Should churches sing a worship song with the word 'evolving' in the lyrics?


(Christy Hemphill) #1

Continuing the discussion from The song we sang in church today:

A month ago or so, I mentioned singing the song So Will I (100 billion X) in church.

My husband was looking on YouTube looking up guitar tutorials and he stumbled on this newly posted video of a worship leader discussing why churches should sing this song. He encourages churches to think about the way the song can speak to scientists in the church and that we shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘evolution’ in the lyrics. Looks like someone who could use some likes and encouraging words, because you know the comment thread is going to get crazy pretty soon.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #2

I think most places I’ve encountered view the word ‘evolution’ to be the equivalent of saying ‘Voldemort’ in the Harry Potter series. Thanks for sharing! It would be an amazing thing to incorporate more science into worship lyrics.


#3

I once heard children sing a song in church with the word “evolution” in it, but that was many years ago. You can be sure that it wasn’t an evangelical church.


(Laura) #4

Same. That line would probably ignite a firestorm in my church. I like how in the video he points out what evolution really means – it’s just about changes over time in a population. But so often I hear the word “evolution” being used as a catch-all term for naturalism, humanism, atheism, atheistic naturalism, or any and all forms of “secularism” that we believe we’re supposed to be against, which I think is unfair.

Still, I can see how the word “evolution” might jar people and feel like propaganda when we don’t already (to my knowledge anyway) have popular worship songs that are already using scientific terms – not sure I’ve ever heard one that mentions chemistry, mechanics, logic, engineering… maybe some vague astronomical terms, but that’s about it.


(Steve Schaffner) #5

Well, there are the “loud boiling test tubes” of “Earth and All Stars”.


#6

Wait a minute–there is an evangelical song with the word “evolution” in it. As in, “I don’t believe in evolution.” It’s by Buddy Davis, a pal of Ken Ham. Are you surprised? Neither am I. I don’t believe in evolution.


(Jay Johnson) #7

I’d like to see this one sung in church one day


(Christy Hemphill) #8

Oh, and don’t forget Geoff Moore’s classic “I believe in evolution” with the memorable lines “Your uncle was a monkey he was swinging through the trees/He lived on green bananas and his arms swung to his knees.”

I had that CD.

So, we’ve come a long way in Evangelicalism since the '90s. Maybe.


(Christy Hemphill) #9

I heard that one in church (youth group) when I was a youth group leader, because CCM artist Nicole C. Mullen covered it.


(Larry Bunce) #10

We sang a hymn when I was in college in the late 60s called “God of Concrete, God of Steel,” sung to the tune “For the Beauty of the Earth.” (Tune name Dix, but any tune listed under 777777 will work.)

Here is a link:
http://www.faithatwork.org.nz/hymns-songs-2/

One verse mentions science:

Lord of science, Lord of art,
God of map and graph and chart,
Lord of physics and research,
Word of Bible, faith of Church,
Lord of sequence and design,
All the world of truth is thine.


#11

The perfect answer to silly, anti-science creationist songs just came up: It’s a short opera for families about artist Charles Knight and his granddaughter. This will be cool because it’s performed right in The Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs at The American Museum of Natural History. Charles Knight was a famous artist who brought ancient animals to life with his paintings. Read more here.

I had never heard of Onsite Opera before! Apparently they’re going to stage productions at different places all over New York City. (Would be cool if they’d do something at the Intrepid.)


(Phil) #12

OK, if we are linking Sly, and whatever that 90s song was (strangely entertaining, at least have to mention Revolution to return to my youth. After hearing the Wright and Collins rendition of Genesis (to the tune of Yesterday) I thought they could do an mutated version of this to good effect:


(Laura) #13

I was just reminded of a song by one of my favorite Christian artists, Andrew Peterson… “Song and dance” – it’s one of his older ones, but includes a line about “a million years”:

I can hear creation singing his praise
That his love is everlasting
It’s the same as it was a million years ago
I can still hear David laughing
And the rivers are still clapping
It’s the same old song and dance

It’s made me curious because I don’t know whether this is a subtle way to “take a position” on the origins debate or just “poetic license” (or neither).


(Christy Hemphill) #14

Andrew Peterson is a plenary speaker (along with Deborah Haarsma) at the Pastors Theology Conference at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park in October. The theme is “The Beginning and End of God’s Good World.” Calvary Memorial was my high school/college boyfriend’s church youth group and the church of a good number of my friends from Wheaton. I have some fond memories of retreats and weddings there. I hope all the BioLogos folks who attend have a great time, it sounds super interesting.


(Laura) #15

Wow, that’s so cool! Makes me wish I lived closer to Chicago. I wonder if it’ll be online at any point? I’d love to hear his talk (as well as Deborah Haarsma’s and Andy Crouch’s too).


(James McKay) #16

I’m too young to remember God of Concrete, God of Steel, but I was quite intrigued by it when I first read about it in a book in the 1990s and then subsequently found it in full in a 1970s hymn book. The first line does sound a bit way out there, but it does have a really profound message, that whatever we get up to with science and technology, God is still in charge. The third verse, with its line, “Lord of physics and research” brings home to us that science and research are something that should be done for the glory of God.

Also brings to mind the words of Psalm 111:2 above the entrance to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge:


(Bill Wald) #17

evolve (v.) Look up evolve at Dictionary.com

1640s, “to unfold, open out, expand,” from Latin evolvere “to unroll, roll out, roll forth, unfold,” especially of books; figuratively “to make clear, disclose; to produce, develop,” from assimilated form of ex “out” (see ex-) + volvere “to roll,” from PIE root *wel- (3) “to turn, revolve.” Meaning “to develop by natural processes to a higher state” is from 1832. Related: Evolved; evolving.
evolution (n.) Look up evolution at Dictionary.com

1620s, “an opening of what was rolled up,” from Latin evolutionem (nominative evolutio) “unrolling (of a book),” noun of action from past participle stem of evolvere “to unroll” (see evolve).


(Christy Hemphill) #18

I know what evolve means, and I know it is a perfectly neutral word. Except when it isn’t, like in Evangelical churches.


#19

To scientists, evolution means “a change in allele frequencies in a population”.


(Christy Hemphill) #20

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