Once And For All

Passion is a wonderful conference that has exploded in recent years. Fueled by speakers like Louie Giglio and John Piper and music by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, people flock to this conference by the tens of thousands. I have a few friends that have gone to this conference in the past, and every year I buy the CD to hear some of the new songs that will be big in churches the following year. This year was no different-a wonderful conference with great music. I bought the CD the day it came out, and have begun doing some of the songs at the church in which I help lead music. One of my favorite songs from the album was ‘Once and For All’ done by Chris Tomlin. This past week, I was sent an e-mail with a discussion about some of the wording in the song, and led to this blog on the song. The lyrics in question are the first ones in the chorus “We believe our God is Jesus.” One of the most difficult concepts within Christianity is the idea that God is three persons yet one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If this line is true, then Jesus is the only person of the Godhead who is God. Wording in the songs we sing matters!

This is similar to a song I used to love in middle school by John Reuben titled ‘God Is Love.’ The chorus says, “Love is God and God is love.” Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8), but love is NOT God. Describing God as only love puts limits on many of his other characteristics.

So what do we do with a song like ‘Once and For All’ when the rest of the lyrics are theologically sound and speak to the truth of what Jesus has done on our behalf? The writer of the blog I pointed you to earlier suggested changing the words to “We believe our King is Jesus,” which I agree would be a big improvement on the song, and would keep the song theologically true. I continue to be grateful for the gift of Chris Tomlin and hope to sing this song soon at church, with the edited words.

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