The Christian Song-Writers Most Powerful Tool: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible
“There is life-giving power in the Word of God, because it leads us directly to the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” – Howard Hendrix.
A worship song should bring the thunderous praise of a congregation and the tearful whisper of the orphan into the arms of God. It must not rely on growling guitars, synths with massive pads, a thumping bass, or dynamic drums to have an impact. Nor should it rely on the thunderous strains of a pipe organ pumping church-shaking chords to stir emotions. Strip away production and grandeur so its left with only its melody and lyrics, and a worship song should still resonate with the soul, because it overflows with the truth found in God’s Word.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” – Amazing Grace, John Newton, 1779.
To do that, God’s Word must inhabit those hidden places in our souls where inspiration sinks its roots. It must be the fuel for the engine of creativity. The pursuit of God’s truth must be active, like a tree stretching its branches high despite wind and storm, and forcing its roots deep into the earth through rock and clay. To do this, one must learn HOW to study the word.
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died. My richest gain, I count but lost, and pour contempt on all my pride.” – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Isaac Watts, 1707.
One of the most effective tools for this is the book, “Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible,”* by the late Professor Howard G. Hendrix. It’s based on his hermeneutics class, taught over decades at Dallas Theological Seminary. Thousands have experienced the impact of digging into the word using Professor Hendrix method. He pushes people to look past the first impression, observe the meaning of every word, analyze, study, and ultimately find understanding. It is difficult, there are no shortcuts, and it is sometimes overwhelming, but the result is always transformative.
“I need thee every hour, In joy or pain. Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.” – I Need Thee Every Hour, Annie Hawks, 1872.
If you create art that leads others in the worship of our creator, take the time to study God’s truth beyond the Sunday sermon, or the daily quiet time, or a weekly podcast. Stretch high and dig deep so God’s Truth penetrates your very core, and the very cry of your heart worships our savior.
Listen to “Charity Gayle: Don’t Grieve What You Haven’t Lost” on Spreaker.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.