A Celebration of Lutheran Songwriters


I found this video provides useful insight into the "Contemporary Music" movement. In addition to being an advertisement for a "Lutheran Songs of Today" resource, it contains a variety of song clips and interview segments with the featured artists.

Here are some of their comments:

  • The biggest thing [in worship] is to tell a story that matters, let that unfold in community and we find strength in each other
  • Find out what it is that makes you want to sing...and do more of that
  • I experience "it" in a certain way, and I try to put that experience...into how it feels
  • Singing is an avenue to meet people--that's really why I sing, to "hang out"
  • It's amazing that Lutheran songs today can bring together all these people. None of the seminaries could do it...

These may be distilled to two points:

  • Community, togetherness, and
  • Sharing emotions and feelings

These comments (and the music) seem to be more appropriate to values espoused by the emergent church movement ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_church ) than Lutheranism. The Wikipedia article is quite interesting, as it highlights several of the sociological (note: not theological) issues that underpin the movement. (Some would argue, that the very definition of "Lutheranism" is changing, but I wouldn't agree with them.)

So theologians should not be surprised that arguments aimed toward the doctrinal content of this type of music are ineffectual. The movement (and its media) are powered by a philosophy that is much more "peer-to-peer" (horizontal) than the vertical.