Monday, 21 September 2015

Theology in worship continued: Love Comes Down, by Michael Farren

Today's song from's list does not fare nearly so badly on charges of inconsistency or theological confusion. Again, quite a tune with some originality. Let's listen, then comment.

We are especially looking for clarity around who "You", for worship of the Father, or even a clear Trinitarian picture. Here are the words:

I brought You all my foolish crowns
With trembling hands I laid them down
Expecting wrath to be poured out
But You placed mercy on my brow

Still my best is nothing less
Than filthy rags and emptiness
One drop of blood raised me from death
And You see me through Your righteousness

Oh how sweet amazing grace
Wraps me in a warm embrace
Oh my heart rejoice
I was lost, now found
All my praise goes up as Your love comes down

Now daily I walk safe, secure 
Even through trouble You endure 
I’m not afraid for I am sure
That You are mine and I am Yours

What a great day that will be
When I stand there at my Savior’s feet
Singing thank you for all eternity
All my praise goes up as Your love comes down

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
All my praise goes up as Your love comes down

It's a good song, blending modern sounds and themes with older songs like Amazing Grace so will resonate on various levels. It also does not call Jesus the Father or have a shifting picture of who "you" is. "You" might seem at first a little ambiguous however, as neither Father, nor Lord, nor God are mentioned at any point. But on closer inspection, I think we can say that "you" is addressed to the Father, at least by the author's intention, as "my Savior's feet" would more naturally imply Jesus' feet, than the Father's, even though both are referred to as "Savior" in the New Testament.

Whatever your theological persuasion, you are unlikely to believe that the Father literally has feet, since Trinitarian theology holds that of the three persons of the Trinity, only the Son was incarnate. This reminder should also posit some limits on how literal we can be tempted to take all the apocalyptic imagery applied by John in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. If the Father is not corporeal, then the corporal imagery given to John has to be a mediation of incorporeal realities.

All in all, I am theologically quite impressed with this song, although, as we already mentioned, some of its success can be attributed to it avoiding some key terminology.

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