Friday, March 30, 2007

Bob Says What I Have Always Wanted to Say About the Song "Above All," by Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc

Worship Matters: Q&A Fridays - Why Don't We Ever Sing This Song?:

Great song overall, but when asked to do it, I've said:

There are a number of things about this song I really like. The melody is enjoyable to sing and easy to remember. It does a great job emphasizing God's sovereign rule over all, and focusing on the sacrifice of Christ. The poetic images are engaging and the harmonic progression is creative. But two parts bother me, both near the end of the song. The first is the line "you took the fall." It seems like an understated way of describing what Jesus did. Not wrong, but not the best. The other problem is the line, "and thought of me above all." I have no question that Jesus loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). But he didn't think of me "above all." Jesus went to the cross to satisfy God's righteous judgment against a sinful humanity. He thought of his Father's holiness, justice, and glory above all. It may seem like a theological nuance, but it's the difference between our faith being man-centered and God-centered. I don't think that's what the writers intended, but I think it could cause some confusion in people's minds. Besides, I think we have other songs that better articulate Jesus died for because he loved us and for his Father's glory. But, thanks for suggesting it, and please let me know if you have any other thoughts!

What Bob left out was that rather odd line about Jesus being "like a rose, trampled on the ground." Whatever that is supposed to communicate, I fear that all it ever brings to my mind is Bette Midler!