Monday, February 11, 2008
Is "In Christ Alone" the new "Shine Jesus Shine"?
For several years, if a preacher in the Methodist church who really didn't know much about modern hymns wanted to look contemporary, they'd pick "Shine Jesus Shine" as one of their hymns. These days, "In Christ Alone" is the traditionalist's favourite modern hymn.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying everyone who picks it is ignorant of other modern hymns (and I know plenty of people who pick it despite having a much wider repertoire of modern hymns than mine). I'm also not picking on the hymn - it's my favourite modern hymn too, and pretty high up my "all time" list too. It expounds so much theology in such a small space, and does so in such a fine way - it would be hard to object, really. (I like Shine Jesus Shine too, by the way.)
I just get worried about familiarity breeding contempt. It would be a shame if anyone was turned off such a fine hymn because preachers choose it too often.
I don't know that new one, but SJS always reminds me of St johns, you, Giles, Keren, Ross, Sian and the gang - simpler times.
Hope all's well.