CD Review-Everything Glorious

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.

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13 thoughts on “CD Review-Everything Glorious

  1. I think this is a great example of being the type of worship leader who is fine using contemporary worship, but not so foaming-at-the-mouth about it that he won’t point out any negatives within CCM. I thought this was a discerning, reasoned, and sound review. Thanks for the heads up. When can I borrow the CD? 🙂

  2. I think this is an example of someone who should use some of his time worshipping God in stead critically analysing heartfelt worship from a worshipping generation

  3. Phil,

    Thanks for sharing your input on the review. Let me just share a few thoughts with you about your comment.

    First, I agree that we should worship God rather than walking around with a critical spirit. So the question we must ask is this…What does it mean to worship God? Simply put, worshiping God means magnifying His supremacy in all of life.

    The scope of worship is not something that we should do some of the time, but all of the time. So let’s apply that specifically to this situation.

    Worship obviously includes song and music. Therefore, we should analize which songs magnify the supremacy of God, rather than just blindly choosing whatever song moves our hearts.

    Every CD that I ever review will be evaluated in that light. Do the songs on this CD magnify the supremacy of God or the supremacy of man?

    In most cases, this CD magnified the supremacy of God. And for that reason, I recommended the CD at the end of the review.

    However, the idea that today’s worship is “heartfelt worship from a worshipping generation” that should not be critically analyzed is just blind acceptance.

    Most of today’s worship services are filled with songs that talk about how passionate we are. And then, at the end of the service, all we know is how passionate we are, rather than specifically how great God really is. And when you get right down to it, all that does is magnify the quality of our gift, rather than the quality of the True Giver.

    I really like the CD. And I play it all the time. But repeating one word 58 times can be a little distracting from the supremacy of God after a while. And for that reason, I offered some criticism.

    I hope you don’t think that I’m one of those CCM haters. I listen to and use contemporary music all the time. But my first and foremost desire is to passionately magnify the supremacy of God, not primarily to have heartfelt worship.

    Rick

  4. I don’t think we are to MAKE God glorious….God is capable of that, in fact is ALREADY that…we are to ‘glorify’ God….which to me means a lot of things – put God in the proper place, acknowledge what God has done, thank God, etc.

    As you stated: worshiping God means magnifying His supremacy in all of life.

    To me, that includes the supremacy of creation, which includes ‘me’.

    Anyway, just ran across this review as I was googling something and thought i”d comment – I’ve not heard the CD. But I do acknowledge that people worship in different ways with different words – to me its about how those words are pouring out of an individuals heart, thankfully I don’t have to judge that for anyone but my own heart – God takes care of that. 🙂

    Grace and peace!

  5. Janice,

    You make a good point. We can’t make God glorious. He is glorious no matter what we do.

    To be honest with you, I may revisit this review sometime. There are a few songs that I was rather critical of that I’m beginning to wonder if I misunderstood them.

    For example, in the song “Everything Glorious,” I was taking the line “What does that make me” to mean that I am glorious. But a friend of mine pointed out that they always thought the line was meant more of as a contrast. In other words, God is glorious, and in contrast I am not. So I’m still not quite sure how to take it. But it’s something to think about.

    Another song I was rather critical about was the one about being set on fire, burning alive, and coming undone by God. It just seemed rather violent to me. On the other hand, if you take it in the sense of God’s purifying of me to the point where He alone is my joy, then you view that violence in a whole new light. God’s purifying fire is often a violent thing. But it is also necessary for us to be able to cry out that He alone is our joy.

    Anyway, I’m still not quite sure how to interpret some of the songs. But some of the possible interpretations do lend to some interesting thoughts.

    Rick

  6. That is the problem with your original comments(Rick) or should I say complaints . Rather than get the writers true intent of his writings, you first decided it would be ok to get on the internet and let everyone know how you personally felt about these songs. Then later you changed your mind because of what a friend said instead of listening to what God was telling you. I have to wonder if you prayed about the things you said before you said them. I personally would never have something to do with anything that I don’t belive or agree with fully. That would be like going to a church that only belives certain parts of the Bible and not the whole thing. The problem in the world today is there are too many ” Christians” out there ready to critic one another before they think about the harm they are doing to the body. When a lost person hears this we wonder why so many of them want nothing to do with church or Christians. We need less “intelectuals” in the body and more people who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit. After all, mans intelect is what got us in trouble in the very beginning. I hope that repetition isn’t something you have a problem with considering you will be worshiping your savior for eternity. Not to mention I can’t remember one scripture that says repetition is a sin or even bad for that matter.

    1. I think it is important to note that God created our intellects, as well as the rest of us, and expects us to use our whole selves to glorify him. We get on dangerous ground in the church when we make intellectuals the bad guys, because then all we have to go on are our feelings, which are notoriously unreliable. (Thank God I listen to my intellect instead of my feelings when my husband makes me mad, or he’d be dead. Just kidding!) The only intellectuals in church that we should have a problem with are the ones that behave and lead people in ways contrary to the word of God, and therefore, contrary to our God-given intellects. But an intellectual who is in submission to God’s will is a powerful force for good in the church and in the world.

  7. Ashley,

    Sorry it took a while to approve your comments and respond. I went to the rodeo last night and didn’t get home until late.

    I appreciate your desire for Christian unity and love. One thing that God hates is dividing the body of Christ unnecessarily. But I think you are missing the point of a CD Review.

    In Romans 12:1,2, Paul says that we are to offer our entire lives to God as worship in response to the gospel. He says that we should allow the gospel to renew our minds so that we can be able to discern excellent worship.

    In my CD reviews, as well as my book reviews, my desire is to edify the body of Christ by recommending more worship resources to them and by helping them be able to discern excellent worship.

    If you think that the way we discern what is excellent worship is just blindly proclaiming that every CD and book is just wonderfully amazing, then I think you have a very innaccurate view of biblical discernment. It doesn’t take an “intellectual” to evaluate a CD spiritually, musically, and lyrically in order to see what elements would be benenficial for excellent worship, and what elements would not.

    On another note, you can’t fault me for growing in my understanding of something over time and then accuse me of not praying in the first place. Any person that objectively reads the lyrics to some of these songs would have to admit that the meaning of some of them is ambiguous. They could mean any number of things, some possible meanings of which are unbiblical. So if my understanding of a song develops, then I’m growing. Please don’t condemn me for that.

    As far as the repetition goes, I agree with you that repetition in itself is not a bad thing. Just read some of the Psalms, or read the worship services of heaven in Revelation. But examples of repetition in the Bible are not the general default pattern of worship. And in this CD, with repetitions of 37, 45, 23, 25, 29, 51, 32, and 26, I find lyrical repetition to be the general default pattern. And for me personally, as well as for many others, it can get a little distracting after about the 268th repetition on one CD.

    In the end, I still recommend the CD. I don’t question anybody’s heart. And I’m not trying to divide the body. Instead, I’m trying to help us discern what is excellent worship (Rom. 12:2). And as I do this, I am growing myself. Maybe someday my view of this CD will be different than it is even now. I hope it is. That means I’m continuing to grow. So for those of you who get really bothered about it, please afford me the chance to grow, and consider some of the things I’ve said for your own growth as well. After all, we all have the same goal don’t we? To offer excellent, acceptable, heart-felt worship to God?

    Rick

  8. It is good to make sure our lyrics are sound, so here is what I would like to add:
    God saw that it was good…over and over. Everything he made in the beginning he saw as good. Everything God makes is glorious. That is simply true. Humans tainted it, to be sure. That, however, is the beauty of the cross. God fixed it. He made our dirty, stained souls pure, clean, and righteous. Then he put his spirit in us. At this point I am certain that we were made glorious by virtue of containing the glorious One in ourselves. Therefore, saying “What does that make me?” in the sense that we ourselves are glorious merely expresses that. I have never felt anything but extreme thankfulness for what God has done in me when i sing this song. It reminds us of something crucially important…God adores us as his children. To point out that God makes humans glorious reminds us as we sing of how special we are to Him, and how much he values us. Have you ever thought of it that way? I say this not in condemnation, because I am all for checking up on each other and not straying from
    God’s truth, but I find this very biblical and hope that you can reap the benefit of recognizing God’s greatness by recognizing how great he has made us.

    “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
    Psalm 139:14

    God Bless.

  9. This is in reply to the song “Everything Glorious”

    You make everything glorious and I am Yours so what does that make me?

    To me this is a statement in complete AWE of God. It is making Him glorious because He made us like Him.

  10. I just came across this when googling “Praise the one who paid my debt” and saw this statement:

    “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.

    God is an all-consuming fire. It is not violent at all. God consumes us like a fire. We are not literally on fire, but His spirit falls on us and takes over like a fire that spreads and cannot be put out. I am burning alive because God lives in me and because He makes me alive. This is a David Crowder song. David Crowder writes some silly stuff in his songs sometimes. The repetitive La’s are simply his way of expressing the joy that God gives him.

    You also need to understand that the Passion cd’s are complementary to the actual Passion conferences. The songs make more sense in the context of the conference. The cd just highlights some of the songs sung by the bands there.

  11. HI.. i was just randomly checking out something and saw this review. i just wanted to add what that song meant to me and how it lifted me out of a pit when i was pretty down about who i was. When it says, “You make everything glorious,….and i am Yours..what does that make me?” i told me that i am special in God’s eyes…that God has made me set apart and as hard as satan wants to make me feel like a loser and make me feel down about myself, God is right there saying…I have made you…quit feeling like that! you are special to ME!

    rebelministries.blogspot.com

  12. Rick, regarding contemporary worship music, I have to say I sometimes feel like we’ve left behind some really great old hymns in our efforts to relate to seekers. As I was growing up, we sang out of a traditional hymnbook, and I was one of the generation that was always pestering the older people to include some more contemporary music. But now that I go to a church where it’s pretty much all contemporary except for the Christmas carols, I wish we could have a more balanced approach between time-tested hymns with great theology, poetry and music, and contemporary music. It’s really strange to me to go to church and not know half the songs most of the time. Just once on Sunday, I’d love to sing, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” or “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” or “The Old Rugged Cross,” or “Holy, Holy, Holy.” I very much appreciate the modern worship leaders who are trying to reintroduce some of the great old hymns in a more modern format. Wouldn’t it be great if we had worship that spoke to the long history of worship in the church, by combining the most modern songs with songs that remind us how strong God’s church has stood over the centuries?

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