I was completely jazzed to get the new Indelible Grace V: Wake Thy Slumbering Children in the mail today. I think I've gotten the last several albums (as well as the Matthew Smith and Sandra McCracken albums) as soon as they've been released. What I've always appreciated about my friend Kevin Twit and his co-laborers is their on-going endeavor to make the theology and piety of hymnody accessible to this generation.
But I've also appreciated how they have helped me worship. One of the major turning points of my life was at the 2003 General Assembly. Up to that point, I held a perspective on worship that was, well, fairly rigid and starchy. I came by it honestly--through my time with very Reformed Baptists and then hanging with Old School Presbyterian types. And there was a great deal of truth in what this sojourn taught me. The only problem was that I hadn't actually worshipped, truly worshipped with my heart engaged with God, in a long time.
Until the Thursday service at that General Assembly, when Kevin led a small, acoustic IG ensemble and Tim Keller preached. Singing "Arise, my soul, arise" engaged my heart with God in ways that had been long missed. Here was not mere, superficial contemporary music (which Al Mohler once described as "one word, two notes, three hours") and yet it was not funeral dirge hymnody either--rather, the beauty of hymnody was married to accesible and modern tunes in such a way that my mind and heart engaged with God's Truth and God himself.
And really, I'll never be the same--both my view of worship (and the "worship wars") and my view of God's love and grace were changed that day. That is why I am eager for these modern hymns to continue to pervade our church and others as well--so that Christians will learn the grammar of faith and piety for the good of their souls and the glory of the King.