Yesterday at the TSCF 2013 National Conference, I was reminded of this brilliant article by Carl Trueman (during an equally brilliant talk by Paul Windsor on the Psalms). I very highly recommend anything by Carl Trueman, but this article became something of an instant classic when he first penned it a few years back. It has the arresting title, ‘What Can Miserable Christians Sing?’
You can read the whole article here, but here’s a sample to whet your appetite:
“By excluding the cries of loneliness, dispossession, and desolation from its worship, the church has effectively silenced and excluded the voices of those who are themselves lonely, dispossessed, and desolate, both inside and outside the church. By so doing, it has implicitly endorsed the banal aspirations of consumerism, generated an insipid, trivial and unrealistically triumphalist Christianity, and confirmed its impeccable credentials as a club for the complacent. In the last year, I have asked three very different evangelical audiences what miserable Christians can sing in church. On each occasion my question has elicited uproarious laughter, as if the idea of a broken-hearted, lonely, or despairing Christian was so absurd as to be comical – and yet I posed the question in all seriousness. Is it any wonder that British evangelicalism, from the Reformed to the Charismatic, is almost entirely a comfortable, middle-class phenomenon?”
The essay can be found in Trueman’s book The Wages of Spin (available in print form or for your Kindle). Do yourself a favour!
One thought on “Carl Trueman: What Can Miserable Christians Sing?”
It’s an important question to be sure. Any song recommendations (e.g. from what you sing at your church)?