Thursday, April 02, 2009

Theological Accuracy and Authenticity

Often, what we look for in sung worship is "authenticity" - we want it to be genuine and to sound as if it is emotionally consonant with the sentiments expressed and what we should be feeling. And what we look for in preaching is often theological accuracy and soundness.
 
But it occurs to me that actually, the reverse is probably more important. Songs and hymns are the best way to learn theology, because the words stick in our minds in a way that just doesn't happen with sermons (well, usually - I can think of a few exceptions). The things we believe are heavily affected by the words we sing, so it is important for them to be theologically accurate. And (as Jonathan Edwards said) the key thing about preaching is the response it produces in the hearer at the time, and the transformation it effects in their life by the power of the Holy Spirit. So authenticity in preachers is essential too.
 
Of course, what is really needed is both theological accuracy and authenticity in both spoken word and song...

5 comments:

Daniel Hill said...

Thanks, Custard. Can you give me a reference for the Edwards, please?

Custard. said...

Not at the moment - sorry. It's quoted somewhere in "Preach the Word" by Greg Haslam, but I'm on camp and that's in Oxford.

Daniel Hill said...

Any joy with the Edwards quotation yet?

What's the new background behind `Custardy', by the way?

Thanks!

Custard. said...

The background is the view up Great Langdale, including the Langdale Pikes, Bow Fell and the Crinkle Crags.

Daniel Hill said...

Thanks. Any joy on the Edwards quotation, by the way?