by Rick Pidcock
Edit: My understanding of a few of the songs that I critique below has changed to some degree recently. So be sure to take a look at the comment section for more discussion on these things.
For those of you who follow the modern worship movement, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the Passion Worship Band. The Passion Movement is an annual gathering of college students led by Louie Giglio from Andy Stanley’s church in Atlanta, GA. Every year, thousands of students gather together to worship and hear the preaching of the Word by men such as Louie Giglio and John Piper.
They just recently released a new live worship CD entitled Everything Glorious. Led by musicians such as Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, and David Crowder, 18,000 worshipers joined in song at Nashville’s Gaylord Arena for Passion 06.
Everything Glorious is a collection of 13 worship songs, including a good mix of contemporary songs and older hymns.
The theme of the CD is how the glorious God is making everything glorious through His Son. For the most part, the theology is pretty sound. There are a few problems that I have with it that I will mention later.
My favorite songs on the CD are the hymns. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” is done acapella as a beautiful ending to one of the contemporary songs. “Jesus Paid It All” is a great celebrative arrangement which ends in a powerful new chorus that proclaims, “O praise the One Who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!” The most touching hymn on the CD to me is “My Savior’s Love.” After singing the first two stanzas, Chris Tomlin leads in an acapella chorus. Then, just when it seems as if the song is done, he leads into the final stanza with, “When with the ransomed in glory, His face I at last shall see.” The song then erupts into a very powerfully moving chorus.
Now here is where I have a few problems with the CD. One song, called “Everything Glorious” says,
“You make everything glorious.
You make everything glorious.
You make everything glorious.
And I am Yours. What does that make me?”
The problem that I have with this is that the point of worship is to make God glorious. And yet, unless I’m mistaken, the point of this chorus if you answer the question at the end of it is that I am glorious. The weird thing though is that the phrase “What does that make me?” seems as if it is just slipped in there on the fly. It only appears once in the song. But it completely changes the meaning of it. I think that the worship leader should be careful when he says things on the fly that he be biblically accurate in what he says.
The main thing that concerns me with this CD is the constant repetition. One song uses the phrase, “We’re gonna party” 13 times. The next song uses the phrase “All we need” 37 times. Another song says “Be the center” 10 times. Still, a different song uses the phrase “We are Yours” 45 times. The song that I mentioned above says “You make everything glorious” 23 times. A song entitled “We’ve Already Won” uses the word “Loud” 25 times, as well as the phrase “We’ve already won” an additional 16 times.
Another song begins with the words,
“He set me on fire.
I am burning alive.
With His breath in my lungs, I’m coming undone.”
Quite honestly, other than the fact that it sounds rather violent, I’m not quite sure what the point of the song is. So the rest of the song tries to explain it by saying “You are my joy” 29 times. But if you are still left in the dark, then the worship leader says, “I need to catch my breath, give me a moment now.” Then after everybody stops screaming, they close the song by saying the word “La” 51 times.
The CD finally closes with a great song called “Our God Reigns.” I love the song. But they sing the words “Our God reigns” 32 times, and the single word “reigns” an additional 26 times for a total of 58 times in just a six minute song.
I am not one of those worship leaders who think that “All CCM is evil because it uses mindless repetition.” There are a few Psalms in the Bible that use quite a bit of repetition. But this is a little on the heavy and distracting side to say the least.
Everything Glorious may not be everything glorious. But it does offer a number of excellent new hymn arrangements as well as some really good contemporary songs. Most of it is very singable for a corporate setting. And I would personally use alot of the songs that use the crazy repetition. We would just tone down some of the repetition.
So with all that in mind, I would recommend this as a resource for worship leaders to get some good new ideas. But if you can only take so much repetition, you may not be too excited about Everything Glorious.
The CD can be purchased online at the Passion Online Store.