Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Says Stanley Hauerwas: “One reason why we Christians argue so much about which hymn to sing, which liturgy to follow, which way to worship is that the commandments teach us to believe that bad liturgy eventually leads to bad ethics. You begin by singing some sappy, sentimental hymn, then you pray some pointless prayer, and the next thing you know you have murdered your best friend.”

(ht: bht)


robert said...

I trust this lunacy was posted tongue-in-cheek. Granted that not all of Fanny Crosby's over 8,500 gospel songs is a classic. But not all can be dismissed as sappy sentimentalism either. There is an emotional warmth to Fanny's lyrics, but that is hardly a sin. And there's a convicting directness (nothing sappy) about...

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Kyle said...

Well, the title was certainly tongue-in-cheek (at least the second half), but I would very much contend with the notion that what Hauerwas is getting at is lunacy. As far as Fanny Crosby goes, I was raised on her hymns and many of them are fine, but as you admit she's often given to sentimentalism.

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