Over four years ago, I wrote a post called “Liberal songwriting.” I had just spent a week at family camp with a progressive mainline PC(USA) church and noticed that the types of “camp songs” that they liked really did not square up with their theology – and I wondered aloud about where all of the more liberal songwriters were.
In previous generations, there was a mantra that asked “Why should the devil get all the good music?” While I’m not making any parallels between evangelicals and the devil, the question persists today: “Why should the conservative evangelicals get all the good music?” It’s been four years since that post, and I haven’t run across any sufficient alternatives to the “modern worship” movement (the Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, and Passion worship movement…). Many progressive mainline churches have turned to the Taize and Iona communities for more meditative music – which is great, and something that I resonate with. However, if the church wants to reach out to those who really do jibe with the modern worship style (yes, complete with the chorus that repeats 10x in a row…), there really isn’t any good music.
At least that’s what I thought. I first heard of Dana Decker a few months ago when he got in touch with me about his recent CD, “When We Sing.” Dana is part of the Unitarian Universalist faith community and he has put together a CD of “music for liberal worship” that will appeal to the exact crowd I was mentioning above. I have to say that when I initially listened to it, I wasn’t sure that the music style was exactly what I’m normally into – I was hoping for more of a progressive/liberal David Crowder Band style, but after listening to more of “When We Sing” – it really does have something for everyone. It has a great variety of musical tastes; according to the CD’s description on CD Baby, the musical style is pop, rock and funk. I think if people check it out and give some of the songs a shot in worship, it could be a great gift for the church.
So, maybe now, we will start to get a crop of new liberal songwriters like Dana Decker, writings songs for the church that employ a musical style that many enjoy, while allowing worshippers to still proclaim a faith that they can believe in.