Beliefnet
Gospel Soundcheck

Hopeforatreecutdown.jpgOver on Beliefnet’s The New Christians blog, which is a really interesting blog that talks about the emergent church and culture, blogger Tony Jones pointed his readers to a free download of an album from an “Anglimergent” church called Church of the Beloved. The album is called Hope For A Tree Cut Down.
OK, I’m just going to be honest. My very first thought was, “What a bunch of tree huggers,” until I realized the title refers to Job 14:7: “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.”
Doh! I’m a dope.


I downloaded the album, and it’s nice. Acoustic and musically in style like a lot of praise music, kind of repetitive and hypnotic. Here are the lyrics for the song “Taken,” for example:
Long before anyone saw us we were seen by you.
Long before anyone heard us we were listened to.
Long before anyone spoke to us we were spoken to
by the voice of eternal Love, an everlasting Love.
Love that existed from all eternity.
Love that existed from all eternity.
Love that existed from all eternity
and will last through all eternity.
I am the chosen child of God,
precious in God’s eyes.
I am the chosen child of God,
precious in God’s eyes.
Called the Beloved from all eternity.
Called the Beloved from all eternity.
Called the Beloved from all eternity
and held safe in an everlasting embrace.

I can see how it would be used in a worship service, but it’s not breaking any musical boundaries. They also sing some of the standard response pieces used in an Anglican service (“Jesus, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world./Have mercy on us./Jesus, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world./Grant us your peace.”)
This album isn’t to be confused with The Operation’s 2001 alt rock release There Is Hope For A Tree Cut Down. That band included Mewithoutyou’s Aaron Weiss and Michael Weiss and former guitarist Christopher Kleinberg.
But back to this Emergent music release. What, exactly, is Emergent music? And how does it differ from plain old praise and worship music? Is it a new subsection of Christian music, or is it something new and different?

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