Sing Unto the Lord


Mind songs/ heart songs
July 22, 2007, 4:46 am
Filed under: Thinking Music

Some would say that there are two types of songs that Christians sing in their churches. Mind songs or Heart songs. What they mean is that some songs are written to proclaim a doctrinal truth or to fill out a theological idea. Many would say that these songs are generally subjective, proclamatory (proclaim something to the world rather than ‘prayerful’ to God), and dry. These are the Mind songs.

Heart songs are all about how I feel towards God. They evoke emotion in me and they are filled with a lot more feeling. These songs are not so heavy with theology but are strong in helping me respond emotionally to God (emotional response is a good thing). Many different people accuse others of singing one group or another of these songs.

Mind people think that heart people have no substance and heart people think that mind people don’t care.

The whole division misses the point of scripture. We as Christians are called to respond to the truths of God with our hearts. How often do I hear Christians who believe that they are strong theologically point the finger at others for being too emotional. God is the god of our affections. If we say that we believe we are deserving of God’s unquenchable fury, that we have no good in us and yet Jesus came and took all of that upon himself so that we could be adopted as the children of God, if we believe all that and are not moved emotionally then one would question the validity of our belief.

And how often do I hear others who believe that they respond to God with appropriate emotion say that others are just obsessed with doctrine and truth and the Bible. Without truth emotion is just emotion. You are not responding to anything but vague ideas and ethereal spiritualness.

Strong biblical theology is nothing without a heart that sings with thankfulness, and emotional expression is nothing without something to be emotional about.

I want to sing songs with my mind and my heart. I want to proclaim the things that Christ has done and will do with tears streaming down my cheeks. The things of Jesus are not abstract thoughts, they are saving truths!

For myself, I struggle at times to be emotional in the way that I should. Too often I sing lyrics that should leave me broken and yet I am unaffected. I am praying that the hardness of my heart will be done away with and that I can worship my saviour with all my mind, and all my heart.

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2 Comments so far
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How often do I hear Christians who believe that they are strong theologically point the finger at others for being too emotional.

The irony I find with these people is that not only do they unreasonably dismiss an intuitive approach to communing with God, but they generally also have a fairly poor understanding of the Bible and Church History too.

Comment by David Castor

Good post Dan. The best songs have both – mind and heart.

I reckon the absolute modern classic is In Christ Alone. It exemplifies everything a good song should have. It has mind, it has heart, and it has music that works with both. It is a faultless song.

I ran a music training session a few weeks ago for our team, and I kept holding that song up as an example of everything Christian singing should aim for.

I just love the way the music carries the lyrics and brings your heart along with too. Good stuff.

Comment by Andy M




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