"O sing to the Lord a new song,” the psalmist urges. I’ve always imagined someone in the back pew saying, “There’s nothing wrong with the old song.”
The conversation with songwriter John Bell in this issue takes us inevitably into the “worship wars,” in which music is one of the battlefields. Bell is an accomplished musician whose compositions, like the music of the Iona community, of which he is a member, is inventive, theologically authentic and musically strong.
Church music says something about our ecclesiology and our Christology, not to mention our anthropology and aesthetics. When we argue over whether to sing Bach or praise choruses, we are also arguing about the nature of the church and the authenticity of its witness.