The tide continues to turn in modern worship. Faux-hawks are increasingly being covered with thinking caps. I met John Gooch a few years ago when he moved to Denver from out of the state. He’s finishing up a degree at Denver Seminary, and one of the primary goals of his studies is to be the best worship leader he can be. I praise God that we’re seeing more up-and-coming worship leaders hungering for deep theology and wide biblical reflection. Would to … Read More
It’s not an exaggeration to say that 10,000 Reasons is Matt Redman’s best album to date. Despite how popularity polls would re-arrange the pecking order, Redman stands at the top of the heap among the well-known modern worship songwriters (Tomlin, Hughes, Fee, Hall, Maher, etc.).
In the worship music scene, one doesn’t think of Denver as a hotspot. Los Angeles, maybe. Nashville, of course. Atlanta, yes. Texas towns, probably. But Denver? No.
Tim Hughes, Love Shine Through (Kingsway)Released: April 19, 2011 Tim Hughes is not necessarily a household name in evangelical modern worship, but his breakout song, “Here I Am to Worship,” has established him as a notable songwriter, despite the fact that his material since then has probably gone under-noticed and under-appreciated. In my opinion, he is on par with the other Brits (e.g. Matt Redman, Vicky Beeching) who continue to trend toward greater biblical and theological depth in their text-writing. … Read More
The folks at Sojourn Music continue to lead modern church music down a different path. Each album seems to be more aggressively their own, pushing outward the narrow boundaries of contemporary/modern worship by experimenting with new and old sounds and styles. The Water and the Blood was produced with a different set of values than the industry standard—in analog, as a whole, and with a vinyl option. Producer Mike Cosper explains, While still reflective of a variety of moods and … Read More
I’m always excited and pleased when the cause of the hymns movement is furthered…when good musicians continue to take old hymn texts and set them to accessible contemporary music. David Ward and the crew at Reformed Praise have been doing this for quite a while. Over the years, they have faithfully provided the online community with free mp3s and sheet music of their great material. Similar to Sovereign Grace’s recent albums, Merciful to Me contains works inspired by hymns and … Read More
Rienstra, Debra, and Ron Rienstra. Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009. $22.99. 286 pp. ISBN 978-0-8010-3616-3 (skip to the Conclusion) The authors each bring unique contribution from their area of expertise. Debra Rienstra teaches English at Calvin College, and she therefore offers the penetrating linguistic insights. Ron Rienstra teaches preaching and worship at Western Theological Seminary. What is meant by the phrase “worship words” is clear from the stated purpose: “to help pastors and worship … Read More
Hillsong LiveA Beautiful ExchangeReleased: June 29, 2010 Hillsong continues to prove itself to be a juggernaut in the worship music industry. Now long ago in modern worship years, worship leader Darlene Zschech put Hillsong on the international map with “Shout to the Lord,” and they have never since faded in influence over Western evangelical worship (and they have decidedly broken into non-Western international contexts, as well). Hillsong is a Pentecostal megachurch, so all their worship music is colored by their … Read More
Passion, Awakening (2010, Various Artists) In my opinion, the Passion folks have drawn the clearest line of demarcation between the stylistic eras of “contemporary worship” (80s and 90s) and “modern worship” (late 90s to the present). I remember when Passion ’98 hit the scene. The songs felt fresh, youthful, and different from its predecessors, and from that time forward, we watched the blossoming of the solo careers of these Passion artists (Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, etc.) … Read More