in my church?
I like this album, and it’s a good one for personal use, but I’m not sure how many oft hem are worth introducing in church.
The below might be worth thinking about:
Goodness, love and mercy. If you’d like a new Ps 23 version then this is great and not too difficult.
Praise Him forever. Scrap the bridge, but the rest isn’t bad for a new, objective, lively song to maybe start off your church service together.
I stand in awe. If you do this one, make it a reflectional after prayers or a sermon on creation, and simplify the melody, stick to how he sings verse 1 and chorus.