Artistic License vs. Heresy

Take the following excerpts from popular praise songs I have encountered recently [this list is by no means exhaustive]:

(1) "I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about you. It's all about you, Jesus."
- The Heart of Worship

(2) "You took the fall, and thought of me above all."
- Above All

First, what is wrong with such lyrics. With regard to (1), it completely ignores two members of the Trinity elevating Jesus above them, since as it claims it is all about Jesus. Jesus doesn't even believe that it is all about Jesus. That said, one can hope that this was not the intent of the author. This mistake seems to come from the mistaken thinking that 'Jesus' is simply a pseudonym for 'God'. [UPDATE: Dale Tuggy over at Trinities sees such indiscretion in using the term 'Jesus' as a sign of modalism.] With regard to (2) I think it is incorrect since I subscribe to the Piper/Edwards line of thought where God, at the risk of idolatry, must always be uppermost in God's mind. Therefore, if Jesus thought of me above all, he would be committing idolatry. I'm not even sure if one can provide a positive spin that can explain such a falsehood. The best I can think of is that his love for me was one of the reasons for his sacrifice, but this is much different than the lyric.

What ought we to make of such lyrics, and thus, such praise songs? There is no doubt that Christian contemporary praise songs are theologically anemic when compared to hymns, but this is a different issue. Are such songs simply theologically lazy and given that they are in the genre of poetry their mistakes can be excused when in the heart of worship (pun intended) or are they simply heresy, if not blasphemy, and to be avoided?

I go back and forth with this one. In favor of such songs, (i) many people seem to succeed in worshiping God in singing them, (ii) some 'artistic license' seems to be inevitable for the sake of rhyming if nothing else (though at least 'divinity' rhymes with 'trinity'), and (iii) perhaps we can say that though the lyrics are literally false they implicate something that is true (this would be what I was trying to get at in giving my spin above). On the other hand, (i) such songs can lead to confusion for those who don't know how to give them a proper interpretation [if that's what I was doing], (ii) if such lyrics really are heresy or blasphemy how could one really worship God by uttering them?, and (iii) it is doubtful that all such inaccuracies implicate truths. Implicatures ought to be easily discernible which the above examples do not seem to be (at least for the majority).
[note: it may be responded that this is the fault of the pastors and congregations for not being theologically sophisticated to discern the lyrics cannot be literally true and that something else must be meant.]

Thoughts? Additions?


Friday[ish]'s Quotables

I apparently do not hear as many gems over the summer, but I have stored up a few:

"Ha Ha! Burly man and a baby." -- some chubby VBS kid while pointing at me carrying Karis. It was a very Nelson-like moment.

"I am going to proceed now." -- brother Dan to the girl in the drive-through window after giving her his order.

"Shame on the family in my neighborhood who gave their ten year old boy a BB gun. He shot a squirrel that lives in my tree and now a family has no father. How are they to prepare for the winter months and stock their home with nuts? Aim your gun at targets, NOT AT SQUIRRELS. Squirrels are people too." -- This was written in the 'Gotta Vent' section of our neighborhood 'Penny Saver'. The 'Gotta Vent' section is always full of jewels, but this one was particularly good. Did she go and check to make sure it was a male squirrel so as to know it was the father? She obviously has no faith in single parent squirrel families, but 'squirrels are people too' is priceless.


Trying to Figure out the Trinity?

Me too. I have come across this great blog which is slowly working through the issues and possible responses with regard to this Christian doctrine. I would encourage others to follow along as well. It is fairly new, so it is not too late to go back and read the entries from the beginning.


Monkey vs. Panda

It has been a long while since I posted anything of any practical of philosophical significance. A recent family debate has brought this issue to the forefront: Monkey vs. Panda.
Who wins? No other information is allowed to influence the decision (ie. what kind of monkey, if the monkey is trained in martial arts, if the monkey has a knife).
I think it is clear that the monkey wins. Opposable thumbs and the ability to use tools seal the deal when at the speedy monkey's disposal.
Sure, the Panda is a bear, but really it is only a nominal bear.
Just check out this picture if you have any doubts.
That said I would appreciate further input.


Nine Months

Well it may seem like it has been nine months since my last post, but Karis is now nine months old. Karis now enjoys swimming, bike riding, feeding herself (somewhat sucessfully), crawling
(somewhat sucessfully), and pulling herself up whenever she can.