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Steve Ross

Hi Chris,
While I agree with your thoughts on current CCM, I have to say I've heard better. Production values just aren't good enough for todays listeners, IMHO. (from Jesus The Lord My Saviour is: 'This guitar-vocal performance was made in our upstairs hallway.' ???)
Also, other listeners here said that some of these songs are just cover versions of existing arrangements. I would prefer to see original arrangements, rather than taking the easy way out.
I would like to point out an album that shows probably the best of the genre: Looking Into Light by Joanna. You can listen to some cuts on Amazon or iTunes.



I liked Sandra McCracken's music. No "Jesus is my Boy Friend" music here, only Jesus my savior.

Does that theological shallowness of most CCM reflect the theological shallowness found in many "evanglical" churches in the US? Since many "evanglical" churches are using theology light as the basis for their worship services, most CCM would be considered acceptable.

Chris Rosebrough

I appreciate the tip. I like the lyrics more than the musical arrangement. But, it has been soooooo long since I've heard anything decent that is called Christian Music that this was like my first drink of water after being lost in the desert for 15 years.


A Christian musician (I dislike calling musicans "artists") is Don Wharton. He's Lutheran theology comes across in his music.


Steve Ross

Steve's quote:'Since many "evanglical" churches are using theology light as the basis for their worship services, most CCM would be considered acceptable.' is not just applicable to US churches. Here in Australia the evangelical-style mega-church has been making a great impact in the last decade, using the same boring, repetative, scriptually unsound music common to these churches.
My step-son is currently attending Hillsong College, yet when I asked him recently wether he believed in Original Sin, he did not even know what that was. Sad.
Steve R.


Obviously the problem with CCM is it ususally based on decisional theology/ decisional regeneration - always wanting to look inward at what we did or must do to be "saved" and forgetting or minimizing what Christ did on the Cross for us, without "us" doing anything to earn or merit it. I found a way to quickly analyze a song to see if it's theology was Christ centered was to simply count the number of times "I, Me, My" was sung (refecting generally what I do) versus counting the number of times "You, your, Christ, God, Cross, etc" was sung, reflecting an outward look and confession. Quick but not perfect. Occasionally I do run across some CCM music that is great and reflects a Cross centered theology, even though the artist comes from a decisional theology background. For instance, a new song by Jeremy Riddle entitled "Sweetly Broken" reflects this, even though Jeremy thinks he was "saved" at age 8, probably from someting he did. The lyrics reflect a Cross centered theology and reflects what Christ has done for us, not what we do for Him:

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior
both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees,
and I am
Lost for words,
so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled


In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness


On Issues Etc., Todd Wilken has referred to alot of CCM as "Jesus, my boy friend" music.

But this can also apply to older music such as "In the Garden" where the lyrics are about emotions and feelings. There is no objective truth in this type of hymn that many consider a great hymn.

The greater problem is that the quality of CCM is a reflection of the quality of the teaching and preaching that is lacking in many Churches today.


Imagine I said I was "saved" from a burning building when I was 7. Would you assume that I meant that I did something to save my own life? To me, for someboday to say they were "saved" actually implies the opposite of what you are saying. I think it is 100% theologically accurate to say that Jesus saved us from the ultimate consequences of our sin. And, BTW, salvation does clearly involve a "decision" to accept and follow Christ. We can't save ourselves, to be certain, but we can CHOOSE to reject the gift that is given freely to us.


Even your article focusing on something great begins by bashing what is not-so-great. MORE focus on what is excellent, please. I can go to any reformed/confessional blog and get squabbles and sarcasm, critiques and caustic, loveless argument (I am a reformed confessionalist, by the way). I don't want fluff and "soft soap" but I would like you to dedicate more space and thought to this section of your blog. There is much out there that is excellent and real and relavent and interesting.
For instance: Pascal, ESV, Reliant K, prayer closets (not a band, but the actual place), BSafe at Home filtering software, the conversion of Ann Rice, the conduct of the Martyrs in Turkey and their witness.
There is MUCH to edify, so please share with us some more of what you find edifying. Thanks for you blog.


How did the last 5 comments get on here?


Steve: "The greater problem is that the quality of CCM is a reflection of the quality of the teaching and preaching that is lacking in many Churches today."

Spot on. Some good Christian music resources I have found are at the following websites:

Sovereign Grace music (www.sovereigngracestore.com)
EMU Music (www.emu.mu)
Keith and Kristyn Getty (http://gettymusic.com/hymns.asp)

You will find a wide range of styles here but I have found these to be doctrinally-sound songs suitable for personal devotion or congregational use.

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