In Praise of the Contemporary Psalmist

Having spent a week in Nashville (the hub of most if not all of Christian music today) I have an idea that has been running around in my mind this week and I think I have to say something.

We've been blessed this week to be exposed to some of today's best song writers and psalmist. This guy and this girl led us this week in worship and I would consider them some of the best at modern psalmnody.

Webster defines "psalmist" as: a writer or composer of especially biblical psalms.

And therein lies my issues with some of what I've heard this week here in Nashville. Those that have stood out in my mind are those that hone in on the truths of scripture and steer clear of the more experiential lines and phrases which so quickly come to be "cliche". Simple lines like "I am restless until I rest in you (taken from the writings of St. Augustine) found a resonance this week because they are scriptural in nature (if not down right rephrasing of scripture verses themselves). These are the timeless things that modern day psalmist must immerse themselves in.

Instead the music industry is cranking out more and more music than Fanny Crosby could ever have imagined in her lifetime, and to be honest some of it is not good and some of it very forgettable.

If I could have said anything to these young writers this week I would have said: "Sit on it for a while--let it begin in your soul and then sing it and write it." I'm afraid that it's been the other way around--write it, sing it and then let it sit on your soul. It just doesn't work that way.

Some of the music industry has caught on to this and they're not telling, but I see their watchful eye on some of these artists. They are the shining jewels in modern Christian writing.

This blog is written in praise of the contemporary psalmist. May your tribe increase.